SOTN2022 05 The 21st Century Digital Economy and the American Workforce: Immersive Technologies, Opportunities and Policy
8:31PM Mar 2, 2022
So I thought we might just start by sort of asking some basic questions, because I think when we talk about immersive technologies, to me, at least the first thing that comes to mind is the role of all of this in the form of entertainment. Use of virtual reality, people are familiar with headsets. So I want to see if we can establish a basic understanding of what do we mean by immersive technologies, and then we can get into the question of what they mean for work, and what policies and so on, we should be looking for from Congress and other agencies. Joan, do you want to get a shot at that?
Thank you. Yeah, so we're talking about virtual augmented and mixed reality. And as Gopal said, most people are familiar with these technologies in the term or in terms of gaming, entertainment, social interaction, even some shopping, you may have used the AR app for IKEA, where you can put a piece of furniture in your home to see if the capsule looks right before you actually buy it. But what we're thinking about more importantly, is the enterprise scale applications for this technology. So we'll get into this today. But there's so much potential to improve lives, improve efficiency, improve American competitiveness. With this technology, it's being used. An early adapter is the medical community, which they often are, but to great effect in medical and health care, in manufacturing, making jobs safer, making workers more efficient. For example, even in design, the design phase of production, to be able to design a vehicle, in virtual reality with all of your colleagues being able to actually work on the vehicle, seeing the vehicle and go inside of it, and work on different parts without actually making a physical model saves so much time and money, that it's really advancement. In other industries, like for example, public safety, firefighters are using this technology to be able to train safely. And the thing is that, especially in a fully immersive environment, where like virtual reality, the experience feels so real, that the training and they've studied this, the training has the same impact as if the person were doing it live. So we're able to improve efficiency, improve safety, etc, etc. With this technology, in ways that, you know, the sky's the limit on the benefits of the technology, it's being adapted or adopted now, and increasingly ever, so. But we hope that through panels like this and further discussion, we're going to be able to help folks understand the more enterprise applications of the technology, and that while gaming is great. That's just the beginning.
Do you want to add to that? Do you want to talk about specific areas that you think are on the future in terms of applications for work and training?
You know, what, right now we're back to the future. In terms of what asking the same questions over and over again, about what innovation will mean for society. And whether it's electricity, whether it's the car, whether it's, you know, the Internet, or the fax machine. This is where we're at now asking what is xr gonna mean for society. And that's what's exciting, because right now, we that has not been developed. So our task here is to think about the use cases, anticipate where the gaps may be 510 20 years from now, so that we can address those as now rather than have to worry about them later. with job training. One of the realities is that if you were to actually talk to folks who are wanting to get trained or upskilled, they're not, they don't care about the future. Right? They care about how we could go, that didn't have the job, or they were potentially thinking about losing the job or thinking about how they might be pushed out of a job because of technology. So for people who are actually going to be learning, the feature is irrelevant, because they want to think about now, right? They want a job, higher wages, better, better benefits, better quality of life. And it's that last part, quality of life that I think is the most interesting and potential promise of any new technology, whether and then in this case, it's XR. So how can we think about quality of life through the jobs that people obtain? And how can the job serve quality of life for community for people? And that is one of the things that I'm focused more on right now. How can we start thinking about how to measure quality of life? How does Job Training occur in real life? How As job training, that is that is going to be developed 20 years from now be anticipated today to build a better job training and upskilling technology in the future. Join already mentioned the healthcare industry. But T Mobile, for example, has looked at how the different use cases and avionics and astronomy with higher institutions of higher learning using XR VR for the students in medicine for training the next generation of surgeons, so it's already occurring. But we need to think a little bit more than just for for the current solution, but be thinking about what will be the problems that will we'll need to solve in 1015 years.
Kristina, do you want to talk a little bit about what industries do think besides medical and now Arturo's mentioned, education, as well. So what about some of the industries you think where the application of virtual reality technologies is going to be the most useful?
Every industry is going to be impacted in already is impacted, we will be talking a little about manufacturing, we actually worked JFIF Jobs for the Future worked with a small advanced manufacturing company to help them build digital work products so that their staff can actually learn digitally. Education across the board, whether it's learning whether it's upskilling. In 2020, JFIF, did a kind of market scan across all of immersive technologies, and really focused on those that are going to have real impact. We ended up highlighting 5811 innovators to watch and we began to work with a few of the innovators, super excited to work with the entrepreneurs who are actually coming up with these new ideas. One was tailspin, Tailspin actually helps people learn faster to actually assess and then to actually understand what what jobs and roles are available, the ones that they have right now to your point, but also to look at future roles. Another organization that we actually invested in is embodied labs. So that's in the healthcare space actually working to give caregivers the experience of having dementia or having an illness that one of their patients may have. Another example is an organization called Praxis labs, where they actually have scenarios where they allow people to immerse themselves into racial equity scenarios to so that they can actually learn from it. So super excited to see how it's not only going to help from a humanity perspective, and people learning the soft skills and learning how to interact with one another, but also obviously the upscaling and learning the hard skills that we'll need for tomorrow.
You know, earlier, when we were discussing the panel, one of the things we talked about was the notion of this fourth industrial revolution that the World Economic Forum and others have been talking about. So I want to see, John, if you can talk a little bit about what the the use and application of these technologies mean for that. What does that fourth industrial revolution mean, and how these technologies are going to further that revolution?
Yeah, so we've been through industrial revolutions before, you know, with automation, with electricity, etc, etc. I don't think it's a surprise to anyone that we're very much in a digital age right now, where digital technology impacts pretty much everything that we do, and that's around the globe. And that's going to continue to increase. So it changes the nature of jobs, it changes the nature of work, it changes the nature of the way that we interact with each other and with the world. And as these technologies develop and become more mature, they're also going to come down in price in cost. And probably, you know, the adoption will will take some time. But we anticipate that within the next decade, immersive technologies will be a part of everyone's lives in the way that we're doing things. So to help people become familiar with this technology to use it to their advantage to be able to incorporate it the technology into workforce training programs now to help especially as jobs become more dependent on digital technology themselves to have the workers familiar with that comfortable with that, and able to benefit from it. That's kind of what we're, we're talking about with this industrial revolution that digital technologies are, you know, on their own remarkable but they're also starting to converge. So for example, virtual reality augmented XR, broadly, and artificial intelligence have a relationship. They're each helping to advance one another. And what AI is able to do for VR, for example, is really remarkable. And on the other side of things, I thought this was very interesting. In turn As a benefits to artificial intelligence, they are finding that the more you can immerse an AI in an environment where it has multiple challenges and multiple actors that it needs to engage with, the more human there, the thinking becomes, I don't know if that makes sense, the thinking of the artificial intelligence becomes more human. They're finding that putting the AI in virtual reality is helping to advance that at a very rapid pace. So that's just one example. But all of these technologies are going to impact one another in their development. And it's important that we're thinking of the technology ecosystem as a whole, and not just independent technologies. And XR is going to have a big role to play there. So it's, it's important that we're talking about this, that we're dealing with some of the the policy issues that are going to emerge around XR technology, but also thinking about the entire ecosystem. And where we're going to be as a society within the next five to 10 years,
I was looking at an Aspen Institute study on automation and economy function, which was issued a couple of years ago, and one of the things they talked about was how automation itself changes the workforce skill needs, and leave certain kinds of workers, you know, not having the skills they need to do the job. And then, although they have noticed, the Institute was pointing out that the employer investment and workforce development training has been declining. Do you think that with the, you know, the use of virtual reality technologies, it is possible now to actually train employees on new skills? Because they are changing constantly, the actual doing of work itself can be, you know, more people can be trained in these skills? What do you want to talk about that?
I'm a two handed economist, everyone always wants a one handed economist. But if you're not two handed economist, and you're not an economist, so on the one hand, right, technology does two things, it increases production, it pushes production outward, but are also changes the relationship between what you use to produce. It just doesn't make capital more efficient, but it also makes people labor more efficient. That interplay, though, of what the relative efficiencies of both capital and labor, is how it's affected by the new technology is going to change the allocation of resources. It's inevitable. Right? So that means that as you produce more, you're going to need more resources. On the other hand, it's unclear where the allocation of resources will will end up, does it going to mean less amount of work by workers? But what does that mean? Does that mean that they spend less hours but still have a job? But because of more technology being used and more output being used that does that mean that the free or fewer amount of work that's given to anyone worker means that they're going to have higher income? Because the wages are higher? So are they better off anyway? Those are the kind of questions that we're going to be having to fix or think about in the next 1520 years. That has happened before. So it's nothing new. Right now, the Bureau of Economic Analysis thinks that the digital economy is worth about $2.1 trillion. So we think about Internet and all the other associated aspects of technology, that's 2.1 trillion. If we take just 10% of that, and keep the the growth of the of the economy at 2019 is 22 point 1 trillion. That's 200 billion of what the XR technology could mean, in terms of economic impact. There are 7.7 million jobs that come from that 2.1 trillion economy. If we take again, that 10% That's 770,000 jobs that rely on XR technology. That's a lot of not a number. That's big number. And again, that's only 10% of the digital economy. As of 2019. We know that that's unlikely to stay static in the next 10 years. It's all hypothesis. It's all conjecture about where how that will grow. That would be 510 20 trillion, while the Exarch account for 1520 50% of that again, but it's an opportunity. And it's really much this is the exciting part about how we build for that opportunity.
I wanted to ask See if you could talk a little bit about are you seeing, you know, employers actually increasing training, and providing more workforce development and so on as a result of the availability of these technologies.
I think it's such a fascinating time right now. It's, it reminds me of the late 90s. With the.com, where there was such a convergence of technology opportunities were coming, people didn't really know what the jobs were going to be. They didn't know the titles, but they were hiring people who would raise their hand and say, I will try and learn this technology, I'll step into this role. We're seeing the same thing now. So I like your one hand and the other hand, I need a few of those. But one is just the skills gap. Employers are absolutely trying to figure out how do they close the skills gap in the people gap with the great reservation, or as I call it, the Great Awakening, where people are trying to find more meaningful work. Employers have a role now that they haven't played before. One is I need to get skills to do the job or our mission before our product and services. And I need to retain, hire, retain and advance staff. Sometimes those are in direct conflict with one another. And so I see we see a lot of employers right now working to solve that problem working to understand what does it mean to have a meaningful task? can I provide that? Can I be a learning institution as well as an employer to upskill to advance my employees? And maybe if they're, if this is not the place for them, then to outsell them? I think it's a fascinating opportunity and time. So we're watching and seeing that actively.
Jonah want to ask. So I think a lot of the audience here is very interested in seeing what kinds of policies and regulations the United States ought to be pursuing, to make this transition possible. So are there like one or two or three things that, you know Congress and others should be looking at in terms of promoting the use of these technologies, and one of the things that I thought might be interesting to talk about is any kind of, you know, work work or training tax credit, that maybe Congress ought to be looking at, to encourage people to use technologies and provide more training, or any other thoughts base.
I think one of the most fundamental roles of Congress is funding. So to fund research and development of this technology is very important. You know, we've made great, great strides in the last few years with this technology. But there's more that needs to be done. In terms of us competition, it's important to recognize that we're not the only ones who are thinking about this. We have allies and adversaries alike who are working on this technology. And China has put a great deal of resources behind developing XR for many, many years. And it's important that we don't lose sight of that, because as this technology matures, we want to make sure that it is imbued with values of respect for the user of privacy, continued innovation, but with a user centric focus. So I think research and development is certainly very important. And there are universities and researchers across the country way more than you would think, who are focused on this almost exclusively and making great progress. Another thing I think that is important that we talk about now, and we are having this conversation, but not specifically in the context of xr is privacy legislation. We've been working for a number of years to come up with a national privacy law. For many, many reasons. Beyond just XR technology, it's important that we have that so that there are common standards, people understand what the rights and protections are. It's also important from a business perspective, because compliance, when you're faced with a patchwork of laws in different states is very difficult. And especially for small businesses, that can be extremely challenging because it demands resources and it and it costs money. So I think, continuing to work on privacy legislation and understanding what that means not only now, but in the future technology ecosystem is going to be very important. I would also caution that while new technologies can sometimes seem scary, you don't fully understand them, you don't know what to expect, how's this going to impact my life? And these are reasonable questions that should be asked. But we don't want to walk back innovation. So we can't come in with such a heavy hand that we can't move forward and develop these technologies. So I would caution against any heavy handed regulation that would stifle innovation, we need to let our scientists and researchers do what they're doing. But to balance that I think it's important that we're having the conversation around user privacy, especially online and with digital technology and that we Hopefully are able to agree to a national privacy law in the next year or so.
Interesting, you raised the point of privacy, I'm wondering if, you know, in the context of privacy, we've seen that there has been a struggle in the sense some of the technologies, such as you know, social media, Internet accessibility, has produced some of these privacy and security concerns that are that now companies and regulators are grappling with trying to figure out how to address them. And now that we know some of these dangers, I'm wondering if you know, developers of these technology, immersive technologies, XR, VR, all of that are factoring into account, you know, how to address them going in, so that we don't have to deal with them? after the fact? Do you have any thoughts about you know what the discussions might be on this?
Yeah, I'll go back to my Back to the Future comment. Those of us who have a little bit more greater hair, or remember, a, an annual publication that was given away for free, landed on your doorstep, without you asking for it usually was about that big. And it contained about four pieces of information, roughly. Your name, first last address, telephone number. And because of your name, potentially your gender available to everyone refreshed every year. If you did not feel comfortable with that information being out there, you had to take certain steps. Because the default was published, right. And even if you were successful in getting that which actually incurred monetary costs to you to get take your information out, it would still be there for 12 months. Why was that out there? It served some purpose. There was some legislation that was written that allowed that to happen, that made the process be what it was to get to reduce privacy or increased privacy. So this is an ongoing question of how much public one can be, and yet protect your own rights as an individual and your family's privacy. The challenge is, how can we stay ahead of those needs to protect your privacy? In some ways, that is not counterproductive? Taking a picture? May all of a sudden in in for AR or cross someone's copyright. If I'm a brand on Instagram, and someone takes a picture with me in the background, can I can I sue that person for posting that picture on their own Instagram feed? I don't know. That's a really interesting copyright question. So these are I think we're not, we shouldn't be thinking about yesterday's issues, because we've been living with privacy concerns for a long, long time, and we've been dealing with them. People are comfortable with the white pages, right? We will become we are comfortable with some level of sharing online. But the next step for AR VR XR technologies is what's going to be the privacy threshold that we're going to be crossing. That didn't really answer your question, but maybe it raised more than I.
Yeah, no, I was actually more interested in seeing also in terms of what kinds of new information on a personal and user some of these technologies might be, you know, drawing from the use of equipment and so on. I mean, few people realize that the power of the algorithm when you when we started using social media, to be able to predict certain things, behavior and patterns, and so on. And I'm just wondering what other new kinds of information XR VR technologies are starting to learn about us as users? And then is there a new set of privacy questions that all arise from that, but I think you kind of partly answered that question. You know, the other thing it kind of, you know, listening to all of your talk about this also, what made me wonder if, I mean, today, there is a cohort of people who provide the training, you provide the skills, these are experienced people have done this certain kind of job for a number of years, whether it's an automotive designer or as like an expert welder, for example. Now, what happens when all of that knowledge and skill is now captured by some of these new technologies? And does that you know, obviate the need for experienced workers on shop floors and others and how do we deal with that? Do you have any thoughts on that?
Yeah, there's so much so many thoughts on that. So number one, Instagram, all the rhythms are spot on. We were talking about that earlier. I think they're just going to get smarter. It'd be interesting. If the algorithm could tell me or a person the way that they told me that I want to buy this orange jacket, and they put it right in front of me and make it easy. What if we can do that for people in the types of jobs, the their experience, what they like, and actually show them, the jobs that helped advance them that that, to me is like the where we want to go? I think in terms of so I want to hit on a few things just on the research side. So we do a lot of testing with entrepreneurs on the efficacy of what they're building, it doesn't really do what it's intended to do. And what are the unintended consequences? I think one of the other areas that we're starting to see a lot more of is the the the impact to a person's identity based on the application, the tool or program that they're using. And so really looking at how are we not only building the tool from a Equity and Inclusion perspective, but are those who are using it? Are they actually becoming better off by using it? Or is it having an effect on them? Again, that's unintended. And so those are the things that we actually need to look at, I think in terms of everyone is a teacher now, kind of to your point, you didn't say that exactly. But that's where you're going is you can actually teach yourself so many different things. The trick is now how do we validate that you have demonstrated a true skill, so that employers or yourself can go into that and get paid for it? And so that assessment piece, I think, is one area that we're going to start really doubling down on?
A couple of more questions, and then we'll open it up for audience. So please, if you have questions, raise your hand. I want to ask a little bit about, you know, how are we seeing you mentioned China, and we've had some conversations in the past about South Korea and Taiwan. So I want to see if all of you or any of you can talk about which of the countries around the world are actually making more advances in the use of xr VR technologies? And what kind of policies they have that is favoring that? And what should the United States be doing on that front to catch up? Or perhaps even stay ahead?
Yeah, it's it's really important that we understand that, like I said, earlier, we're not we're not the only country focused on this, we're used to being sort of ahead of the curve and the leader of the global tech leader. But as soon as we start taking that for granted, it could slip away. So I think first and foremost, it's important that we recognize that. And also, as I said earlier, that we as the technology matures, we want to make sure that it is reflective of user centered values, like privacy. So in China, the technology is used for, you know, as a variety of applications, but they are also much more inclined to collect information on their citizens and to use that for surveillance purposes. That's not the direction we want to go, obviously, in the United States. So that comes back to the idea of privacy law, making sure that the user is protected. But also, I think the industry can take a lead in this industry does not need to wait for a law to come down to tell them to do the right thing. And I know, from my perspective, working with a trade association, that industry is very seriously focused on this issue, and wants to do the right thing. So in the United States, I think we have, we're going in the right direction. And we're having conversations that matter, and we're having them at the right time. Other countries as South Korea, for example, has taken advantage of this technology, and has access to different aspects of their government through virtual reality. So they and they're taking pride in that. We aren't using XR I don't think at the government level as much as we could be. But hopefully looking at examples like that, you know, we're competitive by nature, I think here in the United States, we want to be on the cutting edge as well. But as countries continue to advance this technology and use it, it's I can't go back to it enough. It's really important that we're having these conversations now so that it's imbued with the right values, and as a benefit to society rather than something that is imperiling people's privacy and other rights.
Do you have any other examples where, you know, other countries are racing ahead in the use of these technologies, both in the work context and maybe even government?
There too, and mine is from the vantage point of education and workforce. So Singapore, I think, has done phenomenal work and skills based technologies, particularly AR VR and the metaverse and then the continent of Africa. And I think, to your point again, innovation and stifling innovation countries who are able to provide innovative opportunities in sometimes out of necessity, as we're seeing in some countries and sometimes out of just opportunistic areas and we're seeing particularly a rvr an alternative financing. I won't call it crypto here but alternative fine enhancing options coming together to service individuals. And so I would say Singapore in the continent.
Anyone have any questions?
So I'm curious what you all think about the sort of the chicken, the egg problem with a lot of the XR technologies, which is you have to have the content or the data. And then you also have to have the applications or the interface. Right. And the the best example I know of this is we helped to work on a challenge that was for public safety responders to respond in a you know how to how could they get data that could help them respond in a mass shooting, or in a, you know, a flooding event or you know, any number of disasters. And, you know, people on the project had to create synthetic data based on the kinds of things that sensors would produce, you know, in the future. But how do you on a larger scale, think about, again, how you marry that chicken and egg problem to get some of these technologies into areas that they are helpful, whether it's training, education, medical, whatever it is, that you have both the content that's useful, and then the devices and the applications that make it, you know, possible for people to actually use? How do you address that?
Do you want the question to be directed at anyone individual or any of them?
Whoever wants it?
Sure, I'll take a shot at that. I'm, I go back to basics. I looking at previous examples of technologies and how they went through those trajectories. And there's some framework to analyze that there's the Gartner Hype curve. of adoption, there is the S curve of evolution of technologies, which tells us that there is this chicken and egg problem, right? Where some in the case of some technologies like the Internet, it's educational, its research, its government, and then comes consumers and then cut well, it's higher income consumers, higher educated consumers and comes middle income. And last, is lower income less educated populations, elderly populations, how do we get how do we change that? Let's call it expected evolution? How do we turn that around? By making for example, elderly population, be interested in the technology sooner? Its content? But how do we get this content developers to think about those elderly population as an actual monetize as an accessible market? And that gets at funding that gets at nonprofits, it gets at the role of government, but also of industry, because there is a monetary financial incentive to get more people earlier on the wagon. And that's what we're trying to do at meta we're trying to think about how do we not avert but take advantage of the learning from previous technologies of how they evolve to have some interventions. And we have funded various organised institutions throughout the world. And we plan to fund more to think about these things around in my case, the area of economic inclusion, how can we get black, Latino, or income small business owners to be able to take advantage of the metaverse now rather than waiting 10 years down the road?
Can I just add one thing to the data? I'm gonna say interoperability and co creation, right. It is a time where we're at the intersection of so many different industries. And we've got to start talking. And so it's interoperability and co creation.
Yeah, thank you all. So I do want to go back to what Arturo mentioned in the beginning that people do care about how their jobs that are impacted whether they're going to lose their jobs or not. So I want to ask you, I'm whoever wants to answer the question. But are there any shortcomings when looking at the government as the provider of the social safety net? And how do we rethink that social contract?
I think that private industry, entrepreneurs are the bedrock right now to what's going to happen. We I think the government plays a strong role in this but I also think, large corporations and entrepreneurs again, it goes back to that co creation getting together and really pushing in advancing. I don't see how we do it without that. You mentioned policymakers, we've got educators, philanthropists, we've got to bring everyone together at this point.
I am Gary Ireland from Ireland Communications. Miss Francis, you made a reference to conversion in the late 1990s. Did you mean conversion, which suggests transition work, or convergence, which is a coalition of often very different entities together. And if it's conversions, I want to have all of you address the issue of how all of this gets put together when you got AI, XR, crypto, so many other new technologies that are creating something that never existed before. And of course, that leads to policy issues, especially in the US where different agencies regulate financial, medical, all the various categories that are converging into a new set of jobs instead of issues.
Thank you for that. I meant convergence, but both scenarios are applicable, and I can just use myself as an example, I graduated from college with a degree in psychology. My first job was a database administrator, that moved into a C sharp developer than a Java developer that did those job titles and roles did not exist when I started college. And so I think we're in the same position now where there are skills that are being developed that will then learn what roles those are, and those will become the jobs and careers that will start pushing people in. And so I think that's where we are right now. So that's what I was referencing.
I think it's a question of revolution evolution, there are going to be some functions that will not change, a surgeon will still need to operate on a human being. I believe it's not going to be Star Trek, Star Wars, right? Where you got the robot fixing Luke's hand, it's actually going to be human being. But the how the revolution is going to be in the fact that the surgeon can use anesthesia and clean instruments. Right. That's going to be I think, the question of how we change in the next couple of years.
Hi, thank you. You've all talked about how industry needs to be at the policymaking table, right and lead the way and be there with government as they kind of adopt this technology and make policy on it. Are there members of Congress who are doing this? Well? And are there ways that members and staffers could get involved more in this policymaking processes? We kind of look to the future.
Thanks for the question. Yes, absolutely. I think the first step is understanding the technology. So in, you know, among my roles with the XR Association, I do meet with members of Congress and their staff to explain what this technology really is all about. And as I said, at the beginning of our hour, well, some people might have some familiarity with it through the context of gaming or social engagement. It's these enterprise applications that are going to be the future. So members and their staff understanding what the technology is, how it works, why it's important, and what the future prospects are, how it's going to fit in with that broader tech ecosystem. And what our future is going to look like, as a digital society, I think, is really important. They need to be forward forward looking. You know, it's difficult sometimes in politics and governance to sort of think that far ahead. Because their immediate needs, and there's urgency, we see that every day. But having the forethought to understand what we're going to look like as a society, five to 10 years from now, I think is super important. So education, I would say would be would be the first point. We do have a caucus of members on the House side called the the virtual augmented and mixed reality caucus, which we shortened to the reality caucus. And those are members that have an interest in technology that are more educated in this particular area of tech, and are engaged with us and doing different roundtables, presentations, that sort of thing. We're also working with actually Lisa blunt Rochester, who unfortunately couldn't be here today, but we're talking to her office about drafting legislation that would use XR technology to help advance upskilling retraining and job training in general. So there are many opportunities, I think, for lawmakers to to help us move forward with this technology. And then I would come back again to members being engaged on privacy. I think it's important not just for our technology, but for for the country as a whole both from the private side and and the business or the individual side and the business side that we have a standard that everyone understands and can adhere to.
Thanks. You know, we alluded a little bit to the sort of unprecedented data streams that XR provides. And that, you know, research is sort of showing can identify individuals can sort of speak to health conditions, you know, preferences, emotional states, etc. You know, given how I know, I realized we sort of look to the past, but given how new all of this is, and particularly speaking in the context of work, are there specific concerns around employers sort of getting this information and how we should really think about, you know, that relationship?
This is probably a question for you.
I grew up in LA. So I've always referred to movies, and answering some of these questions. The Minority Report starring Tom Cruise, when he's walking through the mall, and he's offered all of these incentives. Did you like your jeans from the gap? Did you think about this new whatever? Right? And it's like this bombardment of information. And so it's just an example of how data pervades everywhere, right? And California, I believe it's, it's against the law for an employer to chip employees. But you can volunteer, I think. What happens if you're the one person who doesn't volunteer in the office? It's a really kind of existential question. That is at the heart of employer rights, for employee rights versus employer at demands, and entrepreneurs. Because of this nature of them being feeling like they are the Spirit, they reason for a company for a business to exist, and feeling kind of empowered to continue dictating decision making may come across situations where they are crossing a certain boundary, or they may not be aware of. So I'm actually not concerned about situations where there is a conscience, stepping up boundaries, but rather an unknown crossing, when you ask employees to do something that the employer wants them to do that crosses that boundary without them knowing. And then you have that being a legal issue. So it's kind of education is learning. And I expect that that's going to be something we're going to see more of in future.
Just another thought on that particular question. I think a lot of these questions come down to two things, one, the user understanding what information is being collected, what's being used, and for what purpose. So there needs to be a level of transparency there. And also user choice. So it should never be a situation where someone feels like they're coerced. And they don't have any choice as to whether they're using a particular piece of technology or not. And those are things that we're we're working through, but I think particularly in the employment context, it's very important that the employee understands what information is collected, how it's being used, and why and that they have a choice as to whether or not they want to participate. And that goes beyond XR technology.
Well, if there's no other question, we're almost I have just one quick thought. Just to ask each one of you to maybe briefly summarize. So in the past, we've seen that whenever there's a new technology emerging, it creates a bunch of haves and have nots, some people have more access, others don't have that access, and other some basic foundational infrastructure that needs to be in place so that you know the adoption of VR XR is more uniform than in the past. Do you want to take a shot at that?
5G? Yes, so we need we need broadband to make this technology work. So I you know, again, not just in the in terms of XR, but for our society as a whole. It's really important that we're getting the needed broadband to every community in this country.
Anything to add? Arturo?
Competition, fair competition, equitable competition, distributed competition, is going to be part of that innovation development story. But that also means we thinking and I mentioned distributive competition, right? Because one of the opportunities of xr is the ability to not work where where the headquarters is or where the offices were. We in the Bay Area are seeing people. I'm hiring people who are not going to be working in my office. And so that is a distribution of opportunity. And I think a seeding of innovation that is occurring. just beginning to occur. And we'll see the benefits of that, in the coming near future, where people who are learning about technology and the new frontier, etc, are now applying that in their own communities. It could be in Ohio, it could be in Montana, for a lot of reason people aren't the bear are moving to Montana. I don't know why. And so this is a distributed opportunity that will lead to better outcomes, I think will be part of the solution.
And then just the last thing I'll say is putting the technology in the hands of educators early, and also in the hands of students so that they can learn and be familiar with the technology and the rules of the technology of engagement before they actually need it. And I think that helps with equity and inclusion.
Thank you so much to all the panelists, and thanks to the audience for all the wonderful questions. Have a good day. Thank you