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With Dr. Jakub Kuś, Vice-Dean of Student Affairs at the Faculty of Psychology in Wrocław, SWPS University, interview with Karol Mórawski

With Dr. Jakub Kuś, Vice-Dean of Student Affairs at the Faculty of Psychology in Wrocław, SWPS University, interview with Karol Mórawski

Karol Mórawski: The metaverse concept has recently been mainly associated with the rebranding of Facebook. What is the phenomenon that one of the digital giants has decided to take the name?

Jakub Kus: The concept of metaverse is quite large, but it is the most specific way to describe this phenomenon as a kind of very engaging virtual world, a space based on Internet connectivity, and which at the same time combines an element of virtual reality.

We are dealing with another milestone in the internet revolution

In other words, it is a certain space, a certain digital world that we can enter, of course metaphorically, for example by putting on special glasses that will allow us to observe digital reality. What seems to be most important from a psychological point of view is the fact that, being the creators of this world, we are able to create it in any way.

All traditional boundaries and barriers disappear when I, as the creator, can simply create such a reality and, as the recipient, experience it. It’s creating the world in the world, in a way rediscovering the Internet.

We are certainly dealing with another milestone in the Internet revolution.

We know that every revolutionary change raises social concerns, it is no different with the digitization of our lives, and one of the most important fears concerns the possible threats to privacy. What risks in this area can arise in connection with the metaverse and how can they be countered effectively?

It’s a huge challenge and I don’t think there is one right recipe. The threats that can materialize are of a very different nature, ranging from the possibility of becoming addicted to virtual reality. Suddenly, you may find that reality isn’t so appealing after you take off your digital glasses.

When it comes to simply obtaining information about users, sometimes very private or even intimate, it is a great responsibility on the one hand of companies and on the other of governments to prevent abuse. I think some entities, even those operating legally, may be tempted to use such data, and the question of how the wider criminal world will react to the new technology is also open.

It is impossible for the metaverse to be dominated only by business and the profit-driven model

I am personally convinced that cybergangs will try to use it for their own ends. You can’t fool yourself that only Facebook or other digital giants will introduce this technology, even considering the time horizon, because Facebook plans to spin this revolution by 2035, that is for the next 13 years.

The problem is serious because the law does not follow the progress of the current Internet, much less imagine the digital universe and virtual reality. It’s a huge challenge and I think various international organizations should get involved.

It is impossible for the metaverse to be dominated only by business and the profit-driven model.

We are going to have a great debate on this subject, the more we discuss, the more questions will arise, but we will certainly not run away from the problem.

Is it then possible to imagine an economy pluralistic enough to be open both to users of solutions as advanced as the metaverse and to unconvinced people, whose groups include not only non-digitized people, but also supporters of the models traditional in the digital world?

Sure. Even taking into account the basic criterion of age, we must not suddenly forget the needs of the elderly, but also of other customers attached to older schemes, for example in terms of payments.

Of course, more and more electronic payment models will emerge, as is already the case today, but if this type of technological change progresses too quickly because of the ability to assimilate them by people who sometimes do not have developed technological skills, it could end up discouragement to innovation.

Customers may decide they want nothing to do with it because initial contact ended in a fiasco. You have to explain, show how it works, paying special attention to safety.

With hindsight, we can see that during the pandemic, this development of the e-economy in the field of supplies and stores was extremely dynamic. I think we should not forget those people who, for various reasons, are not able to adapt to such a rapid digital revolution.

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These questions will be covered during the full-day online training “Metavers – Importance for the financial sector” June 2, 2022.organized within the framework of the Digital Banking Academy, initiated in 2019 by the Polish Association of Banks – a series of interactive workshops on modern digital solutions.

We invite you to register.

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