Metaverse

Experiences in the metaverse will be defined by conversational AI

For brands, their marketers and consumers, the metaverse represents a new paradigm with unwritten rules of engagement and a race to shape each one’s own vision of creativity. With the promise of an ‘immersive’ user experience, technologies of today have opened up endless possibilities of engagement, from gaming, product launches to customer service, even employee engagement across myriad industries ranging from healthcare to banking services. Given that the core differentiator of the metaverse is the ‘imagined’ immersive experience it provides, the interaction between avatars and other elements using natural voice-like features powered by conversational AI will play a pivotal role in its success. 

With brands increasingly transitioning to the virtual world and moving closer towards building solutions for the metaverse, customer experience will become paramount. A recent Gartner study suggests that  30% of organisations across  the world will have products and services ready for the metaverse by 2026. Imagine visiting a virtual theatre for a movie and ordering a burger; you would most likely use the virtual kiosk to do so. This ‘virtual’ transaction or interaction will be  integrated with the ‘real kiosk’ to deliver the burger to you while you continue to experience the movie virtually.  

With this as a new reality, voice technology will no doubt shape and transform the very core of how we experience the metaverse. The metaverse will prioritise human-like conversations over typing or gestures, because mere text-based conversations won’t be adequate anymore. That’s where voice tech will make interactions with Dynamic AI agents more intuitive, personalised and real time. Imagine brands creating branded voice assistants for the metaverse that would deliver a consistent brand experience to customers across touchpoints. Or even authorising payments in the metaverse via voice biometrics which would be highly convenient and quick! The advantages offered by voice technology in the metaverse are set to unlock the next generation of conversational AI solutions capable of nurturing deeper connections with customers.

To add to that, Conversational AI powered metaverse would also facilitate and enable greater levels of inclusion. With intelligent, multilingual, and nuanced conversational capabilities, customers across geographies, cultural backgrounds, age and gender, will be able to access products and services with ease within the metaverse. Better yet, people will be free to set their terms of engagement as per their choice.  And this where Conversational AI and Natural Language Processing will play an integral role in improving engagement in the metaverse. With Conversational AI, brands can enable universal translations, as well as  enhanced language customisations to cater to a highly diverse and vast group of hyperlocal audiences. The explosive growth seen in the implementation of NLP and AI across domains of the physical world is just a drop in the ocean of what can potentially unfold in this decade. 

Equipped with such advanced technologies, the use cases of conversational AI in the metaverse are manifold, and includes digital wayfinding, retail solutions for virtual shopping experiences, virtual health check-ups, banking transactions – the possibilities are endless. Take for example the applications of Digital Wayfinding.  Conversational AI powered human-like virtual assistants can serve as ‘guides’ to help people navigate through the complexities of the metaverse Let’s say you are in the aforementioned movie theatre, and don’t know how to place an order for snacks through the metaverse, a virtual assistant can point you to the right counter, help you with choices, and ultimately help complete the transaction with ease. 

Another domain where the Metaverse will play a defining role is the retail industry. With shoppers increasingly seeking personalised and immersive experiences, Dynamic AI agents will have the potential to enhance the customer’s overall buying journey to an extent that was hitherto unimaginable. Brands like Nike, Gucci, and Ralph Lauren have already embarked on the journey towards delivering a ‘digital-only’ clothing and accessory buying experience. In this framework, Dynamic AI agents will act as personal shopping assistants or stylists, and will be capable of facilitating intelligent cross-selling,  upselling, and managing inventory. In fact, going one step ahead,  shoppers may also have the option of having a  ‘virtual avatar’, powered by AI and ML capabilities, which can possibly fulfil every task in the buying process, ranging from having conversations, to even trying on clothes in these digital boutiques. 

When we look at the  future of work which is increasingly veering towards a ‘digital-first, hybrid’ model, the scope for metaverse to bridge the gap between in-person and remote working is significant. Dynamic AI agents or assistants can be leveraged effectively to help employees in the metaverse to perform routine tasks like scheduling meetings, taking notes, managing and prioritising to-do’s, etc. Automating such repetitive tasks will go a long way in freeing up their time and mind space  to take on a more creative and strategic role. 

Needless to say that with the evolution of the metaverse, the domain of security and identity authentication will take centrestage. In a world where digital assets will be owned and transacted without any touchpoint,conversational AI and NLP will be key  in  enabling  secure authentication. The metaverse is clearly still in its early stages and is expected to reach its full impact potential by 2030 as per a prediction by Gartner. However, the makings for this to become a reality – user expectations, brands’ focus on digital transformation, and the technological backbone – already exist. Together, we are moving towards a more transparent, accessible, interactive, and intelligent world and Conversational AI will be the connecting thread across each engagement, making it truly immersive.  

The article has been written by Raghu Ravinutala, CEO and Co-founder, Yellow.ai

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