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The Right to Work and the Metaverse

Here is a short video of the talk I gave at the Council of Europe on 14 September.

The overview of the detailed study is available here:

My talking points are here:


1. Does phrasing matter?

  •  1948 Universal Human Rights (art 23) states “everyone has the right to work…protection against unemployment”

  •  2000 Charter of Fundamental Rights (Art 15, 31 and 32) – “Freedom to choose an occupation and right to engage in work”

  •  1950 European Convention if Human Rights does not specifically mention this right

2. Why is this important?

  •  WEF 2023 highlights that technologies that are AI related like metaverse will create upto 69 million jobs, 2X in professional occupations

  •  This is good for people with disabilities (15% of the world population_)

  •  Elderly are 27% of the global population by 2050 - many are already facing poverty.

  • This will have implications for pension funds and health care (impacting socialist states).


  •  83 Million jobs will be lost due to these technologies

  •  As maybe as 30% of jobs will be at risk in one to two decades

  •  The rate of obsolescence of tasks will be 40-50% of office hours

  • We were told AI and automation would give people more free time and the assumption was the same guaranteed pay - this is not the case as these technologies are expensive to maintain and investors & shareholders want their profits.

3. Facts we need to be aware of:

These are predictions, but .....

  •  Job increase in in lower paying jobs

  •  Leading to skills obsolescence (we are not documenting what skills are needed for the future) - take the example of the London Cab Drivers

London Black Cab Driver – memorize 25,000 streets and 20,000 landmarks – 2-4 years to get a license and then came Uber…and finally regulators allowed Uber to operate for 30 months…
We find London cab drivers have “brain flexibility”

  •  Cost of NOT preparing the labour force, according to RAND and Salesforce will be 11.5 Trillion

  •  We are looking at more micropayments and fluctuating salaries – JOB security, borrowing an example from gaming.

Roblox is a game a lot of children and adults are also on. You pay and buy things with Roblux, their currency is Apprx 285 Roblux = 1 USD
They have a creator and developer economy, you can make and buy and sell on Roblux.
They have 4.25 Million developers
You have to qualify before you can exchange the Roblux to USD
Out of 4.25 million developers, only 11,000 qualified

  •  Labour is becoming a commodity product and skills and experience are being lost due to

o Web scrapping


o Volunteers

o Class assignments

o Competitions – In 2019 DOD and Minecraft had a competition to understand strategy in the game. The volunteers documented 1000 hours of videos and 60 million examples of actions to train AI to survive

o Outsourcing – many projects for developing (coding) and content moderation are being outsourced to cheaper countries –Kenya and the cost of payment is USD 2/hour

o Open Sourcing – Git Hub – owned by Microsoft is an open source library with 400,000 repositories, 1 billion files, 14 terabytes of code in several languages. Became a problem with Chat GPT - Code Interpreter

In the metaverse, how will we protect the right to work when AI can learn from human activity and effectively replace them? Of course we may want a bot to work on our behalf and earn money for us, but then there is a fairness issue, can everyone do the same? Also, we will need to understand what is child labour in the metaverse - if a child is spending eight hours on a platform that learn from what the child does and makes a profit for the user - is this legal? The problem is that there are a lot of fuzzy boundaries that need to be discussed.


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