Irish businesses display ‘healthy scepticism’ towards metaverse

The majority of Irish organisations believe they have adapted to a new normal in the wake of the pandemic, a new survey has found, and they believe boundary-pushing advances in technology will help their long-term success.

However, reassuring consumers that their digital experiences are safe will be key, through stringent cybersecurity measures and transparency with data management and usage.

According to the Accenture Technology Vision 2022, 79 per cent of Irish organisations believe they have adapted to the disruption of the pandemic, while 89 per cent said emerging technologies were helping their organisation develop a more ambitious vision for the future.

The report found a significant rise in interest in augmented reality, artificial intelligence and the metaverse, with organisations largely agreeing that Web3 would change how businesses engage with users online.

Central to that future is the metaverse, with 66 per cent of Irish executives believing the technology would have a positive impact. Only 26 per cent said they anticipated a “breakthrough” or “transformational” impact from the new technology in the next four years.

 

The latter figure is much lower than the global average of 42 per cent, indicating that Irish businesses were less likely to embrace the technology wholesale.

“I think there is a healthy dose of hype scepticism in the Irish group; I don’t think we get it as carried away as early as another markets,” said Dave Kirwan, head of technology at Accenture in Ireland. “But we don’t want the doubting to become such that we get left behind the rest of the world because there is a danger that people say they’re not going to do anything on this until they see a lot more activity and we then may be a little bit late to the game.”

Wary of AI

Irish executives said staying up to date with future technology would be important to their organisation’s future success, and 92 per cent said next-generation computing would be essential in helping their organisation to reach its sustainability goals.

There was a disconnect between how businesses viewed new technology and consumers’ perception of it. The majority of Irish consumers – 70 per cent – said they had not heard of the metaverse, or did not know what it meant.

More than two-thirds of Irish organisations said they were increasingly dependent on artificial intelligence, although they expressed concerns on security, data authenticity and cyberattacks.

That level of caution was mirrored among consumers, with less than one in five trusting that AI would be used to improve their lives, compared with 42 per cent globally, and only 15 per cent said they trusted how organisations were implementing it.

“The numbers for Ireland point to a better level of questioning in the area of trust,” Mr Kirwan said. “All companies have work to do to demystify how AI is being used and give people comfort that there is nothing sinister. I think we have a more acute challenge in Ireland too based on the data that we saw. I think we need to be convinced more than in certain other geographies.”

Deep fake

Only 29 per cent of consumers said they would be able to identify a deep fake or synthetic video. That was also a major concern among executives, with 99 per cent saying they were worried about deep fakes and disinformation attacks.

“The next generation of the internet is unfolding and will drive a new wave of digital transformation far greater than what we’ve seen to date, transforming the way we all live and work,” said Paul Daugherty, chief technology officer at Accenture. “Our vision of the metaverse as a continuum challenges prevailing, narrower views and highlights why organisations must act today or find themselves operating in worlds designed by, and for, someone else.”

The 2022 report, Meet Me in the Metaverse: The Continuum of Technology and Experience Reshaping Business, surveyed 24,000 consumers and 4,650 C-level executives and directors across 35 countries and 23 industries. Among Irish respondents, senior leaders from 102 Irish companies and 500 consumers took part.


Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*