Facebook invests $ 50 million to responsibly build the “metaverse”


A 3D printed Facebook logo is shown on a keyboard in front of the binary code in this illustration taken on September 24, 2021. REUTERS / Dado Ruvic / Illustration

Sept. 27 (Reuters) – Facebook Inc (FB.O) will invest $ 50 million to partner with organizations to build the so-called metaverse – a digital world where people can move between different devices and communicate in one virtual environment – responsibly, he said on Monday.

Facebook, the world’s largest social network, has invested heavily in virtual reality and augmented reality, developing hardware like its Oculus VR headsets and working on AR glasses and wristband technologies. The company has been criticized for its impact on online security.

The new XR research and programs fund will invest the money globally over two years to ensure that metaverse technologies are “built in an inclusive and empowering manner,” Facebook said.

The company said it plans to work with researchers in four areas, including privacy and data security, to provide tools or give users the option to get help if they see anything. thing in the metaverse that makes them uncomfortable.

It will also study how to design technologies that are inclusive and accessible to all users, and also “encourage competition” in the nascent industry, Facebook added in a blog post.

The new fund comes as Facebook comes under scrutiny in a wide range of internet-related issues, such as the spread of misinformation and the negative impact of social media on teens. Read more

On Thursday, a Facebook executive will testify at a U.S. Senate committee hearing on the impact of the company’s Instagram app on the mental health of young users.

Initial partners for Facebook’s new metaverse fund include Howard University in Washington DC, which will study the history of diversity in the information technology industry and how it might shape opportunities in the metaverse.

Seoul National University and the University of Hong Kong will conduct research on safety, ethics and responsible design, Facebook said.

Reporting by Sheila Dang in Dallas Editing by Matthew Lewis

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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