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Digital humans, industrial metaverse predicted to power future cyberspace

By Li Jiaying | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2022-11-09 14:27

A visitor tries HTC's products at its booth at the Fifth China International Import Expo. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

Metaverse is expected to be one of the powerful trends that help inject new momentum into future business models, where the emerging concepts of digital humans and industrial metaverse will have a major role to play, according to the latest forecast from US market research company Gartner.

Gartner predicts that by 2027, more than 40 percent of large companies and organizations worldwide will use metaverse-related technologies such as augmented reality, artificial intelligence and digital twins in their projects to increase revenue.

"We forecast that digital avatars' applications in real life will significantly help generate revenue and drive new growth," said Arnold Gao, a senior director analyst at Gartner, adding that relevant technologies such as ray tracing rending techniques, knowledge graphs and NLP need further upgrades and advancement to make the avatars more humanlike in appearances, smooth in human interaction and intelligent in dealing with commercial tasks.

"The commercialization of digital humans won't just be empty talks when these technologies become fully matured in the near future. At that time, AI humans will be able to free people from basic work, which will create loads of new business opportunities," Gao said. So far, digital humans have been deployed as TV show anchors, brand ambassadors, online influencers and more. Some of them have even become celebrities and garner great attention from their fans, which shows their huge potential to meet business ends.

Another buzzword is industrial metaverse. It refers to a virtual world where industrial elements in real life — such as equipment, machines and factories, as well as grids and transportation systems — are mirrored. "The concept of industrial metaverse is based on digital twins, but it is a more advanced and complicated technology where industrial scenes look more real and data processing is more intelligent," Gao said.

With the digital transformation into industrial metaverse, decision makers will be better informed and have peak efficiency when their business processes are operating, he added.


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