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Metaverse: hopes, promises and unknowns

4 episodes
  • 1
    Do we know which metaverse we are talking about?
  • 2
    What will the metaverse economy look like?
  • 3
    Metaverse: what does cognitive science say?
  • 4
    Is the metaverse a tool for sustainable development?
Épisode 1/4
Jean Zeid, Journalist
On July 6th, 2022
3 min reading time
Raphaël Granier de Cassagnac
Raphaël Granier de Cassagnac
CNRS researcher in particle physics, holder of the "Science and Video Games" chair at École Polytechnique (IP Paris), and writer

Key takeaways

  • Many people think of the metaverse as a virtual space that can entered through virtual reality headsets and controllers, such as Oculus.
  • But there are other possible metaverses, accessible using devices that we already have access to like in Manzalab’s Teemew solution.
  • The main challenge now is to find the uses and demands for which virtual reality will provide a “bonus” that will make it a worthwhile investment.
  • However, a major question remains unanswered: isn't it vitally important to ask ourselves in advance about the ecological and social cost of our metaverse in a world hit hard by the ecological crisis?
Épisode 2/4
Jean Zeid, Journalist
On July 6th, 2022
4 min reading time
Thierry Penard
Thierry Pénard
Professor of Economics and Dean of the Faculty of Economics at Université de Rennes 1

Key takeaways

  • Some sectors are already at the forefront of the metaverse, such as the video game and porn industries, which are at the origin of the paywall or online subscription.
  • One of the main markets for the metaverse will probably revolve around commercial meta-environments such as commercial galleries powered by crypto-currencies or other NFTs.
  • The metaverse will probably be an entry point for well-known ecosystems such as Apple, Amazon, or Google.
  • However, it is likely that the “metaverse” will actually be “metaverses” as some governments will not allow their citizens to move freely in this digital space.
Épisode 3/4
Jean Zeid, Journalist
On July 6th, 2022
4 min reading time
Clément Merville
Clément Merville
Computer scientist and President of Manzalab

Key takeaways

  • The concept of the metaverse is nothing new and has been around long before Mark Zuckerberg started working on it. It dates back to 1992, to a piece by writer Neal Stephenson.
  • The definition of the metaverse is much simpler in reality. It is a persistent virtual universe, permanently open, where each individual/avatar can go to be in the company of other people.
  • The metaverse is based on what is known in cognitive science as “virtual presence”. It must recreate a feeling of real presence in a virtual environment.
  • This feeling is based on 3 pillars. The first is the feeling of presence of oneself in the universe; the second, the feeling of spatial presence; and third, it consists of creating an impression of the presence of others, a feeling of community.
Épisode 4/4
Carole Davies-Filleur, Executive Director, Head of Sustainability & Technology at Accenture
On September 20th, 2022
4 min reading time
Carole Davies-Filleur
Carole Davies-Filleur
Executive Director, Head of Sustainability & Technology at Accenture

Key takeaways

  • The metaverse can be defined as a continuum of experiences using both old and new technologies – a new Internet, of sorts.
  • Contrary to popular belief, the metaverse could have a positive ecological impact: digitisation could be used to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by a factor of five.
  • Eco-design, as well as environmental and ethical responsibility, are key issues for the development of the metaverse.
  • We still need to raise awareness among both companies and the public to help the metaverse become a “digital technology for good”.

Contributors

Jean Zeid

Jean Zeid

Journalist

Journalist and radio host, notably on franceinfo, Jean Zeid is author or co-author of essays such as "Art and video games" or "Cyberpunk History(s) of an imminent future”. A philosophy graduate and former columnist, Jean Zeid also curated the "GAME" exhibition in 2017 at the EDF Foundation in Paris and "Design-moi un jeu vidéo" at the Cité du Design in Saint-Étienne in 2019. He is currently preparing a new public event around famous video game mascots made in France.

Carole Davies-Filleur

Carole Davies-Filleur

Executive Director, Head of Sustainability & Technology at Accenture

Carole Davies-Filleur has been helping large French companies with their digital transformation for over 25 years. For the past 3 years, she has been proposing to her clients to combine digital and sustainable transformation, whether it is to put technology at the service of sustainability or to make technology more responsible. Her functions give her a global, European and local vision of environmental, social and ethical issues. She is a member of the global Responsible Digital Innovation team, is responsible for the European coordination of its activities, and is in charge of sustainability and technology activities for France and the Benelux. Carole represents Accenture in different organisations, such as the European Green Digital Coalition or the Institute for Responsible Digital, in order to contribute to the reflections on technologies for sustainable transformation.