The metaverse and Web3 are two emerging trends that are expected to transform the digital world. Elon Musk, the world’s richest billionaire, isn’t a fan of either. In a recent interview, Musk dismissed Web3 — a nebulous notion in which internet services are rebuilt around blockchain and cryptocurrencies — as “more marketing than reality,” adding, “I don’t comprehend it.”
Musk said that he may be “too old” to grasp these new technologies. “Am I like one of those guys who dismissed the internet [in] ’95 as some fad or something that’ll never amount to anything?” he wondered, before revealing that he was one of the first to recognise the internet’s potential in 1995.
The absence of compelling use-cases and a dismal customer experience were among Musk’s criticisms of the metaverse. “Sure, you can stick a television on your nose.” “I’m not sure that qualifies you as being ‘in the metaverse,'” he explained. “I don’t see somebody wearing a frigging screen to their face all day and refusing to leave.” That appears to be a no-no.” “I’m now unable to imagine a compelling metaverse situation,” he subsequently added.
Web3 is another alternate vision for the internet’s future, with a lot of fanfare around the idea that ordinary internet users will be able to earn directly from their online content and activities. Musk didn’t spend much time talking about Web3, although he has previously expressed his disapproval of the initiative on Twitter, joining fellow tech CEO Jack Dorsey in doing so.
Musk also discussed climate change (“I’m not in the camp of super-alarmist global warming,” he said, but added that negative effects like rising sea levels are “not a wise risk to take”), the existence of other life in the universe, and said there should be a regulatory agency to oversee “advanced AI,” which he believes poses a threat to humanity, in an interview with The Babylon Bee, a conservative and Christian humour site.
Musk also took time at the start of the show to compare The Babylon Bee to The Onion, which he claimed had become too “politically correct” and “leftist.” (It’s worth remembering that Musk was formerly a big fan of The Onion, but he changed his views after the publication mocked him.) Musk claimed The Onion had contracted “the awakened mind virus,” later describing it as “probably one of the greatest hazards to modern civilization.”