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A Brave New (Virtual) World: Ethics and Governance of XR and the Metaverse


The Metaverse has reached the mainstream as the new buzzword. Every company wants to be in it, profit from it, and -a few-, proclaim that they are already building it. But who decides what it is and how it will be shaped? Seen alternatively as a digital utopia, the next iteration of the internet, a mixture of social and gaming platforms, a marketplace destination for NFTs and the future of XR, it presents novel governance and ethical challenges, not limited to privacy concerns, collection of biometric data, and freedom for self-determination. Beyond the marketing hype, lies a complex landscape of intertwined phenomena: interoperability, decentralization, the use of generative artificial intelligence, UGC, content portability and ownership of digital assets confronted with intellectual property law. This session brings together experts from academia, digital rights activists and industry leaders to shed light on these nuances, and talk the difficult talk: who will control the Metaverse?

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