This Is How GenAI Could Accelerate the Metaverse | BCG

Discussions around the potential of the metaverse have taken a backseat to Generative AI of late. But the latter could boost the former.

GenAI could significantly reduce the cost of building the metaverse and also enhance interactions within it, according to Hod Fleishman, partner and vice president of Deep Tech Business at BCG X, the tech build and design division of BCG.

“There are some pretty big complexities and hurdles for both technologies. For GenAI, that’s around privacy, IP, and the use of data. For the metaverse, it’s around cost. But if GenAI solves its issues, then it could also help overcome some pretty big hurdles in the metaverse too,” Fleishman explains.

The So What

BCG analysis predicts the metaverse market will reach $1.4 trillion by 2030 with a CAGR of 31%.

The business use cases of the immersive virtual worlds include training, remote maintenance of machinery, identifying the best location for factories, or allowing customers to enter virtual showrooms.

But the cost of creating these virtual worlds is prohibitive for many businesses.

The Idea in Action

Companies wanting to create complex simulations to test the best operation for factories or distribution hubs must first design a replica of the existing environment.

The cost inherent in that design can be very substantial, akin to the cost of creating high-end worlds for computer games that can run into tens of millions of dollars, Fleishman explains.

“We are getting closer to scenarios where GenAI could be trained on existing photos, maps and building specs and could create an immersive world that has the real and physical properties of the actual environment.”

“We’re not there yet, but what we’re seeing today are simple examples of where virtual environments can be created with the guidance of human prompts. The more access there is to data, the more designers will be able to prompt to create complex environments in a more streamlined way.”

Once the immersive world has been built, GenAI can then enable interactions with other intelligent entities, based on its understanding of both the goals of its creators and the capability or functionality of the simulation and the data enabling it. With the right prompts, it can conduct the conversations and instructions needed to automate simulations and scenario planning, Fleishman explains.

Now What

  • Companies should first assess and conceptualize the potential impact of both the metaverse and GenAI on their industries, and identify the high ROI use cases worth investing in. Appropriate training for CEOs and senior executives is a key first step.
  • Once opportunity is identified, a proof of concept, business plan, strategy, and roadmap should be developed.
  • In tandem, firms should create an environment for experimentation, where employees have emerging technologies added to their toolbox.