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Discovering the ethics of the metaverse: Tech Zone With Paul Amadeus Lane

Why do we need Metavethics?

The Metaverse and digital virtual environments are reshaping society. They provide limitless opportunities; however, challenges can increase concerns among the community and weaken public trust in businesses and technology.

Navigating the ethical, social, and technological landscape of the Metaverse is challenging.

During the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January 2023, Paul Amadeus Lane, a well-renowned accessibility consultant, tech expert, and former able-bodied consumer and now a disabled consumer, and host of the popular podcast Tech Zone With Paul, interviewed in a new podcast episode Dr. Matteo Zallio, Metavethics Institute founder, on why we need to study the ethics of the metaverse.

Metaverse Ethics, alternatively known as “Metavethics” refers specifically to the ethics of human behavior towards the metaverse, as it develops and grows as an advanced, pervasive immersive technology.

Metavethics concerns the investigation, study, analysis, and assessment of the ethical, integrity, safety and security implications of the metaverse, digital environments, virtual and immersive spaces and virtual reality content towards human beings.

During the podcast, Dr. Zallio explained how Metavethics arises from a need to bridge the gap between the metaverse, the opportunities this generates and the ethical demands from people who will embark on a journey where they will spend time creating and building new digital and virtual environments.

Dr. Zallio argued that Metavethics can be identified as a sub-field of ethics of technology, specifically information and communication technology and it has close links to data protection and privacy, legal, philosophical, behavioral, sociological, psychological, theological, biological, and socio-economic fields.

Metavethics is becoming increasingly important in today's society because of the rise of virtual and digital technologies and the ways in which they are changing our lives. As we rely more and more on technology to make decisions and shape our world, it becomes essential to understand the foundations of our ethical beliefs and the language we use to discuss them.

One example Dr. Zallio offered was the way in which systems allow users to personalize content and to what extent this content can be over persoover-personalizednalized in a way that could harm, irritate or offend other metaverse users. If we don't have a solid understanding of ethical language, heuristics and behavioral norms in the metaverse, there is a potential challenge in guaranteeing privacy, safety, inclusion and security.

Researchers from diverse disciplines and fields are tackling ethical questions about the design and creation of digital, virtual environments and implementing them at a societal level, in a way that will ensure safety and that will be equitable, inclusive, and accessible by respecting the diversity of all human beings. While the challenges are as dated as the early attempts to create digital, virtual environments in the form of social games (such as Second Life), thoughtful academic discussions and research efforts started around the end of the second decade of the years 2000.

To this end, Metavethics requires the combined expertise of specialists from numerous disciplines, who must explore, study and develop critical knowledge to inform the creation of the Metaverse.

To answer these ethical questions and to identify new challenging queries, the Metavetics Institute is the only global, community-driven independent global network of passionate scientists, thought leaders and industry experts committed to ensuring that metaverses and digital, virtual, and immersive environments are designed and developed by delivering integrity, privacy, safety, diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion.

Do you want to become a Metavethicist?


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