The Metaverse and Its Governance is the final paper in the series of the IEEE Global Initiative on the Ethics of Extended Reality.
The lead author is Melodena Stephens, Professor of Innovation Management, Mohammed Bin Rashid School of Government (Dubai), who has been looking at broad issues of the government’s role in technology and digitization. This paper defines the Metaverse as “a collection of multiple advanced virtual worlds that are interconnected with each other and the physical world through specialized hardware and biological interfaces and software technologies, services, and data. The metaverse is an example of XR, where XR and real worlds form a continuum. The metaverse is an aspirational concept, while XR is a present-day reality.”
Here’s the range of different XR and Metaverse governance issues that are explored in this paper: Systems Thinking and Purposeful Leadership, A Sustainable Metaverse, Norms, Society, and Governance, Disassociation, Legal Recourse, Privacy, Protections for Young People, and Cultivating Digital Skills.
The paper ends with some calls to action including building general awareness and making realistic expectations, reconciling the various objectives of the Metaverse that balance the people, the planet, and purpose (and profits), the need to share data towards creating sets of standards with auditors and enforcers, the need to create agile frameworks and regulatory sandboxes, the need for funding for long-term research, and the collection of data to help “assess the effects and impact of the metaverse as it will not be uniform across societies, sectors, and the planet.”
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