Behind the flop of the metaverse, the success of virtual reality

Not long ago, talking about metaverses was all the rage. Since the Facebook group gave the “the” by renaming itself Meta Platforms in October 2021, we began to dream of rebuilding our lives or having another with our avatar in a new immersive world, virtual reality helmet riveted on the head. The next world was going to be virtual.

But, on the planet Internet, a new mode quickly chases the other. Web3, blockchain, cryptocurrency, NFT, metaverse… all have recently been topped by an artificial intelligence (AI) by the name of ChatGPT. Launched at the end of November 2022 by the American start-up OpenAI, this conversational robot paved the way for other AIs, known as generative text (Bard from Google, LLaMA from Meta, My AI from Snapchat, etc.), images (DALL-E 2 from OpenAI, Stability AI from Stable Diffusion, Midjourney, etc.), or music (like Flow Machines from Sony).

Has Creative AI Killed the Metaverse? Microsoft has invested billions of dollars in OpenAI to put “ChatGPT” in its Bing search engine. “I am very impressed with the rate of improvement of these intelligences. I think they will have a huge impact, predicted Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates in January. I don’t think Web3 is that important or the metaverse alone is revolutionary, but the AI ​​is pretty revolutionary. »

The sirens of “chatbots”

Investors are now attracted by the sirens of these chatbots creators. “Every once in a while a universe comes along and causes an explosion of new business. We saw that with the Internet, then with mobile phones. AI could be the next platform. Some categories are experiencing a contraction in their valuation and sources of funding, but not generative AI”told Agence France-Presse Shernaz Daver, partner of the venture capital firm Khosla Ventures.

The metaverse and its procession of virtual universes and augmented realities have not yet said their last word. Pekka Lundmark, CEO of the Finnish telecommunications equipment manufacturer Nokia, even sees them making smartphones outdated. “6G and the metaverse could make smartphones a thing of the past, he predicted. Augmented and virtual reality glasses will become a more commonly used interface in 2030. People will also have devices implanted directly into the body. »

Also read the interview: Article reserved for our subscribers Meta: “We are convinced that the metaverse is the future of computing”

More skeptical, the father of Sony’s PlayStation (PS) game console, Ken Kutaragi (former CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment), does not believe in all-immersive worlds: “The metaverse is about doing near-real in the virtual world, and I don’t see the point of doing that. Technology should merge the real and the cyber rather than separate them. » Now Sony Interactive Entertainment, the subsidiary of the Japanese giant is betting big on its new PS VR 2 headset (for the PS5 console).

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