All the fuss today is about the metaverse, how it is a three-dimensional version of reality. Around the world trillions of dollars are flooding into this commercially-focused technology. When one considers why the public is interested in the metaverse, it appears the metaverse is just a three-dimension version of social media and entertainment. Very few of us may remember when silent movies gained sound, later color and today computerized graphics; shortly the metaverse will introduce interactive watching. All in all, the metaverse still will be entertainment with a huge snack bar. A customer needn’t go to a mall with movie theaters, one soon will be able to go to a theater that has a shopping mall – and stay home as well!
In other words, humans will continue to experience a whirlwind of new services, entertainment and gossip but life at the street level still will be the same.
But a true shift in human culture is coming – not through metaverse, avatars and emoji, rather through a new computing age called quantum computing. Quantum computing, already a growing industry, will make today’s computational speed seem like an old Smith-Corona manual typewriter. The speed, along with miniaturized storage, will allow computers not only to run stock market trading as they do now but computers will run governments in a similar fashion. Computers will manage supply chains and huge corporations – automatically with minimal human attention.
In short, computers will become our policy makers. Congress can’t keep up with today’s computational speeds; will Congress even be needed when computers figure out policy at the speed of light?
What quantum computing gives to computers is a primitive version of consciousness. They can do their own research, learning and decision-making. It will take a generation or two to iron out stable, human oriented parameters (a sort of automated Supreme Court) but after that, politics may not be a front row influence.
The danger, of course, is the power that Lord Acton talked about will be in the hands of even fewer humans. This is evidenced today in the stock market where a few corporations control parameters for the computers that do the buying and selling instantly before any human notices a change. Conversely, common investors like us don’t have a chance. Will this be the world of quantum computing?
The missing element, which we live with today, is emotional judgment. Scruples and fairness require more than speed-of-light analogs and algorithms. Run by capitalists, oligarchs, dictators, socialists or communists, will the quantum age simply automate today’s inadequacies?