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Advanced Masters students present their research in China

Two of eLaw’s Advanced Masters students, Dimitra Laskari and Vasilis Xynoglas, presented their research on the Metaverse and Personal Digital Twins at the Neurocognition and the Reproduction of Space conference in Shanghai, China. The students presented on the rules for the Metaverse under the GDPR and the proposal for the Artificial Intelligence Act (as proposed).

New rules may be necessary to regulate the development of virtual worlds and the use of personal digital twins. With rapid developments with this new technology, there are concerns about the regulation of this technology, especially as the metaverse will requires massive amounts of personal data and automated decision-making. 

Vasilis Xynogalas

Vasilis Xynogalas’s master's thesis is about the legal implications of the 'Metaverse' under the GDPR and the proposed AI Act. He commented: 'Presenting to such a diverse audience was a unique experience for us. We had the opportunity to listen to very interesting research approaches regarding the “Metaverse”, but also to share our findings on how such novel technologies can comply with the EU law. Our presentation first focused on the GDPR and, more specifically, the fact that the requirement for explicit, freely given, specific and informed consent cannot be met in many cases. For example, during the VR/AR experiences in the “Metaverse”, the concept of consent is challenged by the use of profiling techniques unrecognisable to users and based on their involuntary and biometric data. Moreover, we categorised the AI systems of Meta’s “Metaverse” based on the risk-based approach of the proposed AI Act, and we concluded that it does not always manage to adequately protect users'. 

Dimitra Liskari

Dimitra Laskari, whose thesis explores the legal and ethical implications of Personal Digital Twins Technology under the EU regulatory framework agrees: 'This conference was an enriching experience that gave us the opportunity to share our ideas and gain more insights into the emerging cosmos of the Metaverse. Part of our presentation was focused on the legal implications of Personal Digital Twins in the "Metaverse". This concept refers to the potential of having emotionally responsive and personalized avatars in the Metaverse that will act autonomously on behalf of the user's name. By analyzing the GDPR and the AI Act Proposal, we concluded that these novel technologies question the European regulator and require adequate novel legal responses.'

Dimitra and Vasilis’s supervisor, Dr Mark Leiser, added: 'Our advanced masters programme is not just about research, but about sharing those findings with a broad audience. This was a fantastic opportunity for two of our students to integrate their thesis work into a presentation to a Chinese audience. eLaw is very proud of Dimitra and Vasilis for their efforts. Beyond their wonderful presentation, their research is at the cutting edge of novel technologies and will have impact well beyond their time at eLaw.' 

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