The issue: The range of digital literacies and skills needed to thrive in a world dominated by AI, metaverses, and the IoT may become broader and more complex.
As AI becomes more pervasive and more of our lives shift to metaverses, today’s digital skills may not be enough to keep people safe, or allow them to exploit new social and economic opportunities.
Today’s digital natives struggle to sort signals from noise or protect themselves from malicious actors online. Tomorrow’s metaverse natives may struggle with things like AI that can pass for real people, connected devices that let others manipulate us with our private data, and new kinds of disinformation. Yet it may be difficult or impossible to avoid such dangers in a world where medical appointments, immigration services, research, vacations, and training involve AI and are primarily accessible in metaverses. In that future, knowledge of how AI, metaverses, and related technologies work may become basic life skills akin to literacy and numeracy. Widespread metaverse or AI illiteracy could allow disinformation and cybercrime to thrive. It could leave some people less informed and unable to make good decisions, and others unsuited for the workforce. It could also erect barriers between people and essential services that worsen long-standing inequalities or create new ones. On the other hand, strong AI and metaverse literacies could make people more competitive, protect them from mis/disinformation, and improve their decision making.