September 27, 2021

Big Tech wants you to live in a virtual world. Prepare for real problems

Heard of the “metaverse” lately? It has been hard not to.

Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg mentioned tech’s latest buzzword 16 times on his company’s most recent earnings call last month. The future of Facebook, he said, is a metaverse—a virtual environment where you can be physically present to hang out, play games, work and create.

But he didn’t coin the term. Tech companies ranging from Intel Corp. to Unity Software talked up the metaverse last year. And Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella discussed the “the enterprise metaverse” in his company’s earnings release last month—a day before Facebook’s call.

Nvidia has been an especially loud proponent of the idea. Last year, the company launched a platform called Omniverse “for connecting 3-D worlds into a shared virtual universe.” Chief Executive Jensen Huang used…

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