By Adam Eckert
Those avatars could someday be used to speak with deceased loved ones, according to Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
“If someone has lost a loved one and is grieving, there may be ways in which, you know, being able to interact or relive certain memories could be helpful, but then there is also probably an extent to which it could become unhealthy,” Zuckerberg told podcaster Lex Fridman.
The Meta CEO told Fridman, who conducted the interview virtually in a metaverse-like space, that Meta already has some experience dealing with death, identity and people’s digital content through Facebook.
“Unfortunately, people who use our services die every day and their families often want to have access to their profiles,” Zuckerberg explained. “So, yeah, there are some best practices from the current digital world that, I think, will carry over.”
Still, Zuckerberg was cautious about the topic and admitted he’s not an expert on the matter, but he told Fridman that he does believe the new avatar capabilities will enable some new experiences such as talking to loved ones who have passed.
Meta, which adopted its current name when metaverse hype was at an all-time high in 2021, launched its Reality Labs division later that year.
The hype eventually subsided and most investors wanted the company to spend its capital elsewhere.
Reality Labs lost $13.72 billion in 2022 and has since laid off several employees as the company focuses on making 2023 a “year of efficiency.” Meta shares have responded favorably, up more than 150% year-to-date at last check.
Some of the company’s new metaverse-related developments are starting to garner more attention. The company’s new Quest 3 AR/VR headset is slated to begin shipping next week and the new avatar technology could help broaden use cases for the device and bring back some excitement around the metaverse.
Produced in association with Benzinga
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