As Big Tech drifts in the direction of Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) and creates space for the metaverse, there is an intense debate about the limits – or rather the lack thereof – of this new technology. One of the biggest concerns among skeptics is that the metaverse could lead to an end of reality as we know it. Given this debate and the problems it posed, Louis Rosenberg, a computer scientist who developed the first working AR system, warned that augmented reality could be far worse than social media.
Rosenberg says that AR and the Metaverse aim to present content in its most natural form, meaning that AR can “change our sense of reality” by removing boundaries in our minds and distorting the interpretation of our daily experiences.
“Personally, I find that terrifying. Because augmented reality will fundamentally change all aspects of society and not necessarily for the better, ”writes Rosenberg in a Big Think article. The computer scientist, who developed the first fully functional AR system – Virtual Fixtures – for training pilots in the US Air Force in 1992, adds that he is convinced that AR will soon play a central role in all areas of life, but he is concerned about the “legitimate uses”. through the powerful social media platforms that will control the infrastructure.
Rosenberg says social media manipulates our reality by filtering what we’re allowed to see. We are all more and more dependent on companies to provide and maintain the myriad layers of technology that exist between us and our daily lives. And these layers are used to manipulate us, says Rosenberg. “The fact is, we are now living in dangerous times and AR has the potential to escalate the dangers to levels we’ve never seen before.”
He also warns that AR is becoming such an integral part of our lives that we can’t just take our AR glasses off so as not to see the problems staring us in the face. Taking off the AR glasses would mean that we would be socially, economically and intellectually disadvantaged. However, it does offer some assurances regarding the goodies the technology will provide. “Do not get me wrong. AR has the power to wonderfully enrich our lives, ”he says, adding that this technology will enable surgeons to work faster and better. Construction workers, engineers, scientists will benefit and the entertainment and education industries will be revolutionized.
Rosenberg urges everyone to be careful now, warning that AR could easily be used to break up society and sow divisions among us.
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