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Can AI Help Accelerate Metaverse? The star technology, AI promises to boost up the Metaverse as companies start shelving off their virtual world projects

By Paromita Gupta

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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The famous sci-fi author Sir Arthur C Clarke once said "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." Cut to late-2022, his words turned true, and that magical technology is now called the Generative AI, much to the scorn of believers and torchbearers of Metaverse.

Mark Zuckerberg announced his ambitious 'Metaverse' project back in 2021, calling it the 'the successor of the mobile internet' backed by the advancing hardware technologies of augmented/ mixed/ virtual realities. Meta reported a Q1 2022 loss of $4.28 billion (with the revenue being much lower for Meta Reality Labs). While marketing became Metaverse's priority, it was OpenAI's ChatGPT in December 2022, which won the race (and continues to lead). Apart from its ability to respond to questions in a human-like manner, another key factor which has now made several organizations, big or small, take a leap of faith with AI instead is because it showed results. No big talk, but revolutionary results.

According to PwC, 68% of the surveyed businesses stated that they plan to embed Metaverse in the next two-five years


While a few retail behemoths, such as Louis Vuitton, Balenciaga, Adidas, and Nike, have been able to tap into Metaverse and utilize it to a substantial extent, others like Snapchat, Disney and Walmart have begun to slink away from their metaverse projects and announcements. Some are even adopting AI and generative AI in different aspects of their organizations. In fact, the edge of AI over Metaverse is so sharp that even Zuckerberg has put a pause on pitching Metaverse to its advertisers. Now it's also focusing on AI development and is working on its own Large Language Model- LLa- MA to compete with Microsoft's ChatGPT and GPT-4 and Google's BARD. But hold on, Meta is not abandoning its pet project; rather, it will continue to be a central priority.


To say Zuckerberg has bet his legacy on creating the Metaverse will not be a lie. However, while the space and players might be laying low for a while, the industry has hopes for it and are willing to give it time to nurture.

"Metaverse has been envisioned as a future platform for entertainment, education, socialization, and commerce. Creating and maintaining a realistic and immersive Metaverse is, however, not an easy task. It requires computing power, bandwidth, content creation, and user engagement," shares Kunal Purohit, Chief Digital Services Officer, Tech Mahindra. It's safe to say that currently, at large, Metaverse is an individual technology, not an organizational one.


A big promise and part of Metaverse remains the immersive experience using hardware such as AR/VR/ MR headsets. At the end of May, NVIDIA unveiled what is termed as the next big thing in the gaming space- AI integrated into video games. In short, NVIDIA Avatar Cloud Engine (ACE) will give life to nonplayable characters in a video game, meaning "None of the conversation was scripted. We gave the AI character 'Jin' a backstory…All you have to do is go up and talk to this character," said Jensen Huang, founder and CEO, NVIDIA while taking centre stage at Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center. AI engines will help Metaverse become a slicker experience for users. Generative AI will be able to analyze a user's profile and past behaviour to craft a personalized experience with unique visuals, personalized audio tracks, and user-specific interactions with non-player characters. The technology will help create virtual environments, objects and characters in the Metaverse. By analyzing data about a user's preferences and physical characteristics, accurate, personalized avatars will be executable. The language processing technology will help users with different native languages understand each other.

"The metaverse cannot be considered obsolete in view of the massive developments we are witnessing in the field of AI, namely, Generative AI and Large language models which have opened up a number of possibilities for the development of metaverse. This will be remarkably relevant in the gaming space with the advent of technologies like intelligent NPCs capable of human-like conversation, the use of generative AI in narrative-based gameplay providing endless story possibilities with procedural content generation, the use of AI in rendering 3D models and animations, etc have significant potential in increasing the immersion of metaverse platforms and potentially providing alternative use-cases for this technology," shares Neha Singh, Co-founder, Tracxn.


In recent times, a lot of cases of AI abuse have cropped up. The technology has its pros, but its cons are equally dangerous. "One important area to note is that Generative AI can create synthetic data that resembles real data, which has the potential for misidentification. This can help create 'power deepfake' where contextual details are added to make them even more believable. Generative AI systems can have deeper implicit biases and create data that perpetuate existing societal inequalities and prejudices," shares Kumar Ritesh, Founder and CEO, CYFIRMA.

"Traditional methods of cyberattacks such as phishing, malware, and hacking will persist, but the emergence of the Metaverse could potentially amplify their impact. There are significant worries about a secretive observer or eavesdropper who can intrude into your virtual space without your knowledge and monitor your activities," adds Pankit Desai, Co-Founder & CEO, Sequretek.


As generative AI and Metaverse are perfect mates for virtual environments, how can the threats be contained? The concerns and need for establishing ethical frameworks and guidelines for generative AI have been at an all-time high. "There are a few steps that can help to mitigate and manage security concerns to a great extent. Firstly, the implementation of strict data governance practices is crucial to ensure the security and privacy of user data. This includes data encryption, secure storage, access controls, and transparency regarding data usage and retention. Developers should rigorously test generative AI systems to identify vulnerabilities and potential misuse scenarios." shares Purohit.

"In order to avoid the misuse of Generative AI models, it is important to build use cases on enterprise Chat GPT which provides greater privacy protection of user data. The model provides options like disabling the storage of enterprise chat data and preventing it from being used to re-train the model to ensure data privacy. It is also important to build content moderation guardrails that will prevent Generative AI models from answering questions that are not relevant to the business context," shares Ramesh Narayanaswamy, Chief Technology Officer, Aditya Birla Capital Limited.


While the current scenario of metaverse looks muted, it is not shelved and is expected to take off in the future. According to PwC's report "Our Take- Embracing the Metaverse", about 68 per cent of the surveyed businesses stated that they plan to embed Metaverse in the next two-five years. This gives Metaverse a sufficient amount of time to mature its technologies. Enterprise solutions will be key in Metaverse-dominated settings.

Paromita Gupta

Features Writer with Entrepreneur India

Covering news and trends in AI and Metaverse segments. An avid book reader running her personal blog on the side. You may reach me at 
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