Prediction

It's 2040 and the expansion of the metaverse has spread lives across the physical and digital worlds.  What began as siloed experiences for work and entertainment now have digital representations for all aspects of human existence. 

Today, nearly every person on earth has multiple digital personas for various occasions. Depending on the event and their mood, they can shift into “new skin” and immerse themselves into a new reality with little effort.  These personas have credentials, rights and responsibilities like everyday earth-bound humans, and people have formed and established new lives, families and jobs  -- all in the metaverse. In response, new governments and leadership monitor and manage the ever-expanding digital landscape within the digital sphere.  

Past advancements in artificial intelligence gave way to independent personas who behave in people's image to help maintain relationships, build personal brands and offer services to the public.  These advancements have greatly improved productivity, addressed critical labor shortages and enhanced wellness for individuals seeking a better balance between life and work. 

Some of these spaces exist in isolation, with their own closed economies, rules and communities, while others are interconnected. These environments have created multiple new economies with different currencies and assets. New accounting standards have evolved to allow for the valuation and audit of these assets, which comprise a significant portion of the largest corporations' profit and loss statement.

In 2040, The metaverse is no longer considered technology but rather an economy, aiming to grow significantly larger than the physical asset-based economy of before.

Why did this happen?

In the 2020s, with the cloud's seemingly limitless horizontal computing power, companies began to develop digital experiences that defied even their most bullish expectations. The massive capital investments from the world's largest technology companies eventually combined with grassroots, crowd-sourced software development efforts to spawn an entire ecosystem of open-source reality projects. 

Community business models emerged to incentivize the greatest creators in the world to participate and generate new digital assets and products that they would then partially own. These models proved to be a critical inflection point. The world's most popular content creators, artists and engineers began to view the metaverse as a legitimate medium to dedicate their talents.

Impact

The evolution and expansion of the metaverse have helped to lessen the opportunity gaps associated with privilege and poverty. People exist as they choose to present themselves, for better or worse. The new economy makes place for everyone, allowing a new era of equity and creativity.  But still, many take advantage of the anonymity of these spaces, and certain dark spaces of the metaverse remain a haven for criminals and black markets. Looking into to the future, the world still has work to do to ensure that these environments are safe and equitable for all.

    

    

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