Into the Metaverse- tomorrow’s future or just a gimmick?


What is Metaverse?

As probably most of you already know, Facebook changed its name to Meta during the Fall of last year. Along with the new brand name, the company introduced a new service called Metaverse, which in the words of Philip Rosedale, the creator of the online game Second Life, is three-dimensional internet populated with people. Nevertheless, when it comes to Meta’s metaverse, the simple descriptions just won’t cut it anymore. The project evolved into an entirely new industry, which is now gaining more and more interest from the private and public sectors.

Why is it Special?

While it still remains a mystery for common people, entrepreneurs from all kinds of trades begin to look into ways how they can monetize from this new “thing”. Although digital real estate accompanied various metaverses for quite a while now, since Facebook decided to go all-in on the virtual world, digital estate prices saw an increase between 400% and 500%. A report by Grayscale estimated the potential value of the sector at $1 trillion dollars in the near future.

This valuation might seem crazy to you (it was to me when I found out), bear with me for a while.

For some virtual world is as important as the real one, with the Covid-19 facilitating the move into the online channels, setting up some offices in the virtual world seem like a natural next step. The largest investment bank JP, recently published a white paper, illustrating the hype versus the reality. The company is now looking into new opportunities and potential ways to develop the platform in terms of commercial perspectives. Disney is another firm, already taking steps in ensuring their future Metaverse presence will be profitable and successful. This entertainment giant recently appointed an executive to specifically lead the entertainment giant’s strategy for the metaverse. Even China started to highly invest in Metaverse’s constituents.

Nevertheless,  as with every novel technology, this concept is very risky. Moreover, being crypto-based it carries some degree of volatility from cryptocurrencies.

What’s the Future of Metaverse?

Well… If only I knew. Jokes aside, with the company whose values are: “Move fast”, “build awesome things” and “live in the future”, we can be sure that the road to success will be a bumpy one. However, seeing the initial interest and the relatively fast adoption on a commercial level, I believe there is a huge potential in this service, accompanied by countless paths of development. Estate market, advertising, banking, entertainment and who know what more will see its virtual equivalent.

For More Information on Metaverse visit this page.

Innovation Voucher Project

What is this about?

In December last year, I got involved in an innovation voucher project with a risk assessment company, Trubshaw Cumberlege. Their main area of operation is currently South Sudan and their evaluation processes are now expert-based.  With the future aim to expand the service into other regions, they were looking into ways how their process can be automated and more standardized. Together with a team of academics from Edinburgh Napier University, Dr Dimitra Gkatzia and Peter Cruickshank, we investigated their current approach, in an attempt to find possible development paths.

My Experience

It was my first project that was commissioned by a company and required cooperation with the project director (Sean Kelly), and the company’s tech team. From the beginning, I was quite anxious as this was completely new to me and wasn’t sure what to expect. However, with the project progressing I gained more confidence in my work and begin to understand the working dynamics of such project. It provided me with the necessary knowledge on how to function in a professional environment, the knowledge which I will definitely use in my future career. Overall, I would say that I got lucky with the coherent and communative project director, helpful teammates and my general fascination with the topic. While I understand that my experiences in the future might differ from this one, I feel more prepared for challenges ahead and more confident to learn from them.

What Have I learned?

The idea of the project was to analyse the text data collected from the news reports, then based on the company’s methodology try to extract the valuable information from raw text. The rough project plan can be seen below:

At this point, we exhausted all of the time attributed to this project and are currently working on a report summarizing all of our findings. As this was my first real-world task that required using NLP I learned a lot, especially in the area of language models, about which I will definitely make a post in the future :). Although the results at this point weren’t satisfactory enough for the model to be implemented into the company risk assessment processes straight away, they bring the firm one step closer to the fully working system in the future and provide a basis for further research into the topic.

Check out Trubshaw’s website for more information on the company.