As large-scale technologies shift to virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), creating space to accommodate the meta-universe, fierce debate about the limitations of this new technology—or lack of it—is underway. One of the main concerns of skeptics is that the meta-universe may lead to the end of reality as we know it. Weighing this debate and related issues, Louis Rosenberg, a computer scientist who developed the first functional AR system, warned that augmented reality can be much worse than social media.
Rosenberg said that AR and metaverse are designed to present content in the most natural form, which means that AR can “change our sense of reality” by removing boundaries in our minds and distorting the way we interpret our daily experience.
“Personally, I think this is scary. This is because augmented reality will fundamentally change every aspect of society, and not necessarily in a good way,” Rosenberg said in a Big Think article Write. The computer scientist developed the first full-featured AR system—virtual device—to train US Air Force pilots in 1992. He added that he believes AR will soon become the core of all aspects of life, but he is worried that “legal Uses” control the infrastructure through a powerful social media platform.
Rosenberg said that social media manipulates our reality by filtering what we are allowed to see. All of us are increasingly dependent on companies that provide and maintain the countless layers of technology that exist between us and our daily lives. Rosenberg said these layers are used to manipulate us. “The truth is that we are now living in dangerous times, and AR has the potential to magnify the danger to levels we have never seen before.”
He also warned that AR will become an indispensable part of our lives, so that we can’t just take off the AR glasses without seeing the problem of staring at our faces. Taking off the AR glasses means that we will be at a social, economic and intellectual disadvantage. However, he made some guarantees about the benefits the technology will provide. “Don’t get me wrong. AR has the ability to enrich our lives in wonderful ways,” he said, adding that this technology will enable surgeons to perform operations faster and better. Construction workers, engineers, and scientists will benefit, and the entertainment and education industries will undergo revolutionary changes.
Rosenberg now urges everyone to be careful, warning that AR can easily be used to disrupt society and create divisions between us.
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