Fi Metaverse Gone

Where has the Metaverse Gone, and is it Coming Back?

Published by
27th February 2024

Do you remember the metaverse?

In the latter half of 2022, the hype surrounding the metaverse had reached an all-time high. Employers and HR professionals were preparing to usher in this digital working world, and had begun to examine what considerations would have to be taken into account when working with an avatar of oneself.

However, as quickly as the metaverse came around, it seems to have faded. Disney and Microsoft are both closing their metaverse departments, and Tinder announced that it was abandoning its plans for virtual world dating.

This may be in part due to the fact that the concept of the metaverse started gaining traction in a time where we had only just emerged from global lockdown. With the pandemic making employers realise that remote working was a necessity, it was no wonder that Meta wanted to capitalize on this realisation by soft launching the metaverse on the back of it. After all, it was teed up to be the next step in the evolution of working from home.

But now, the world has started to fall back into old habits. We are seeing return to office mandates in all corners of the working world, and the hybrid model seems to be the ideal balance for most employers and employees.

This is all without mentioning the fact that AI has seemingly dethroned the metaverse as the latest technological craze, with 93% of employers expecting to use generative AI in the workplace in the next five years.

But why has AI stuck whilst the metaverse has waned?

The most obvious answer is that generative AI is relatively easy to use, and readily accessible for all. Leading voices in AI like ChatGPT have made it so that the creation of original(ish) content is at your fingertips, and it doesn’t cost anything. As long as employers are taking the time to invest in the learning and development of their staff around optimizing the use of generative AI, then they will be able to use it to optimize productivity by having AI absorb the more monotonous, admin-based tasks.

AI continues to make strides in the corporate world – at the end of last year, we were introduced to Harriet, an AI virtual assistant tailored to help HR professionals – but this does not mean that we have seen the end of the metaverse. After all, generative AI has been around for quite some time, and after years of development, has finally gained the capabilities needed for it to be used on such a large scale.

So maybe what we are seeing is not the metaverse fading away, but rather taking an educated step back whilst AI settles cozily into our everyday working lives. At this moment in time, there isn’t a clear need for virtual working worlds, but as we continue to digitalise, we may well see the metaverse come back into fashion in a few years’ time.

Until then, if you would like to discuss the training services we offer around the integration of generative AI into your workplace, please get in touch with us.

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