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Mains Practice Questions

  • Q. Analyse the challenges posed by the rise of Metaverse and Artificial Intelligence (AI), suggest measures to tackle these challenges. (250 words)

    11 Jan, 2023 GS Paper 3 Science & Technology

    Approach

    • Start your answer by briefly explaining metaverse and artificial intelligence.
    • Discuss challenges of metaverse and AI and Suggest measures to tackle challenges.
    • Conclude accordingly.

    Introduction

    • The Metaverse is an emerging concept in technology that refers to a created world, in which people can live under the rules defined by the creator. It is a combination of numerous components of technology, including augmented reality, virtual reality, and video.
    • Further, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the simulation of human intelligence in machines that are programmed to think and learn like humans. AI systems are designed to perform tasks that typically require human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making, and language understanding.

    Body

    As the Metaverse continues to gain popularity, it is important to consider the challenges posed by the rise of this technology and AI. The following are some of the major challenges posed by them are as follows:

    • Societal and Economic impacts:
      • AI and the Metaverse have the potential to disrupt traditional industries and change the way people work and interact, which could lead to job loss and income inequality.
    • Ethical concerns:
      • AI systems and the Metaverse raise questions about bias, transparency, and accountability. There is also a risk that these technologies could be used to perpetuate or amplify societal problems such as discrimination and inequality.
    • Dependence on technology:
      • As people increasingly rely on AI and the Metaverse for daily activities, there is a risk of people becoming too dependent on technology, which could lead to a loss of important life skills.
    • Governance:
      • The Metaverse and AI are global and borderless, which makes it difficult to govern and regulate them. This may lead to lack of oversight and accountability.
    • Psychological and emotional effects:
      • Spending excessive time in the Metaverse and interacting with AI systems may have negative effects on people's mental and emotional well-being.
    • Technical challenges:
      • Building and maintaining the Metaverse and AI systems requires significant technical expertise and resources, which can be a challenge for both developers and users.
    • Impact on physical health and well-being:
      • As the Metaverse becomes more immersive, there is a risk that users will spend increasing amounts of time in virtual worlds, potentially at the expense of their physical health and well-being.
    • Data privacy and security:
      • With the increasing amount of personal data being shared within the Metaverse, there is a risk of data breaches and other security threats.

    Further, to curb the challenges posed by metaverse and AI we need to implement the following measures like:

    • Reduce Digital Divide: Governance mechanisms for virtual worlds would need to be supported with strengthening and scaling efforts to promote digital literacy, safety and wellbeing so that participants can engage meaningfully in online communities while consciously navigating harmful content and behaviors.
    • Policy Backing: It is the right time for the government to create the right policy background for its operation and leverage the metaverse for public services.
      • The government needs to focus on information accessibility, information utilization and information receptiveness.
    • Promote Safe and Secure Metaverse Ecosystem: There is a strong need to develop and regulate effective ecosystems to address the distinct elements of safety, privacy, and security within the DNA of this technology.
      • Building a citizen-friendly meta-governance infrastructure will need a collaboration by experts from various disciplines, including designers, business model experts and lawyers, to mitigate any potential legal hurdles. Private sector intervention may be required as well.
    • Meta Help Desk: In e-governance, essential information is released to a targeted audience through ICT. Meta-help desks or meta-divisions in a particular ministry/ other government agency can help in providing the critical data required.
    • Transparent and Consent-based Applications: Technology companies will need to be more responsible and transparent in their data processing and safety practices.
      • Fostering an informed consent-based model while collecting personal data and abiding by the principles of data minimization and purpose limitation will be critical to prevent unchecked data processing and collection for commercial gains.
    • Global Cooperation: As the metaverse continues to develop, we are seeing a glimpse of a more digitally advanced borderless world that is full of promise.
      • While this new world continues to expand, we have to be aware of the set of challenges it brings with every new development and to look forward towards uniform regulations across the globe.

    Conclusion

    The Metaverse and AI are emerging concepts in technology that presents a new way for people to interact and engage in a virtual world. However, this technology also poses a number of challenges but with proper set of governance and regulation, this technology could help humanity in unimaginable ways.

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