The Metaverse: What It Is, Where to Find it, Who Will Build It.

Technology has been accelerating at unfathomable rates in recent decades compared to the documented history of more than 3000 years. The digital revolution has even the latest generation by surprise with innovations. From the internet that could send only text, to image-intensive searches, to video calling and video content dominating the social media platforms and other digital platforms, we have come a long way. It is only natural to wonder what’s next.

Metaverse has gained traction in the recent months following Facebook’s name change to Meta. But, the race for the monopoly in Metaverse started way back, at least 5-6 years ago when Facebook bought Oculus VR. Metaverse has been eyed by the world’s top tech giants for years now. Now, let’s understand what the metaverse actually is.

Metaverse, simply put, is the next level of internet connectivity we are going to experience. It is a manifestation of reality inside a virtual world. If you can’t comprehend it, try watching the movie Read Player One. Metaverse will create one or more virtual worlds of the creator’s design where the users can interact with others on a whole different level. 

This has various applications across all sectors we know of. Friends no longer need to video chat or plan a reunion. They can all meet up in the virtual world of their design and play games where you are present in your entirety in a virtual world.  Work from home doesn’t need to be that anymore, it can be work from a virtual office where productivity and progress of their employees can be monitored. Video chats and video meets will be rendered useless when they can actually meet in private virtually whilst sitting at their respective homes.

There are no limitations to what metaverse can be; except for our imagination. A correct definition hasn’t been coined yet and the precise objectives have not been mapped yet either. But, the popular opinion and end goals can be described earlier. Metaverse, in the future, can be:

  • A live, interactive world without pauses, end and reset.
  • Extended to both physical and digital worlds, private and public networks, et.
  • A place where digital assets can be transferred across digital platforms.

There have been debates about the identity of the users throughout these metaverses. Even though having a single identity across these platforms will have better practical applications and convenience in the long term, but, the tech giants in the metaverse race are not likely to comply with that. As each of them requires a unique identity system exclusive for them to have a competitive advantage. 

There are multiple tech giants such as epic games, Facebook, Microsoft, Amazon, etc. eyeing the potential $800 billion industry. Facebook has come out with a major statement with the name change of Facebook to Meta that it is going all-in on the idea. It can’t be predicted so as to who will win in the end. But, one thing is for sure. Metaverse is closer than you think and the future is bright for the metaverse.

The Edge: What Does It Mean For Artificial Intelligence?

The field of AI has had a stellar bull run for the past few years taking over all of our lives. AIs are currently running the world from cloud servers and centralised servers. Is this about to change? But what next? 

Edge is the new face of Artificial Intelligence, but this is not a groundbreaking, revolutionary idea. It’s as old as AI but it’s currently gathering steam. This is because almost all the present machine learning models and AI uses terabytes of data after accumulating it all in centralised storage space; the cloud. Coming to think of it, the system is very inefficient. Let’s analyse this further.

Suppose you have a manufacturing unit of some product. The unit is tech-savvy and automated. Each sensor data from the manufacturing unit has to be collected and sent to the storage space which can be either local or in the cloud and a response has to be sent back. When a single mistake can cost you much money in the manufacturing business, being able to stop errors from happening a second earlier can be huge. If the data collected by each sensor can be analysed there itself, you can save a lot of time and money.

This is the basis of the Edge. The edge is a localised endpoint where data can be generated and computed from a device or a sensor. This has huge applications in multiple sectors across the world. This can be the solution to the privacy problems we have been having with the tech companies. Implementing the Edge can mean that no user data is transferred, collected or communicated within channels. It will also be revolutionary in the self-driving car segment where faster computing can mean the difference between life and death. 

However, it’s easier said than done. The proof of concept is solid, but, implementing it in the physical world; that’s another challenge on its own. The technology is far from feasible at current stats, and it will take years to create enough traction. Major leaders in the sector are focusing on building lightweight edge solutions that can be used at low latency and deployed soon. Major investments are required in R&D to develop the technology and infrastructure required for the Edge.

Then there’s the issue of security. Cybersecurity risks, in such models, are higher than normal, due to the impact they can have on the physical world. As the Edge is being monitored and functioning through several workflows, a centralised security system is out of the question. This can pose more threats in the form of cyberattacks on localised platforms. So, technology today is at a crossroads; performance or security.

The transition to the Edge is going to be gradual but inevitable. It is advised for companies to start implementing Edge onto their non-critical AI systems and monitoring the progress, the strengths and the challenges. However, regardless of the way ahead, the future is bright for the Edge and will be utilised to a much larger extent after the mass adoption of the tech in the coming years. 

How Robotic Process Automation (RPA) helps to Improve Customer Service

Robotic Process Automation is a convenient and necessary field in the digital age. What makes the area and technology unique is that it helps to eliminate recurring tasks that required a lot of workforce and person-hours in the past. This means that the human mind and focus can be redirected to more complex problems leaving menial tasks for machines to do. This increases the overall productivity of the employees and the company.

RPA is growing at a rapid pace and can take over any industry. The true value of the RPA can’t be fathomed as it allows humans to do more creative, problem-solving, customer-related tasks rather than repeating the same functions for the nth time in a day. It also drastically reduces the cost of operation in the long run.  It may seem that the one-time investment is greater than the salary of the employees. But it all works out in the long term, and RPA requires minimal maintenance, whereas salaries constantly drain your pocket.

Even in customer relations, RPA can be implemented. RPA driven chatbots have already started to handle customer queries and answer them. There is an added advantage over the human element because these bots can process more than one query at a time if fully functional. However, the technology isn’t as advanced (yet) to replace a human. However, Gartner predicts the overtaking of customer relations by RPA tech soon. 

One of the major advantages of RPA is that it reduces the scope and margin of human errors drastically. Humans inherently lose efficiency while repeating tasks, and this is a problem for companies. Human errors can cost lots of resources and time for the company. But instead, companies can invest in RPA for completing recurring tasks with minimal to no mistake. 

RPAs have a lot of potentials to increase customer service and save millions of dollars for the company. Implementing RPA systems in your business model can boost the Net Promoter Score. The Net Promoter Score is a metric that tells whether your customers are likely to recommend your products and services to others. RPAs help customer relations faster and allow employees to build more valuable relationships with the customer, ultimately boosting your NPS score.

When it comes to a business, the customer is king. Building a good customer experience is the key point of any business. RPA allows you to do just that. It takes care of all of your boring, repetitive tasks and lets you deal with the stuff that matters. You can define the parameters, specify the rules, and allow the machine to perform repetitive tasks. It also reduces human error in such studies, saving money and time for the company.

RPAs are the future, and it is likely to be implemented in almost all sectors in one form or the other. RPA market size is continuously growing and is predicted to reach 13 billion dollars in 2030.

IoB Explained: What is the Internet of Behaviours?

Internet of Behaviors (IoB) has recently gained traction but has been in the works for nearly as long as the onset of AI. The recent years have witnessed the utilisation of data we have never seen before. With the use of the right tools and the method, data can be utilised to study the past, control the present, and predict the future. 

The Internet of Behavior goes a step ahead of the Internet of Things, which aims to connect different devices to gather and assimilate new data points. The internet of Behavior dives deep into the user’s life, much more than the user data from using a specific app. A device, like your mobile phone, can track your whereabouts at any point in time. But, when it links to your laptop, voice assistant, cameras, call history, call patterns, etc., they get to know much more than that, including your likes, dislikes, purchases, political inclination, etc. 

IoB is a culmination of three distinct fields: technology, data analytics, behavioural science. Companies using IoT to know more about us by accumulating data can try and change our behaviours. 

Let’s take the example of a health-related app or food delivery app.  Suppose the smartphone can track what you eat, when you sleep, your blood sugar levels, pulse rate, etc. In that case, the app can give out notifications and alert you of critical conditions and also find modifications in your lifestyle that is more healthy.

Your food delivery app can suggest what you may like and offer discounts concerning your earlier orders. Companies using IoB use it to achieve their goals, which is getting you to purchase products and services. 

We can’t identify IoB as problematic right away. It is, in fact, the key to the personalisation of goods and services, which is inherently good for the consumer. But, the unlimited data we provide to such companies is exponentially growing. It is calculated that by the end of 2023, about 40% of the world population, which will be more than 3 billion, will be tracked digitally and offered services and goods to influence how the world behaves.

All of this raises security concerns of the highest order. Companies can avail the very private data to the users and use them to analyse us. This is concerning because of the lack of enough rules, legality or structure to monitor such activities. Privacy concerns in the digital age remain a grey area left untouched due to the lack of clarity in what constitutes private information. 

IoB is a very powerful tool with limitless potential for good and behavioural change. The possibilities are ever-growing, and life’s easier because of it. In the coming years, we can see a lot more development, great products and services based on our likes and dislikes, and personalisation coming into the field. IoB can access data, create knowledge and use it with wisdom.