Facebook believes in developing technology rooted in human connection thereby bringing them together. As the focus shifts to help in the building of the next computing platform. It is essential to be responsible. Here’s how Facebook is building the Metaverse responsibly.
The following was stated by Facebook on their Newsroom:
- The metaverse won’t be built overnight by a single company. We’ll collaborate with policymakers, experts and industry partners to bring this to life.
- We’re announcing a $50 million investment in global research and program partners to ensure these products are developed responsibly.
What Is the Metaverse?
The “metaverse” is a set of virtual spaces where users can create and explore with other people who aren’t in the same physical space as them. People will be able to hang out with friends, work, play, learn, shop, create and more. “It’s not necessarily about spending more time online — it’s about making the time you do spend online more meaningful.” says Facebook.
The Metaverse isn’t a single product which can be built by Facebook alone, instead just like the internet, the metaverse exists whether Facebook is there or not. As stated earlier, it won’t be built overnight and many of these products will only be fully realized in the next 10-15 years.
How Is Facebook Building Responsibly
Facebook will be working with experts in government, industry and academia to think through issues and opportunities in the metaverse. Facebook will also be involving human rights and civil rights communities right from the start so as to ensure that these technologies include and empower them.
The following are a few key areas where Facebook will work with others to anticipate the risks and get it right:
Economic opportunity: how Facebook can give people more choice, encourage competition and maintain a thriving digital economy.
Privacy: how Facebook can minimize the amount of data that’s used, build technology to enable privacy-protective data uses and give people transparency and control over their data.
Safety and integrity: how Facebook can keep people safe online and give them tools to take action or get help if they see something they’re not comfortable with.
Equity and inclusion: how Facebook can make sure these technologies are designed inclusively and in a way that’s accessible.
Introducing the XR Programs and Research Fund
Facebook is announcing the XR Programs and Research Fund, a two-year $50 million investment in programs and external research to help them in this effort. With the help of this fund, Facebook will collaborate with “industry partners, civil rights groups, governments, nonprofits and academic institutions to determine how to build these technologies responsibly.“
Here are a few of Facebook’s initial partners:
- Facebook is working with the Organization of American States on job training and skills development for students, creators and small business owners.
- Across Africa, Facebook is supporting Africa No Filter, Electric South and Imisi3D to support creators who have been pushing the boundaries of digital storytelling using immersive technology through “Amplifying African Voices.”
- With Women In Immersive Tech, Facebook is supporting women and underrepresented groups driving Europe’s virtual, augmented and mixed reality sectors.
Facebook says, as “a part of this effort, we are also facilitating independent external research with institutions across the globe:“
- Seoul National University and The University of Hong Kong are focusing on research into safety, ethics and responsible design.
- The Centre for Technology, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence & the Law at the Faculty of Law, National University of Singapore will study other topics such as privacy and data use.
- Howard University will conduct research to examine the history of diversity in IT and how that might inform access and economic opportunity in the metaverse.
As the work continues, Facebook will be regularly sharing more partners and updates on its progress.