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European metaverse visionaries address how the metaverse can shape the entertainment industry

The concept of the metaverse has sparked immense curiosity and debate amongst industry professionals, generating excitement and scepticism in equal measure. At Cannes NEXT, part of the Marché du Film, a panel discussion featured European metaverse visionaries who shed light on the potential of this emerging technology to reshape the entertainment landscape.

As the panel discussion progressed, moderator AC Coppens drew attention to the imminent arrival of XR glasses, which are expected to catalyse the accessibility and quality of metaverse experiences. The panellists agreed that while the initial version of XR glasses may not bring about a revolution, they will undoubtedly enhance the level of content and storytelling capabilities. Coppens and the participants emphasised the fact that the metaverse is not a single company or technology, but rather a collaborative effort that involves multiple stakeholders, including artists, developers, policymakers and users. They stressed the importance of fostering an open and inclusive ecosystem that encourages innovation, creativity and diverse perspectives.

Building upon this idea, Hvitved proposed the concept of a “metaverse sandbox” where creators can experiment, collaborate and iterate on ideas. This sandbox environment would provide a space for artists, developers and users to co-create and shape the future of the metaverse. The panellists expressed their optimism about the potential of such an approach, envisioning a metaverse that evolves organically based on collective input and experimentation.

Komulainen brought up the need for ethical considerations and responsible design principles in the development of the metaverse. He raised concerns about potential negative impacts, such as addiction, privacy breaches and inequality. The panellists agreed that a proactive approach is necessary to address these challenges and ensure that the metaverse benefits society as a whole.

The discussion also touched upon the role of artificial intelligence (AI) in the metaverse. Hvitved made mention of the transformative power of generative AI in creating dynamic and personalised experiences for users. She noted that AI algorithms can analyse user data and preferences to generate content tailored to individual interests, allowing for more immersive and engaging experiences.

Rosendahl expanded on this idea by discussing the potential of AI-driven virtual characters or avatars within the metaverse. He described how AI algorithms could enable virtual characters to interact and respond intelligently to users, blurring the lines between reality and fiction. This level of interactivity would enhance storytelling and create deeper connections between users and virtual experiences.

Finally, the panellists also explored the economic aspects of the metaverse. They acknowledged the potential for new business models and revenue streams, such as virtual real estate, digital goods and virtual events. However, they cautioned against a purely profit-driven approach, emphasising the importance of maintaining a balance between commercial interests and the integrity of the metaverse experience.