Former Google CEO says Facebook's metaverse is 'not necessarily the best thing for human society' and expresses concerns about safety of artificial intelligence technology
metaverseis "not necessarily the best thing for human society."
- Schmidt spoke with the New York Times about his concerns about the future of artificial intelligence technology.
Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt is joining the sea of voices weighing in on
Schmidt, who served as Google's top executive from 2001 to 2011 and as executive chairman until his departure in May 2020, told the New York Times that while he believes the technology will soon "be everywhere," he warns it is "not necessarily the best thing for human society."
"All of the people who talk about metaverses are talking about worlds that are more satisfying than the current world - you're richer, more handsome, more beautiful, more powerful, faster," Schmidt told the Times. "So, in some years, people will choose to spend more time with their goggles on in the metaverse. And who gets to set the rules? The world will become more digital than physical. And that's not necessarily the best thing for human society."
Schmidt said he views
"It will be everywhere," he told New York Times opinion columnist Maureen Dowd. "What does an A.I.-enabled best friend look like, especially to a child? What does A.I.-enabled war look like? Does A.I. perceive aspects of reality that we don't? Is it possible that A.I. will see things that humans cannot comprehend?"
The former Google executive isn't alone in his concerns about AI. The technology has been increasingly criticized by business leaders in recent months, including Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who said his confidence is "not high"in the transparency and safety of AI within his own company. Meanwhile, some analysts say augmented reality poses even more risks of abuse than
Schmidt's comments come after Facebook announced Thursday it was changing its corporate name to
Among the findings in the documents include including Facebook's ability to counter misinformation, Instagram's link to eating disorders in young girls and teenagers, and the treatment of politicians and celebrities on its platforms.
Since then, Facebook has increasingly emphasized its metaverse mission in an attempt to distance itself from the controversy. The company has since pushed back against the reports, calling them mischaracterizations. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg told The Verge it was "ridiculous" for people to think that he changed Facebook's name to Meta because of the backlash surrounding the leaked documents.
"From now on, we'll be metaverse first, not Facebook first," CEO Mark Zuckerberg said during the company's Oculus Connect event. "Over time, you won't need to use Facebook to use our other services."
Facebook and Instagram usage among younger populations is already dwindling, as the platforms are increasingly being replaced by apps like TikTok and Snapchat. According to Piper Sandler's "Taking Stock With Teens", 81% of teens surveyed said they used Instagram, the highest percentage out of all the platforms. 77% said they use Snapchat and 73% said they use TikTok. Only 27% of respondents said they use Facebook, the least of all the platforms.
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