Is Metaverse the next evolutionary step towards a better human-AI relationship?

If ‘Ready Player One’ comes under the list of movies you have watched, chances are you have a well-defined notion of the shape that the metaverse may eventually take. Visually spectacular, the movie left people asking how long it would be before we could experience something like that in real life. The movie showed imaginative uses of AR and VR which were integral to the ubiquitous adoption of the metaverse. So how do we get there? And is the Metaverse the right way to go about it?

What is the Metaverse?

AI (Artificial Intelligence), VR (Virtual Reality), and AR (Augmented Reality) are technologies that have been around for a while and need no introduction. But what is the Metaverse and how does it come into the picture?

Metaverse is essentially a virtual world developed by combining blockchain technology with AI, VR, and AR to make what is together known as XR (Extended Reality).

Originally accessible through VR, users can now access a metaverse across various platforms and can interact with each other via avatars and participate in activities like gaming, shopping, and more.

Read more: Impact of Blockchain on Society and Healthcare

How do AI, VR, AR, and the Metaverse come together?

Extended Reality (XR) is a world only dreamt of by our predecessors. AR and VR tech has already been a part of the digital revolution and shows no signs of slowing down. Blockchain comes in as a harbinger of decentralisation and transparency by eliminating any central governing authority.

Advancements in the development of AI show no signs of slowing down. AIs of today are capable of mimicking human intelligence and processing immense amounts of data much faster and accurately. If you own an Alexa-powered device, you are already using AI tech daily. Applications of AI extend to now mainstream phenomena such as self-driving cars and chatbots.

It wasn’t entirely a surprise that AI tech found uses in the metaverse. After all, AI only does what we can, but better and faster! Inducting AI in the metaverse enables us to address challenges such as poor interactive quality, create new products such as live virtual conference events, and better the predictive capabilities of the system making it more intuitive. These innovations help in making the virtual environment more dynamic and engaging, eventually making businesses using these technologies more successful.

Read more: Effects of Metaverse on Society

What are the challenges Metaverse is facing?

Metaverse as a concept is in its infancy and is bound to face obstacles. We have established that VR and AR tech has been around for a while now. And while it’s growing in the right direction, there still are graphical limitations which may very well lead to a less than ideal user experience when compared to real life, or even some games in circulation (we are still quite far from Ready Player One level graphics).

Additionally, VR/AR tech such as goggles and headsets will take some time to reach substantial levels of adoption as they are viewed as experimental and are not exactly low-price ticket items. How many people do you know who own a VR set?

Another area where many Metaverses struggled was self-reliance. In the early stages of the metaverses, there simply wasn’t the technical expertise or user base to generate sufficient use cases to sustain the economy. The number of use cases and monetization choices are growing as a result of developments in VR and AR, as well as the incorporation of metaverses with AI.

Projects like Decentraland (MANA), The Sandbox (SAND), and MeetKai are a step toward addressing the issues plaguing Metaverse adoption. On Decentraland, you can explore thrilling games while buying and selling virtual property. In contrast to Meetkai, which has developed a realistic AI-powered metaverse that mimics the actual world and is accessible via browser on smartphones and PCs for maximum accessibility, Sandbox provides a game environment that enables you to create, share, and sell gaming materials.

We discussed Extended Reality, but what is Mixed Reality?

In a simple equation, AI+XR=MR (Mixed reality)

Let’s take a quick look at MeetKai. In current times, human-AI interaction is, to quite an extent, limited to the B2B world. However, this metaverse company aims to make AI a part of our everyday personal lives to demonstrate how efficient our lives could be. MeetKai attempts to enhance our everyday real-life experiences such as working, shopping, and even outdoor activities like hiking and trekking.

Imagine lying in your bed, making your avatar try clothes in the metaverse store of your favourite brand, bargaining for a lower price, and having it delivered to your doorstep when you wake up the next morning. We can’t wait for it.

Are AI-powered conversations going to drive the metaverse?

If you find yourself constantly talking to Alexa or using voice commands on your phone, this should excite you.

Voice-powered AI has found its way into use cases within the metaverses of tomorrow. Go back to imagining your avatar trying out clothes in the virtual store of your favourite brand. A salesperson approaches to assist you. However, instead of being another human, it’s an AI who has access to all brand and fashion-related data along with your digital persona. The quality of personalised service received would be unparalleled.

The metaverse uses natural language processing to make it more intimate than the real world. Voice AI can understand requests made to avatars in a more human and natural language while taking into account unique tastes and preferences. The metaverse interface has become smarter as a result of speech technology’s increased contextualization and personalization.

Where do we stand?

The metaverse has officially become the future to look forward to. There’s no denying that. And while there’s also no denying that it’s a concept in its infancy, it won’t be long before we start seeing it becoming a part of our daily lives. Technology such as AI, VR, and AR have a crucial role to play in helping the metaverse get over the obstacles it faces and become a proponent of its adoption. New use cases are being worked upon daily, and we for one, are extremely excited about these new opportunities.

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