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Category: Metaverse

Big Data Week & AWS User Group Bonn

In the past weeks, I experienced the speaker’s life. I was visiting the IBC in Amsterdam for a few days, presenting the company I’m working for. Early in October, I presented a talk about AI use cases in the Media Landscape at the Big Data Week in Bucharest, Romania. And last week, I gave a similar talk at home, for the AWS User Group in Bonn.

While talking about your thoughts, models and experiences is cool, the bigger stages still make me nervous—however, practice and experience (aka training) help a lot.

AI is a hot topic, not only generative AI, but more and more of the business in media and elsewhere is driven by data. Customer experiences are customized by AI, manual effort vanishes through AI, and even content is created by AI. In Multimedia research, we say “Multimedia is everywhere”, but I think we can state “AI is everywhere”.

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Metaverse 2023: Expectation vs. Reality

The concept of a metaverse, or a virtual world that is fully immersive and seamlessly integrates with the real world, has long captured the imagination of science fiction writers and technology enthusiasts. In recent years, there has been a surge in the development of virtual reality and augmented reality technologies, leading many to believe that we are on the cusp of realizing the metaverse.

In 2022, it was expected that the metaverse would be a fully realized and integrated part of our daily lives. People would be able to work, socialize, and even go on vacations entirely within virtual worlds. However, as we now know, the reality of the metaverse in 2022 has not quite lived up to these expectations.

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Is Metaverse multimedia?

The metaverse has been a hot topic in the past year. Besides the hype and the question, of whether it will be the next big thing or just another failed technology (such as 3D TV), it could be asked if the metaverse is multimedia. The following is a formal verification of this question. First, a description of the metaverse is needed, followed by a definition of multimedia and finally, the verification of the metaverse is multimedia.

What is the Metaverse

It isn’t easy to describe the metaverse precisely, because it is under heavy development. The term was coined in Neal Stephenson’s novel Snow Crash. Over time, it went through some iterations until the current climax, decided to rebrand to meta and go all in into the metaverse. Avi Bar-Zeev visualized the different stages of the metaverse perfectly.

A graph showing the various terms for Metaverse, from Information Superhighway to Cyberspace to Virtual Reality and on. These go up and down over time, but the sum of the waves marches slowly up and to the right.

As the metaverse is under development, the width of the definition is broader. Mystakidis defined the metaverse as follows:

“The Metaverse is the post-reality universe, a perpetual and persistent multiuser environment merging physical reality with digital virtuality. It is based on the convergence of technologies that enable multisensory interactions with virtual environments, digital objects and people such as virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). Hence, the Metaverse is an interconnected web of social, networked immersive environments in persistent multiuser platforms. It enables seamless embodied user communication in real-time and dynamic interactions with digital artifacts. Its first iteration was a web of virtual worlds where avatars were able to teleport among them. The contemporary iteration of the Metaverse features social, immersive VR platforms compatible with massive multiplayer online video games, open game worlds and AR collaborative spaces.” [1]

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A primer on the Metaverse

Among the trending things in technology is the Metaverse. It lacks a precise definition, but in short, it is a perpetual digital multiuser space, involving virtual and augmented reality. VR and AR technologies have been developing slowly in the last 10 years, so why is Metaverse trending? A boost was given by Mark Zuckerberg and his decision to go all in with the metaverse. The rebranding of the company from Facebook to Meta is a bold step, echoing in the whole internet industry. Some people see it as not less than the next generation of the internet (Reference). So the metaverse is trending, and it is neither a simple thing nor a new thing. So this article peeks into this topic with a lot of its dimensions.

An imaginary 3D metaverse world with futuristic buildings, flowers, trees, water and a beach.
The metaverse is a collection of virtual worlds, like this futuristic 3D world, generated by stable-diffusion.