New standards for AI and the metaverse, plus other top tech stories

Top technology stories: China to work on new standards for the metaverse; UK regulator sets out AI principles; and more.
Top technology stories: China to work on new standards for the metaverse; UK regulator sets out AI principles; and more.
Image: Unsplash/Michael Dziedzic
  • This fortnightly round-up brings you the latest stories from the world of technology.
  • Top technology stories: China to work on new standards for the metaverse; UK regulator sets out AI principles; Cryptocurrency use on the rise in Nigeria.

1. China to work on metaverse standards

China plans to create a working group to develop standards for the metaverse, its Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) has announced.

The ministry has released a draft proposal that puts the metaverse alongside eight other emerging tech sectors the country will aim to develop standards for.

It says a lack of clear rules for the metaverse has had a negative impact, but that the virtual world could create new business models and growth opportunities in the digital economy.

"[The metaverse industry] faces many challenges," the MIIT said. "It is urgent to promote healthy and orderly development of the metaverse industry through standardization and guidance."

The World Economic Forum's Privacy and Safety in the Metaverse report outlines recommendations for developing a safe and inclusive metaverse.

Privacy and safety in the metaverse
Privacy and safety will be key concerns in metaverse regulations.
Image: World Economic Forum
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How is the World Economic Forum contributing to the metaverse?

The World Economic Forum explores the potential of the metaverse in several ways, with key focuses on governance and value creation and the development of its own metaverse, the Global Collaboration Village.

Our Defining and Building the Metaverse Initiative seeks to guide the development of a safe, interoperable and economically viable metaverse, by uniting stakeholders from various sectors, including government, academia, business, and civil society.

It does so via two interrelated tracks: metaverse governance and value creation. Both tracks take an ethical, forward-thinking approach and work collaboratively to balance governance with economic and social opportunities.

Explore our Defining and Building the Metaverse Initiative.

The Global Collaboration Village is the first global, purpose-driven metaverse platform. Pioneered by the Forum, and in partnership with Microsoft and Accenture, it seeks to enhance more sustained public-private cooperation and spur action to drive impact at scale.

Inclusive and responsible by design, the Global Collaboration Village is a creative place to imagine alternative futures, explore ideas and systems transparently and safely, and envision what the future of engaging multistakeholder collaboration could be.

Learn more about the Global Collaboration Village

2. UK anti-trust regulator sets out AI principles

The UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has set out seven principles aimed at preventing artificial intelligence (AI) models from being dominated by a small group of tech companies. The guidelines stress the need for accountability and transparency.

AI offers significant potential but is not without risks, says the CMA's Chief Executive, Sarah Cardell. One of these risks is that AI's benefits won't be widely felt if the technology is controlled by too few players, she adds.

"That's why we have today proposed these new principles and launched a broad programme of engagement to help ensure the development and use of foundation models evolves in a way that promotes competition and protects consumers," she says.

The organization will now seek the views of key AI developers, as well as the opinions of other governments, academia and regulators around the world.

3. In brief: Other top tech stories

Cryptocurrency use is growing fast in Nigeria, with the volume of transactions rising 9% between July 2022 and June 2023, according to a new report from blockchain research firm Chainalysis.

More than 50 Colombian public and private entities were hit by a cyberattack in the week beginning 11 September.

The development of AI-assisted ultrasound technology has been given a boost by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which is providing a $44 million grant to GE HealthCare Technologies to work on related applications and tools.

A new report from the US Department of Homeland Security hopes to pave the way to simpler cyber reporting requirements. There are currently 52 different requirements in the US, creating heavy regulatory burdens for hacking victims.

The UK has passed a new law that is designed to improve safety online, in particular making firms more responsible for user safety on their platforms. It follows the introduction of the EU Digital Services Act, which regulates areas such as content moderation and user privacy.

4. More on technology on Agenda

Large language models have the potential to benefit jobs requiring critical thinking and complex problem-solving. That's one of the findings of a new World Economic Forum whitepaper on large language models and jobs.

How will AI be integrated into the jobs of the future? The same whitepaper explores the potential of the technology in the workplace – whether through automation or augmentation.

Togo's NOVISSI Program is showing how access to digital technology can be made more equitable and help transform lives. The West African nation is working on a new system that will lay the foundations for future social protection initiatives.

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