“Political technology will create politics where people maximize participation and their power,” he added.
Olarn WeranondSarng Anakot Thai Party executive and CEO/co-founder of incubator DurianCorp, said the metaverse will soon become the heart of our digital lives.
Just as people can no longer imagine life without the internet, in 10 years life without the metaverse will be unthinkable, he predicted.
“Whether we like it or not, the metaverse will come.”
However, he noted that only 0.7% of the Thai government’s 3 trillion baht annual budget goes to metaverse-related ministries – Digital Economy and Society (MDES), Culture and Tourism and Sports.
This indicates that the government does not understand the importance of the metaverse, Olarn said. He added that less than 3 billion baht of the 6.8 billion baht MDES budget allocation will be used for metaverse development next year.
He also had some tips for people looking to get to know the metaverse better. All they had to do was use it for their favorite hobbies, like watching movies, playing video games, or listening to music.
He gave two examples where digital technology has already had a huge impact on politics. The first was the Cambridge Analytica/Facebook scandal blamed for changing the course of the 2016 US presidential election, while the second was the 2011 Arab Spring uprising, where people used Twitter to lobby for the change.
Parit WacharasindhuCommunications and Policy Manager for Move Forward Party, spoke via video to explain how new technologies have the potential to improve the country in three ways.
Likening society and the economy to a cake we all share, he said advancements such as the metaverse could be used to:
1. Make the pie bigger or increase economic growth by using technologies to improve efficiency;
2. Divide more evenly or reduce inequalities in society by giving disadvantaged and rural people access to the internet and digital learning;
3. Make it “delicious” by allowing people to help decide the future of the country via direct democracy and voting on policies and plans.
He gave two concrete examples of how the metaverse could improve people’s participation in democracy.
First, it will allow people to watch and join live meetings.
Second, it will allow people to better understand the issues involved in the public hearing process.
He added that the technology could also improve the issuance of government documents and licenses while fighting corruption.
But he warned that advances in technology should be seen as a valuable tool, not a hindrance. He added that new laws and regulations would be needed to allow people to participate in setting the direction of the country through tools such as the metaverse.