PROTECTING SMALL BUSINESS, PROMOTING ENTREPRENEURSHIP

AI and the Metaverse

By at 10 October, 2023, 2:30 pm

by Raymond J. Keating –

I’m not a tech guru. I’m an economist and an author. But as an economist, I’m a student of assorted industries, and how innovation changes and creates industries.

So, from this perch, as the metaverse and artificial intelligence (AI) have exploded into our economy and across industries, I quite frankly was rather perplexed – and I’ve noted this before – by talk of the metaverse and AI being an either/or proposition, or a one-or-the-other. Media pundits and assorted experts put forth that a company either had to choose AI or the metaverse.

In reality, of course, these were reinforcing or complementary innovations and technologies. That’s how entrepreneurs, businesses and consumers should be looking at these advancements, and for the most part, either consciously or instinctually, I think they do. And various media accounts have come around to reflecting this as well.

For example, CNBC captured this in a report on Meta’s recent Connect gathering in Menlo Park, California. CNBC noted, “Meta has new artificial intelligence tools and celebrity-endorsed digital assistants that CEO Mark Zuckerberg hopes will help to jump-start the metaverse.”

The productivity possibilities regarding Meta’s efforts for entrepreneurs, small businesses and their employees are significant. CNBC, for example, highlighted the following:

-“The company’s new Meta AI digital assistant is like ChatGPT, which generates sophisticated answers to text queries. The digital assistant can access Microsoft’s Bing search engine to help it compile responses to prompts that require real-time information, Zuckerberg said.”

-“Zuckerberg said users will eventually be able to create their own digital assistants, but the company wants to test that ability with select businesses before rolling it out more widely.”

A Wall Street Journal report on the Meta gathering hit on the theme of AI empowering the metaverse.

And a recent Forbes report by Cristian Randieri, a member of the Forbes Technology Council, hit the AI-metaverse combination more broadly. He summed matters up this way:

“The collaboration between the metaverse and AI is a symbiotic relationship that amplifies the capabilities of both technologies. AI’s ability to process and analyze vast amounts of data and machine learning capabilities make it an indispensable tool for crafting an inclusive and user-friendly metaverse…”

Randieri goes on to highlight assorted potential uses. All to varying degrees can be applied to business. But here’s one that caught my attention because I had just seen a demonstration at a recent conference:

“AI’s natural language processing capabilities transcend language barriers, enabling global participation. Users worldwide can interact seamlessly with the metaverse, fostering a more diverse and interconnected virtual community.”

Just on that one point, think about the expanding opportunities for entrepreneurs, businesses and workers in the international marketplace.

And how about this? “AI-powered operations, or AIOps, forecast outages and troubleshoot issues within the metaverse. This demanding application ensures seamless functioning, underscoring AI’s indispensability in maintaining the metaverse’s integrity.”

Naturally, there are and will be risks and challenges, again as Randieri noted, but AI and the metaverse together under the guidance of human creativity. That’s pretty interesting and exciting.

For more information, trends and reports about the metaverse, visit SBE Council’s METAVERSE BUSINESS ALLIANCE.

Raymond J. Keating is chief economist for the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council. His latest books on the economy are The Weekly Economist: 52 Quick Reads to Help You Think Like an Economist and The Weekly Economist II: 52 More Quick Reads to Help You Think Like an Economist.

 

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