Metaverse: Demystification and the road ahead

10 avril 2024 | ACTUALITÉS, Cigref in english, Communiqués

This report on metavers, produced by the Cigref working group led by Malika Mir, Director of Information Systems at GROUPE BEL, and Olivier Le Garlantezec, Digital Tech Partnerships Director at LVMH Group, explores the various issues facing organisations and society as a result of the development of these virtual worlds, as well as their short-term prospects.

Ce rapport est aussi accessible en français.

The metaverse is not a technology in itself, but is made up of a more or less complex assembly of technologies enabling the creation of immersive and interactive digital worlds. These virtual worlds are attracting growing interest from businesses, individuals and society as a whole, but they also raise major challenges.

The first part of this report provides an overview of metaverse, exploring their origins, current developments and forecasts for the future. The announcements by Meta (formerly Facebook) in 2021 and its substantial investments have contributed to the exponential growth of the metaverse market. The underlying technologies are now mature enough to make these virtual universes a reality, and various public and private initiatives have been launched to help create them.

This overview has enabled us to identify potential use cases for metaverse within organisations. In the short term, metaverse could transform various sectors such as real estate, fashion, education and training, by offering immersive and collaborative experiences. However, issues relating to the environmental footprint, data protection and social acceptability may arise. The need to identify the skills required internally or externally to develop these virtual worlds was highlighted, as was the need to define clear objectives and choose the right platform.

METAVERSE, A SOURCE OF ENTHUSIASM AND DISTRUST

Questions are being raised about the relevance and desirability of these virtual worlds, as well as the risks of reproducing the ills of real society.

Within societies, the perceptions associated with metaverses are as enthusiastic as they are distrustful. Questions are being raised about the relevance and desirability of these virtual worlds, as well as the risks of reproducing the ills of real society. The boundary between the physical and digital worlds and the implications for human relationships are also addressed. While these virtual environments offer exciting new perspectives, it is imperative to consider carefully the ethical, environmental and social issues that accompany them.

Lastly, Cigref, while continuing to monitor developments in metaverse, sees the emergence of generative artificial intelligence as a major new trend which, in the space of a few months since November 2022 and the launch of ChatGPT, has relegated interest in metaverse to second place.

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