As we move into an increasingly digital world, the line between our physical and virtual lives continues to blur. In this new era, a technology known as the metaverse is emerging that promises to merge these two realities even further.
But what is the metaverse? And more importantly, how can businesses make use of it?
In this blog, I'll explore the intersection of AI and the metaverse, and discuss how AI can help deliver on the promises of the Metaverse.
I'll also cover some potential applications for the metaverse and AI, so businesses can get a better idea of what to look for in this exciting new technology.
What is artificial intelligence?
In order to understand the metaverse, we first need to understand artificial intelligence (AI). AI is a process of programming computers to make decisions for themselves. This can be done in several ways, but the most common method is through machine learning.
Machine learning (ML) is a subset of AI that allows computers to learn from data without being explicitly programmed. This is done through a process of trial and error, as the computer tries to find patterns in the data it is given.
Deep learning is a more advanced form of machine learning that uses artificial neural networks to learn from data. Neural networks are inspired by the way the human brain works, and they can learn tasks such as image recognition and natural language processing.
What is the metaverse and Web3?
Now that we have a basic understanding of AI, let's look at the metaverse. “Metaverse” is a term for a digital world that exists outside of our physical world. It can be thought of as a 3D virtual world that allows users to interact and engage with each other. Sounds exciting right?
The metaverse can be used for a variety of purposes, such as education, entertainment, or business. It is based on blockchain technology and uses cryptocurrency called exchange traded products (ETPs) to pay for goods and services.
Web3 is a term used to describe the next generation of the web. To simply put, it’s a new way of using the internet. It's designed to make it easier for people to interact with each other and share information. Unlike Web1 and Web2, which were mostly used for browsing websites, Web3 allows users to interact directly with each other through applications known as 'dapps' which are decentralised applications where users are in control of their own data.
The metaverse is a part of Web3, and it uses blockchain technology to achieve this decentralization by storing data on a distributed ledger.
What are the key promises of the metaverse?
Some of the key promises of the metaverse include:
- Decentralized world: The metaverse is a decentralized world where users are in control of their own data. This data is stored on a distributed ledger, making it secure and tamperproof.
- Identity verification: The metaverse uses blockchain technology to verify the identities of its users, ensuring that only authorized users can access data.
- Smart contracts: The metaverse uses smart contracts to automate transactions. This can be used to create a marketplace for AI applications or to create a system where data is automatically exchanged between parties.
- ETPs: The metaverse's native cryptocurrency can be used to pay for goods and services, or to reward AI applications for completing tasks.
Business applications of the metaverse and how AI can help?
There are several ways that AI can help to deliver the business applications of the metaverse. Here are some of the most important applications:
AIOps: AI-powered operations (AIOps) is a field of AI that uses ML to help businesses manage their IT infrastructure. AIOps can be used to predict and prevent outages, identify problems in real-time, and optimize resources. The metaverse's platform must be extremely robust, always on, and scalable, which is very demanding. Hence, AIOps can help to manage their resources more effectively and keep the systems running smoothly.
For example, if an organization's metaverse usage is spiking, AIOps can help to identify the issue and address it before it becomes a major problem.
AI bots: AI-powered chatbots are becoming increasingly popular for businesses. AI bots in the metaverse can be used for a variety of tasks, including customer service, marketing, and sales. It can help the users in the metaverse by giving instructions, providing information about products and services, answering customer questions, taking orders, and even performing transactions on behalf of the user.
For example, a customer might ask a chatbot where they can find a product. The bot would then be able to direct the customer to the correct location in the metaverse.
Inclusive user interfaces: The metaverse platform must be easy to use for all its users. This means that it must have a wide range of inclusive user interfaces, including those that are accessible for people with disabilities. AI for accessibility can help to create user interfaces that are more accessible for all users making the metaverse platform more user-friendly. We can use AI technologies such as:
- Speech recognition to transcribe user speech into text and natural language processing to understand user intent
- Computer vision to allow users to interact with the metaverse through images and videos
- Translation to allow users to interact with the metaverse in their native language
- Augmented reality to allow users to overlay digital information on the physical world
For example, a user with a visual impairment might be able to use computer vision to see the metaverse in greater detail or a user with a hearing impairment might be able to use speech recognition to communicate with others in the metaverse.
Digital avatars: In the metaverse, users will interact with each other through digital avatars. These avatars will be used to represent users in the metaverse, and they will need to be realistic and lifelike. AI can help to create realistic avatars by using:
- Computer vision to generate realistic images of users
- Natural language processing to create realistic dialogue for avatars
- Virtual reality to create realistic environments for avatars
For example, a user might be able to create an avatar that looks like them, or they might be able to choose from a range of different avatars. The avatars could also communicate with each other, creating realistic dialogue. This would help to create a more social experience for users in the metaverse.
Digital twins: A digital twin is a virtual representation of a physical object. It can be used to track the status and performance of the physical object or to predict its future state. In the metaverse, digital twins will be used to represent objects in the virtual world. AI can help to create realistic digital twins by using:
- Computer vision to create accurate models of physical objects
- Deep learning to create realistic textures for digital twins
- Virtual reality to create realistic environments for digital twins
For example, a company might create a digital twin of their factory in the metaverse. This digital twin would be able to track the performance of the factory and predict its future issues. It would also be able to help with problems in the physical world by providing a virtual representation of the factory that could be used for troubleshooting.
New digital products and services: Businesses can leverage the metaverse space to create and sell new digital products and services. These could include:
- Virtual reality experiences
- Augmented reality experiences
- Digital goods and services
- Entertainment content
AI can help businesses to create these new products and services by:
- Analysing customer data to understand their needs and desires
- Developing prototypes of new products and services
- Creating realistic simulations of new products and services
- Testing new products and services before they are released
These can enhance customer experience, lower the cost of customer acquisition, or create new revenue streams, improve customer loyalty, and create a competitive advantage.
For example, a business might create a virtual reality experience that allows customers to explore their products such as a car or a house. This would give customers a better understanding of the product and could also increase sales.
Remote working and collaboration: The metaverse will enable people to work together from anywhere in the world. AI can help to facilitate remote working and collaboration by:
- Enabling real-time translation of audio and text
- Allowing users to share documents and files in the metaverse
- Creating realistic simulations of meeting rooms and office spaces
- Providing virtual meeting tools, such as whiteboards and video conferencing
For example, a team of people might be able to work together on a project from different parts of the world by using the metaverse. They would be able to communicate with each other in real-time, share documents and files, and collaborate on projects. This would help to improve communication and collaboration between team members.
Education and training: The metaverse will be a valuable tool for education and training. AI can help to make the metaverse more effective for education and training by:
- Allowing users to learn in realistic virtual environments
- Providing virtual teaching assistants
- Offering educational courses
For example, a person might be able to learn how to drive a car in a safe virtual environment. They would be able to take driving lessons, practice driving in different conditions, and even crash the car without any real-world consequences. This would help people to learn how to drive faster and safer.
The metaverse is a platform that has the potential to change the world. It is a platform where users can interact with each other in a virtual world, and it has the potential to revolutionize the way we work, learn, and play.
AI can help the metaverse to live up to its promises by creating realistic avatars, developing new digital products and services, and facilitating remote working and collaboration.
Businesses should look to the metaverse as a platform for innovation and creativity, and they should harness the power of AI to create new products and services that will improve customer experience and give them a competitive advantage.
The metaverse is a virtual world that has the potential to change the way we live our lives. It can revolutionize the way we work, and AI can help to make this a reality.
What are your thoughts on the metaverse? Have you started to explore the possibilities of this new technology? Let us know in the comments below.