How bad can Mixed Reality get?

Today I had a conversation with a colleague who described to me a possible negative consequence of ubiquitous mixed reality. Suppose, he said, everybody is wearing those future mixed reality glasses as their go-to edge computing device.

In one Black Mirror-esque scenario, powerful social influencers — which can be advertisers or governments — do you the “favor” of conveniently classifying everything you see. Perhaps, you are shown, this item is a cool purchase, or that person is someone to be socially avoided. Such influences will use clever algorithms to play to your cultural, psychological and tribal proclivities.

As with other previous forms of media, it should be possible to resist the pull of social influencers, if you are sufficiently aware. But it might be more difficult, because the influence will be more visceral and sensorially ever-present.

If this dark vision of Mixed Reality should come to pass, I wonder whether we will develop effective means to counter its ever growing pernicious influence. Or will we all just slip ever deeper into a collective passive state of waking slumber, and never realize what is happening to us?

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