In the rapidly evolving digital age, the lines between physical and virtual reality blur, leading to the emergence of ‘meatpuppets’. These are real-world bodies controlled by online users, a concept that has seen rapid growth in the gaming industry. Yet, this isn’t confined to gaming alone. Many online platforms now use ‘meatpuppets’ to manipulate real-world scenarios.

The rise of ‘meatpuppets’ is intrinsically linked to the growth of the gig economy. Platforms like TaskRabbit and Mechanical Turk allow users to hire real people to perform tasks, effectively turning them into ‘meatpuppets’. This raises ethical issues, as it commodifies human labour and potentially degrades the value of work.

Simultaneously, the concept of ‘meatpuppets’ extends to automation and artificial intelligence. Robots and AI systems are increasingly taking on tasks traditionally performed by humans, becoming ‘meatpuppets’ in their own right. This shift has significant implications for the future of work and human identity, as the roles of humans and machines become increasingly intertwined.

Yet, despite these profound changes, society’s legal and ethical frameworks lag behind. Current regulations are ill-equipped to handle the rise of ‘meatpuppets’, leaving a grey area that could potentially be exploited. As such, it’s crucial to develop new frameworks that can address these emerging challenges, ensuring that the digital and physical worlds can coexist harmoniously.

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