The metaverse is dead – let’s get back to the future

With the Metaverse dead, AI is where the future lies, for now...

In 2021 and 2022, Reality Labs, the division housing metaverse projects, recorded a cumulative loss of nearly $24 billion, including $13.7 billion just last year.

Without any pomp or ceremony, Mark Zuckerberg just buried the metaverse. The metaverse is dead.

First, let’s define what we mean by the metaverse. The metaverse is a term coined by science fiction writer Neal Stephenson in his 1992 novel “Snow Crash.” It refers to a virtual world that is fully immersive, where users can interact with each other and with digital objects in a way that feels real. In recent years, the concept of the metaverse has gained popularity as companies like Facebook and Roblox have announced their plans to create their own versions of this virtual world.

However, despite the hype, the metaverse is dead and there are several reasons for this.

Firstly, the concept of the metaverse is flawed. The idea that people will spend hours upon hours in a fully immersive virtual world, disconnected from reality, is unrealistic. We are social creatures and crave human interaction. While the pandemic has certainly driven people towards virtual spaces, it is unlikely that this trend will continue in the long term.

Secondly, the metaverse is an expensive proposition. The hardware required to fully immerse oneself in a virtual world is costly and not accessible to everyone. Even if the hardware were affordable, the infrastructure required to create and maintain a virtual world of this scale is enormous.

Finally, the metaverse is not a new concept. Second Life, which launched in 2003, was an early attempt at creating a virtual world. It never gained the popularity that its creators had hoped for, and it is unlikely that any new virtual world will fare better. While the metaverse is a fun concept, it is ultimately a luxury that is unlikely to have a significant impact on the world. So, what was meant to be the next big thing (although we here at Tiny Spark were always more than a little dubious), has now been superseded by the recent surge in Artificial Intelligence, with ChatGPT being at the crest of the wave and the possibilities that a platform like that brings are potentially spellbinding (although a little worrying if you cling on to the plot of the Terminator or Matrix films!).

AI has the potential to revolutionise many industries, from healthcare to finance to transportation. ChatGPT is just one example of how AI can be used to improve communication and make interactions with computers more human-like. Language models like ChatGPT are becoming increasingly sophisticated, they have the potential to transform the way we interact with technology – much more so than the average chatbot experience the average Joe is used to. Language models can help with:

  1. Content idea generation: AI chatbots like ChatGPT are invaluable in helping to generate content ideas. By analysing vast amounts of data, chatbots can identify topics that are currently trending and suggest themes that are popular with specific demographics. This process help create targeted and relevant content that resonates with their audience.
  2. Content development: content development involves writing, editing, and refining your messaging, and AI chatbots can assist throughout this process. Chatbots provide language suggestions and feedback, help improve readability, and suggest other improvements to refine the copy.
  3. Content distribution: to overcome the challenge of content distribution, AI chatbots can analyse engagement metrics and provide insights on how to adjust your strategy. Automated chatbots can set up and manage social media campaigns, send promotional emails, and use SMS marketing or other channels to distribute content to your audience.
  4. Analytics: AI chatbots can help measure user engagement, audience insights, and other metrics, and provide real-time feedback on content performance. You can use chatbots to analyse the effectiveness of your content and identify ways to improve user engagement.
  5. Personalisation: Personalisation of content is the key to creating a unique, engaging user experience. By leveraging AI chatbots, content strategists and marketers can personalise their content to specific target audiences. Chatbots can suggest personalised headlines or taglines that target key personas.

It’s still in its infancy, and with maturity it’s flaws will hopefully be addressed (it can currently be tricked into giving incorrect answers!), but in conclusion, while the metaverse may have captured our imaginations, it was ultimately a flawed concept. AI and related technologies like ChatGPT could be the future of technology, and they have the outside potential to change the world in meaningful ways. We think there’s mouth watering possibilities to combine elements of both though, providing a 3D browser-based game-based interface, utilising AI to enhance the user experience with the only tech required being a device and an internet connection… give me a shout if you’d like to discus how Tiny Spark could make this a reality for you.

Alex Saxon
Managing / Digital Director