CNN tests Microsoft's new augmented reality headset HoloLens 2

The US tech big introduced the recruitment drive on Sunday, saying it might happen over 5 years. Facebook mentioned the funding was a “vote of confidence” in Europe’s tech trade and its employees.

“As we begin the journey of bringing the metaverse to life, the need for highly specialized engineers is one of Facebook’s most pressing priorities,” Facebook executives Nick Clegg and Javier Olivan wrote in a press release.

The concept behind the metaverse is to create an area much like the web, the place customers (by way of digital avatars) can stroll round and work together with each other in actual time. In principle, customers might sit round a digital assembly desk with distant colleagues, after which stroll over to a digital Starbucks to fulfill up with a good friend who lives out of the country.

Facebook faces competitors in growing the metaverse from immersive video games platforms akin to Roblox and Epic Games, the maker of Fortnite. Similar initiatives have been within the works since 2003, when Linden Lab launched a digital world known as Second Life.

Facebook mentioned the metaverse will not be owned or run by anybody firm.

“Like the internet, its key feature will be its openness and interoperability. Bringing this to life will take collaboration and cooperation across companies, developers, creators and policymakers,” mentioned Clegg and Olivan.

Jeremy Dalton, head of XR [Extended Reality] at PwC informed CNN Business: “Setting up shop in Europe is a smart move for any organization interested in the potential of the metaverse. This is not only a question of where the skills lie.”

“This new era of digital interaction will inevitably intersect with government policy and consumer and business interest in privacy, data protection and more,” added Dalton.

Focus: Europe

Facebook described this as “an exciting time” for Europe’s tech trade, saying it boasts “a large consumer market, first class universities and, crucially, top-quality talent.”

The proprietor of Instagram and WhatsApp touted AI analysis investments in France and a brand new workplace in Ireland as measures of its dedication to the area.

But it is usually a time of elevated scrutiny of the corporate by EU and UK regulators.

In June, the European Commission launched an investigation to evaluate whether or not Facebook breached EU competitors guidelines through the use of knowledge gathered from advertisers on its platform to compete in opposition to them. The UK Competition and Markets Authority can be investigating Facebook’s use of knowledge.

Pressure on the corporate is constructing from lawmakers on each side of the Atlantic after a whistleblower went public with allegations that Facebook has repeatedly prioritized income over public good. Appearing earlier than US lawmakers earlier this month, former Facebook product supervisor Frances Haugen detailed a variety of considerations together with that the corporate knew it was serving dangerous, consuming disorder-related content material to younger customers and that the usage of Facebook by authoritarian leaders might current nationwide safety considerations.

Another Facebook whistleblower, Sophie Zhang, will seem earlier than UK lawmakers afterward Monday for a listening to investigating the position of social media in normalizing hate speech.

— Clare Duffy contributed reporting.

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