The Metaverse, artificial intelligence, and the assault on reality
It has become clear in the past few years that many people have lost the ability to determine truth from lies, propaganda from fact. And even good from evil.
And now it appears many of us may soon lose our ability to recognize reality. Or live in it.
Mark Zuckerberg recently told tech podcaster Lex Friedman, "A lot of people think that the metaverse is about a place, but one definition of this is it’s about a time when basically immersive digital worlds become the primary way that we live our lives and spend our time." He added, "I think that’s a reasonable construct." Really? Who among us will want to “spend our time” and “live our lives” as legless avatars? Maybe those who have graduated from our
moron factories colleges and universities.
Some have postulated that if we spend our time in the metaverse, we will lose our identity in favor of group homogeneity, be that ideological, cultural, or demographic. This is so, they say, because we will then likely separate into monocultural strata in which every subculture and sexual fetish can find mutual affirmation, causing individuality to give way to any given monoculture’s unified mindset. This is the irony of identity politics, multiculturalism, and intersectionality. The more each individual’s group identity is called out and deemed crucial to one’s existence, the less the individual matters and the less leeway for independent thought, personal integrity, and personal identity the individual has.
Modern technology strips us of personal privacy, as well. Governments such as China’s use facial recognition to control their own people. The C.C.P. allegedly uses A.I. to track Uighur Muslims and place them in “reeducation camps,” as it deems necessary. Russia, too, tracks its citizens via A.I. and facial recognition. There are 125,000 cameras in Moscow alone. And we have all been witness to the concurrent dramatic increase in camera usage in the U.S. over the past decade.
Moreover, Dartmouth researchers have built an artificial intelligence model for detecting mental disorders by analyzing web posts. And their endeavor is only a small part of a coming wave of screening tools that use computers and A.I. to analyze social media posts to ascertain people's “mental states.” The researchers designed their model to label the emotions expressed in users' posts and map any “emotional transitions.” The map would be a matrix, illustrating when a user went from any one state to another, such as from anger to a state of no emotion, thereby creating an emotional “fingerprint.”
And different emotional disorders, they say, have their own signature patterns of emotional transitions. So, by creating an emotional fingerprint for a given user and comparing it to established signatures of emotional disorders, the model can detect them. They claim that the model accurately predicts which users may have a particular disorder. The researchers say they hope to use the model for “prevention.” Quite.
It’s easy to see where this ends up because we have already experienced much of it. Everyone disagreeing with, say, Biden or Trudeau administration dogma in their social media or blog posts will be found to be mentally ill. As in the past, with the U.S.S.R., East Germany, et. al., governments will graciously offer to help
dissenters the mentally ill out by sending them to “re-education camps.”
Is that a “reasonable construct?”
The Brave New World is certainly not brave, even if new.
Reality -- like truth and goodness -- is not fungible. Whether we wish it to be or not.
We did not ask to be born. None of us. No living being. No one ever arranged their own birth. That is the truth, a fact. Impossible. Yet here we are. Therefore, it is simply impossible that our rights come from other humans or living things.
Or that reality comes from Mark Zuckerberg.
Image via Pixabay public domain