We’re Only Familiar With 5% of the Internet. Cybersecurity Needs to Go Beyond That.

Dr. Christina Yan Zhang is the CEO of The Metaverse Institute, which is made up of a group of pioneers in the Metaverse, AI, digital twin, Smart Cities assisting organizations using related technology to improve the real world.
She was also the speaker at this year’s Tomorrow Conference in Belgrade, where she gave a presentation titled “Generative AI for the Metaverse - Hype, Hope or Hell?”

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dr christina yan zhang

Photo: Marija Stojadinović

Christina is a pioneer in the metaverse. She started her master’s research on the topic in 2006 using metaverse to develop international strategies for universities. In 2012, she completed a PhD in using digital twin services in the metaverse to simulate projects in the AEC industry. 

“Metaverse can also be used for our wellbeing. For example, let’s say that you want to start eating healthier. Based on what food you eat, how many calories you’re taking in, how much you exercise and so on, you could project exactly what you will look like in ten years. Wouldn’t that be quite a motivation?”, she asked enthusiastically. 

As one of the greatest contemporary examples, she mentioned the planned smart city called Neom in Saudi Arabia. 

“If we talk about smart cities development, look at Saudi Arabia. They are building Neom, the city of the future. It’s the world’s first cognitive city, which simulates the whole city infrastructure within the metaverse environment before they put it in the real world. That’s quite an interesting way to explore – to give citizens the opportunity to see how their city will look before they implement it”, she explained. 

However, she reminded that many people today still don’t have access to the internet and pointed out that we as a humanity need to be careful not to create an even wider gap between those who do have access and those who don’t. 

“That’s the mistake we made in the past and we must be careful not to repeat it. On the other hand, Metaverse has also created more opportunities for people who weren’t as equal because it made the world more accessible to them and gave them opportunities for interaction”, she told us. 

Finally, she made a point that we’re only familiar with only 5% of the internet which is accessible through standard search engines. Therefore, when we’re talking about cybersecurity, we shouldn’t only think about those 5% that we’re familiar with. 

A journalist by day and a podcaster by night. She's not writing to impress but to be understood.