Janna Anderson featured in report on the metaverse

Anderson, a professor of journalism and director of the Imagining the Internet Center, shared insights from the center's most recent report looking at "The Metaverse in 2040."

A recent report by global business consulting firm Protiviti featured insights from Janna Anderson, professor of journalism and director of the Imagining the Internet Center.

Janna Anderson, professor of journalism and director of Elon’s Imagining the Internet Center

Anderson spoke with Joe Kornik, editor-in-chief of Vision by Protiviti about “The Metaverse in 2040,” a report published by the Imagining the Internet Center in 2022 in partnership with Pew Research. The report drew from a survey of more than 600 experts about the potential impact of extended reality technologies.

“The vote was split quite evenly: About half said they believe, or at least hope, that a well-functioning and fully immersive metaverse will be an aspect of daily life for many people around the globe,” Anderson told Kornick. “The other half disagreed, and a number of those went as far as to declare that the metaverse was, in a word, ‘overhyped.'”

Anderson shared that there are a multitude of factors that will determine the level of impact the metaverse will have in the decades to come.

“Based on my knowledge as a digital consultant, revolutionary impact could be possible, but only if things come together to make the metaverse a better place for human agency and human rights than the internet is right now. I don’t know when or if that might happen,” she said. “The research-and-development breakthroughs and truly effective industry agreements and business-practice modifications that are necessary to make it an enhanced, human-centered and humane place might not all successfully emerge in the next 10 to 20 years. If that doesn’t happen, the metaverse may not become part of most people’s daily lives by 2040, except for those most involved in gaming, taking action in mirror and alternate worlds, or working from home.”

The full report from Vision by Protiviti contains more insights from Anderson about the metaverse and her research.

Anderson is a top researcher and consultant on the future of digital life. As of early 2023 her h-index is 47. Other recent publications beyond “The Metaverse in 2040″ include “The Future of Human Agency.” Along with her work as a professor and director of the Imagining the Internet Center, she serves as a senior contract researcher for Pew Research, co-leading Pew and Elon’s 19-year series of reports outlining thousands of experts’ predictions for the most likely future of digital life in coming decades.

She is the lead author of the “Future of the Internet” book series published by Cambria Press and author of the book “Imagining the Internet: Personalities, Predictions, Perspectives.” She has appeared as a speaker and expert on the future of information technologies at numerous international conferences, including World Future conferences, South By Southwest Interactive, Webcom, NextGov, MobilityShifts, Institute for the Future symposiums, the UN-facilitated Internet Governance Forum and the Metaverse Roadmap Project.