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Playing With Reality - Episode 7

What were the most exciting tech innovations of 2022? And what do we predict will take the mantle in 2023? Find out on this week’s episode of Playing with Reality.


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2022 has been an exciting and turbulent year for tech. From the explosion of the metaverse into the public consciousness, to the FTX crash and the emergence of AI in the creative space, the world’s top companies have led the way in innovating products that are truly changing the digital world. But what were the most surprising trends of the year? And what will next year hold? In this, the final episode of the first season of Playing with Reality, we focus on the most exciting developments in the metaverse and AI to create a full picture of the year in technology, before looking ahead to 2023.

Today’s Guests


Tijana Nikolic

TijanaNikolić is an AI specialist at Sogeti with a diverse background in biology, marketing, and IT. In 2020, she was part of the team behind the Artificial Data Amplifier, the winner of the Sogeti Innovation of the year. Her work covers privacy, quality, ethics, and sustainability, in the AI space.


Mike Buob

Mike Buob is the Vice President of Sogeti, and has been part of the company for 17 years. Amongst many other things, he’s a Metaverse expert, and is really passionate about the power of immersive technologies, and positioning Sogeti as the leaders in thinking about the most exciting trends coming round the corner.



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Episode Transcript

[Music playing]

Menno: 2022, it's been a pretty wild ride. In the technology sphere, we've seen the metaverse growing to peak expectations, Web3 and crypto with huge highs and lows, and AI apps like DALL-E weighing in on the creative space.

But did it all go as expected? And what will next year hold? In this, our final episode of the series, I've invited two friends and experts from Sogeti to look at the year we've had and make some predictions for the one to come.

Our Vice President, Mike Buob, alias, Mr. Metaverse. And our AI guru, Tijana Nikolić. Welcome back to Playing with Reality, with me, Menno van Doorn, a new podcast series from Sogeti, the home for technology talent.

[Music playing]

Cast your mind back to December 2021. It feels like a long time ago, doesn't it? Back then, the metaverse, which has been our focus for this first series of Playing with Reality, had only just come into the global spotlight.

After Mark Zuckerberg's announcement, it was all that companies in the tech space wanted to talk about, and that's continued throughout the year. But did the metaverse blow up in the way he expected? Was his gamble in changing Facebook's name to Meta really worth it?

Well, it's something that we've tried to explore in this series. We've taken you all the way back to the metaverse beginnings, from the Roadmap Conference in 2006, through to how it's been utilized in popular culture; gaming, engineering, and virtual reality today.

So, we thought it would be only fitting to end this series by looking back on how the metaverse, and how one other big technology trend, AI have fared in 2022.

So, I wanted to speak to a couple of my colleagues here at Sogeti to see what they got right, and what they got wrong, their biggest surprises, and what they envision for the year ahead.

First up, you'll hear from Tijana or Tia Nikolić. She's an AI specialist with us at Sogeti. Tia has a diverse background in biology, marketing and IT, and in 2020, she was part of the team behind the artificial data amplifier, the winner of Sogeti Innovation of the Year.

Her work covers a huge range of things, but she has a strong emphasis on privacy, quality, ethics and sustainability, all things we talked about in the context of AI today.

But this week, I wanted to do a bit of a round table. So, I also invited Vice President of Sogeti, Mike Buob to join me and Tia for a chat.

Mike is a real Sogeti veteran. He's been with us for the past 17 years, and he's also a metaverse expert. And he is of course, very passionate about the power of immersive technologies and positioning Sogeti as the leaders in thinking about this technology.

I sat down with Tia and Mike and started off by asking them about what their predictions were for this year.

Menno: Okay. Hello, how are you? Are you ready to travel back in time?

Tijana: To travel back in time? Always. And in the future.

Menno: 2021, the end, maybe December somewhere, and you might have had some expectations of what would be coming technology wise in the year 2022. Can you still at least remember whether you had expectations about the tech year? And if so, what your expectations were. Maybe Tia, you first.

Tijana: Yes, I remember that far, far away, year of 2021. But based on what I expected actually, was that generative models are going to make a big, not return, but they're going to make a big bang, let's say it like that.

And I expected that we will have more focus on scalability of artificial intelligence and production, with the use of cloud services. And those expectations actually came through and they actually were much, much bigger than I expected. They made a much bigger bang, so yeah.

Menno: Wow. And you already answered my second question, but still okay.

Tijana: I'm too fast.

Menno: Maybe before I jump to Mike with the same question (no surprise Mike) can you explain what generative AI is for people that don't have a clue?

Tijana: Of course, I can. So, generative AI is machine learning or artificial intelligence models that are used to generate specific types of data.

So, it can be anything. It can be also audio data that we can talk a bit more about. It can be images, it can be tabular data that you can use for testing, for example. So, it can be as functional as you want, and pragmatic and as glamorous and creative as you want.

Menno: Sounds like we need to talk more about generative AI.

Tijana: Absolutely.

Menno: So, Mike, where were you in December 2021, and what were your expectations?

Mike: Yeah. So, December ‘21, it was a couple months after the buzz around the metaverse. I think September of 2021 is when Zuckerberg said he was going to kind of change the name of Facebook to Meta, and get into the metaverse, which set off the whole firestorm of what is this metaverse?

And then what we did was, hey, let's figure out what is this? What's going to be our point of view, how we're going to advise clients? So, I spent the last quarter, I'd say, of 2021, just spending a lot of time going deep into this “metaverse”.

Even though we've been in this space for over a decade. We've been doing this type of work for clients, mostly in the enterprise side, so it wasn't new to us. But we had to kind of morph into what is this metaverse and how we're going to move forward.

Menno: Do you still remember what your expectations were, for the coming year?

Mike: Yeah, it definitely pivoted. Because I wasn't expecting to be this deep into the metaverse throughout 2021 until that last quarter. And so, in 2021, I figured I'd be doing a lot of research, continuing doing the research, start doing some proof of concepts for clients.

And then also just educating folks. Helping our clients figure out what the metaverse is, what it isn't, how to advise them on their metaverse strategy, how to get them started, and then just skilling folks up in that domain.

Menno: So, then the other question, the question of the expectations that you had meet reality, last year. So, did you actually do all this education or …?

Mike: No, and then some. We started doing these, what we call metaverse workshops for clients. And I think to date, I've probably done around 36 to 40 of these for clients across different industries.

The usual suspects of retail and consumer product companies, but then also, you get ones that I wouldn't expect to be early adopters, or at least early interest like financial services, healthcare and others.

Menno: Okay. So, your life was run by workshops. So, Tia, have you ever done workshops? Was 2022 a year of doing workshops?

Tijana: A year of doing workshops.

Menno: Because Mike, when he talks about metaverse and all these cool things, it's always about workshops.

Tijana: Yeah. It's quite nice to see and also very tangible. Well, we try to do as many workshops as possible, especially regarding generative AI, can be anything else. Also, different services in the cloud.

So yeah, to answer your question, we do have quite a lot of them, but more also hackathons. We also do a lot of hackathons. So, as part of our team, the AI Center of Excellence here, we really focus to bring hackathons every single week, small ones, and also join these global hackathons that we have. Right now, we have the Intel Sustainability Hackathon. So, yeah.

[Music playing]

Menno: The Intel Sustainability Hackathon, we were part of recently, was a great event held in San Jose, California. Its aim was to see how AI could be used for social good. This is something that I know Tia really looks for in her work, especially around the ethics of AI.

The growth of AI and the metaverse in 2022 has come along with an important focus on social good, alongside sustainability solutions to the environmental issues that it causes. There's always good in between the bad news stories.

But enough of predictions for now. What were the big trends of the year in reality, and what was the technology that came through to truly surprise our guests? I went back to Tia and Mike to find out.

Can you share with us some of your surprises and maybe give a couple of examples?

Tijana: Definitely. So, I think one of the examples you're well aware of already, it's DALL-E, the way it made a big bang, and also, a big dent on the creative community.

And also, it was very, very impressive. The results are very impressive, and they also open up an entire new story and area of research in AI that I'm very interested in personally, and we also focus on in my team. And that's the ethical use of AI.

If you followed how DALL-E was published, in the beginning, there were some issues around the bias in the model and like the ethical part of it. And then also, the research around it was driven not just on the creative side and the performance, but also on the ethical side.

So, for me, it was very interesting to see like how many people were using it and then also, those ethical impacts that it had. Because if you have so many users using it from different areas, not just AI practitioners, you have this ethical area that's opening up with more and more questions around the practicality of it and the impact on the users.

So, that was very interesting to see unfold definitely, regarding that model.

Menno: And DALL-E, we can talk hours and hours about DALL-E.

Tijana: Exactly.

Menno: It's so fantastic. I think one of the ethical elements that I'm intrigued by, is if you're an artist and people are using your art to train a model, then everybody can copycat you without stealing your art but creating the same style of art. Is that some of the ethical aspects of AI that you talk about or …?

Tijana: Exactly. That is one aspect, firstly, on the job market, let’s talk about it from an even lower perspective.

So, if you can use this very quickly, and also, we now see there’s no wait list for DALL-E anymore. They’re also going to probably open up the API to be used for more and more iterations, not just … I don’t know. I forget how many we had in the beginning, around 10 or 15 prompts, and now, it's more.

So, now the question is how is that going to impact the creative side of the industry, the people that actually are doing this for money, and how will they adapt?

And then also, Menno, your point, exactly; if you're using the open images on the internet to train this model, then the question is, if you have a very distinct style as an artist, now everyone can create new, unique — those are unique artworks with no copyright, with your style.

So, those are like open questions that I don't have an answer for, definitely. But it's something that people that create AI and that train AI models always have to have in the back of their mind. How is this going to impact someone that's using it?

Menno: Is there anything related to the metaverse or other types of technology, Mike, that made you surprised? Like DALL-E or as big as DALL-E, open AI?

Mike: I'd say not yet. Again, because if we just talk in terms of the metaverse, the metaverse really isn't anything new. Its roots are in gaming. So, it's been around since the early 2000s. If you think kind of the Sims, Second Life, Habbo Hotel.

Today, there's many metaverses; Fortnite, Minecraft, Roblox, and you have some of the other platforms. but nothing's really surprised me yet, just because there isn't really a clear definition of the metaverse, which again, I think we shouldn't try to define it.

Ask 10 different people, you're going to get 10 different answers on what the metaverse is. But you'll see some of the common traits, different folks' definitions kind of surface. Which you'll find some common themes to what the metaverse is.

Menno: Or is it that people that haven't or have never heard about metaverse technologies, 3D, that these people are surprised. If you haven't seen Second Life, then Decentraland is a big surprise, maybe.

Mike: It is, it's a surprise for folks and folks are also really surprised to see what already is being done in the metaverse. What companies are already participating in the metaverse, what experiences you can already have in the metaverse.

If you think, Travis Scott, he held a concert in Fortnite that got around 28 million people to attend that concert in Fortnite. That's surprising to folks. Or that Ally Bank is creating something in Minecraft to teach people about financial literacy through playing Minecraft.

People are always surprised and blown away by, “Oh, my gosh, I didn't realize that that's a use case I didn't even think of.”

Menno: Yeah, exactly. So, surprises at both sides of the spectrum, metaverse and AI. So, you are deep in the community, the AI community, Tia. So, how did other people in the community respond to everything happening now?

I still remember we were talking about the winter of AI not so long ago, and it's now booming. Can you share some of the excitement with the people that you're working with?

Tijana: Yes, definitely. We were very excited when we saw like how popular these models are, and how many people are using them, because then it also shows you … it's validating. You're doing something that people find so useful and so creative.

And you see, for example, I'm on all social media, I'm on TikTok as well. You see on TikTok, more and more people talking about generative models. GANs, for example, which we worked with two years ago, synthetic data and you're amazed, like you feel — yeah, it's very validating and great.

But then it opens up another, again, area of research or topic. It's around really how difficult is this to put in production and actually use in a normal, let's say, normal business setting.

And this is where we were very also amazed this year by the advancement in machine learning operations or MLOps, which is basically like DevOps or yeah, basically services in the cloud that can automate your development and putting stuff into production, but for AI models.

And now, we can see more and more cloud providers providing different templates for this scalability of AI in production, AutoML for example, as well, where you don't have to spend too much time training your model, et cetera.

So, to us, to our entire team, as much as we were excited about this creative AI and generative AI, we were even more excited about the fact that we now have services in the cloud that are so democratized, that we can actually use them to put this in production, monitor it, and have scalable solutions that we can drive business impact with.

Menno: It pops to my mind. So, the work that you're doing for KLM, and you could maybe elaborate a little bit about it; virtual training for pilots, you could call it a metaverse also.

Maybe you can explain what you're doing over there. And then I would like to have Mike's comment on that part of the metaverse and what he thinks the direction it'll take.

Tijana: I'm so glad you asked about this project because it's literally my favorite project, so I always like to talk about it. And yeah, as you said, Menno, we can also liken it to a digital twin. It is a virtual training simulation for pilots. KLM is making these simulations and they're quite impressive.

So, basically, instead of taking a pilot to an actual plane, you can put them into a virtual reality app, and they can basically do whatever they want in there, but the point is to actually train them how to behave in a specific airplane.

And what we did is, I will tell you a quick story from the beginning. So, KLM reached out to us and said, “You guys are great with testing and AI, we trust you. Can you give us a nice example of how AI can be used for testing? And we want to do it in virtual reality.”

And we were super excited. We collected people from different divisions in Sogeti, so from virtual reality developers, from high tech, everything. And we went there, had a great brainstorming session, and we figured out that we can actually use non-playable characters to act as testers in VR apps.

And for people that are on the call, non-playable characters or NPCs, I think most people know it, especially if you're into gaming, are powered by AI or reinforcement learning.

So, those are specific types of AI models that actually learn how to operate in a specific environment. You can teach them what sort of objectives they need to reach. You can reward their actions, and you can also give negative reward for actions that you want to basically punish, for lack of a better word.

And then they learn what to do in an environment based on what you teach them. And what we thought this model or agent as we called it, is to run through the environment. And because it's a cockpit, just try to break stuff.

And then we save everything that it did into a log file, then we'd run an additional model on it, and we extract things that we deem a bit weird or outliers as we call them. So, something that is not right, not in the normal distribution.

And based on that, we could actually save steps in the VR applications that the agent took to break something, and then developers can replay it on their screen and they can see what they need to fix.

So, what we did is actually use AI to test and also, created something that can easily be added to the CI/CD pipeline. So, when you do releases, you do some adjustments in the code, you do a release, we can quickly run that model, and you can always see if something has been broken in the environment, if you introduce the code change.

And KLM loved this, so you can (if you are interested), also go to the YouTube of Sogeti and you can take a look. We have a talk around it from QX day, from this year.

Menno: I'm still a little bit puzzled that you need an AI to break things and then you create value. So, from breaking things, creating value, it's-

Tijana: But that's how you create value in testing.

Menno: Yeah, I understand. Yeah, of course.

Tijana: If you break more things, then less things are going to be broken when you put it in front of the users, so-

Menno: Yeah, I'm not going to ask you, Mike, whether you love to break things, but looking at this version, where we're talking about this version of the metaverse, where you create a digital twin of the real reality.

Where do you see this going? Have you seen other crazy examples of these kinds of applications in the metaverse?

Mike: Yeah, I have Menno, and this is where again, what you're seeing is most people think of the metaverse as more of your consumer facing. So, use for entertainment, gaming, maybe a brand experience, but there is this notion of kind of the corporate metaverse. Using these experiences to do training, learning, and onboarding.

Something that we build as a proof of concept for a global coffee company, was to train their workers. And one, how to make the drinks, what ingredients, and then how to operate the equipment.

And then to Tijana's point about kind of those non-player characters, also being able to handle customer interactions. So, a fully immersed training simulator where they're actually … before they get put into the real physical store to do some kind of training and get kind of thrown to the fire, if you will, in a chaotic coffee shop.

They can do this training and then they could get scored on it. How well did they do? So, they can do that repetitive kind of learning in more of a VR, virtual reality environment. And studies have shown that retention rates are much higher in VR as opposed to other methods of learning.

Menno: Yeah, I've spent some time over there, you invited me. So, I'm now a semi-professional coffee maker, but the sound of the coffee grinding machine, it's so … so, what's this about sounds in the metaverse?

Mike: Yeah, so Menno, that's key to these. So, again the roots of the metaverse are in gaming. So, there is kind of the concept of game feel.

So, these are things like audio, visual cues, haptic feedback with the controllers. When you press a button, does it kind of make both an audible click, but then your controller does a little vibration to give you that feedback.

That all really helps kind of immerse in kind of these 3D experiences. They're key to these experiences.

Menno: That reminds me, I spent some time with KLM last week in their XR lab, and then they explained to me that they're also building or they have built a physical cockpit. Because if you can feel the handles, this is like haptic feedback in metaverse. So, if you feel what you're doing and at the same time see through XR, it's an extra special experience.

This is a different kind of experience. It's the real reality and it's the virtual reality at the same time.

Tijana: Yes, it makes sense to me. For their application, what they're trying to do, this makes absolute sense, definitely.

We can also see it, for example, in engineering courses or trainings. You have specific screws in front of you, and then you can do operations in augmented reality on them. Try to again, do specific sequence of actions that you were assigned by your tutor, for example, something similar.

So, to me, yeah, definitely, it makes sense. Also the vibration of the controls that Mike was talking about. Something that can really immerse you in the entire experience, something that makes it as realistic as possible.

[Music playing]

Menno: That project with KLM is one of my favorites to come out of the last year. It combines so many different things we've talked about in this series. It has elements of digital twins; it utilizes virtual reality, it’s almost like a mini metaverse in its own right.

The things which have really excited me this year are technologies which fuse a number of different things together. Not technology for technology's sake, but technology that creates useful sustainable solutions. Social desirability is key, but will this be true of the year to come as well? Who are going to be the big winners in 2023? Let's find out.

So, Mike, as I listen to you and we talk about the metaverse and we talk about AI in these generative models, it's almost like science fiction has arrived, that we are living maybe 10, 20, 30 years. But we know it's also loaded with expectations. So, and I think metaverse, the question about the metaverse is, will it deliver all the value that we expect or we want to deliver?

So, how do you deal with that?

Mike: Yeah, and again, I know expectations are high. Especially, with how fast technology evolves. How fast technology gets adopted.

But I will tamper kind of the expectations of the metaverse. Like I said, the metaverse really doesn't exist today. Really, it's just a bunch of apps is kind of where we're at today. And some you can access via the web, some you can access via VR headset. And some is actual augmented reality.

I believe we're around at least a decade away from really kind of the metaverse kind of what it's going to become. If you think back to the early internet days, Menno, when the internet was in its infancy and people were kind of feeling it out, it took a while to evolve to get where you were able to shop online and then social media.

You're going to see the same kind of evolution with the metaverse. And I also believe that in order for it to really take off, it's going to be through augmented reality. So, having stylish glasses, Menno, like I know folks can't see this, but you're wearing glasses. Being able to put stuff out, overlaying in the real world. Because today, we look at our phones.

So, you think how many times a day you look down at your phone, you won't have to do that, if we're all wearing augmented reality kind of glasses that are stylish or contact lenses. You're going to get that same interaction by just — now you're not going to like keep looking down every five seconds, that people are addicted to their phones.

But that's where I really think you're going to see the adoption take off, is through some of the AR use cases for the metaverse.

Menno: Tia, can you explain how important AI is if augmented reality arrives with your glasses or what's the role of AI?

Tijana: Yes. So, regarding augmented reality, the role of AI is very big because of course, you can use object detection algorithms to detect objects in your surroundings. You can overlay based on the position of those objects, for example.

So, I think it's a very nice combination of VR and AI and you can see actually how important and how well those two work.

What we can also do is, yeah, basically just look at depth and different positioning with visual models, with the computer vision and do specific actions. I think sky is the limit based on this, regarding what you can do and develop.

Menno: Yeah. So, before we dive into the sky is the limit, which is next year, your expectations, what we'll see and what you're excited about, when I was preparing our chat, I was thinking about our year 2022, and it was a wild year by definition.

But not only technology-wise, we have seen the Russian invasion in Ukraine, hyperinflation, energy prices go through the sky. We've seen some crypto bankruptcy, FTX, IPCC reports of the climate change saying that the narrowing window for action, Elon Musk buying Twitter, et cetera.

So, how important is the social economic context for either AI or the metaverse?

Mike: Menno, I think if we look at, again, all that's happened, those things you mentioned that are in the news and some of the societal impacts, I think the impact it's going to have on the metaverse, I think you're going to see some kind of pause almost. Especially with inflation and some of the other things that are going on. I think a lot of people were educated in 2022 about the metaverse.

I still think you're going to have clients start experimenting more in 2023, but I think it's almost like a wait and see or a holding pattern from making some of the bigger investments in this space. In my opinion.

Tijana: I agree with what Mike said regarding this. Sometimes it's difficult to work with these innovative technologies because in these socioeconomic times, definitely the companies are going to focus more on cost optimization and keeping everything afloat, as you very nicely said Mike.

But regarding artificial intelligence, you can of course, use those models to drive business decisions for cost optimization, for example. And I think in terms of VR, you can also do that. For example, what we just spoke about, the KLMs use case with the trainings and the cockpits, definitely you can cut some cost there.

Using digital twins also is a very nice way to test everything before breaking stuff in production and having an even bigger cost in the end for sure. And I want to also focus on one important thing here is actually, using artificial intelligence for sustainability goals, which is AI for good.

One big topic that I'm also very interested in, where you can use AI for supply chain optimization for different root optimization, cost optimization, as I just said, predictive analytics for industrial processes. So, you can actually catch things before they break, so you don't have to react, you can be proactive. Again, sky is the limit.

Menno: Okay, fast forward 2023 then, prediction time. If you would like to do a couple of predictions, I would like to say, what would they be?

Tijana: If I can start — oh, how the turntables, now I do the prediction, and not the AI model.

Menno: Exactly. So, they're on the other way around.

Tijana: Absolutely. But I can do my best guess. What I think is going to happen in next year regarding AI is more push towards the sustainability factor of it. So, we did talk about generative models and I'm going to try to make it very short and sweet here.

But next to DALL-E, there are other generative models that are on the market that have billions and billions of parameters. Those models maybe you already heard of them, those are GPT-3, also open AIs that can generate text, generate documents and they can also generate code.

They're very impressive, especially if you're a coder and you're a lazy coder and you want AI to do the work for you. But they actually have shown that their training and inference, which is the act of asking for feedback from the model that has already been trained, actually have a huge carbon footprint.

So, what I predict in the next year is that we are going to have to really focus on this, trying to lower the carbon footprint of the applications that we make, not just AI, also IT. So, there's going to be a strong emphasis on cloud computing, green cloud, green IT, and definitely, the ethical part of it.

So, we saw in 2021, EU released actually a draft of a legislation for ethical AI, a set of different checkpoints that AI needs to go through. There's GDPR, it has already been there for quite a while.

And in next year, I predict that we are going to at least, see in some very regulated industries like finance and medicine, that you will have to go through an auditing process when you want to implement AI systems to do decision-making. So, that's something that I see for next year.

Menno: So, you see 2023 will be the year of green AI.

Tijana: Green AI, green IT, really strong emphasis, exactly. Green everything.

Menno: So, Mike, it will be the year of the green metaverse.

Mike: Yeah. In 2023, Menno, if you ask me kind of to what I would see, is I do think like I said, you're still going to see some movement in the metaverse space. I think you're going to see it more, honestly, I'd say on the Web3 side.

Web3 and NFTs, because you're already seeing some companies coming out with Web3 experiences. Starbucks for example, they're getting ready to open up or launch their Web3 loyalty program called Odyssey. Again, they've always been a leader in kind of the loyalty program, kind of gamification, interacting with customers through their loyalty program.

I'm curious to see what this new way of engaging will be. And I think you're going to see a lot of companies kind of jumping on that movement, that Web3 movement. I think you'll see some more kind of 3D-enabled kind of web experiences.

But I don't think you're going to see a lot of kind of all in or big investments in kind of the metaverse in 2023.

Menno: And the glasses? Augmented reality?

Mike: Yeah. So, the AR glasses, again, if you've used any of the current ones, I know Ray-Ban has some, and there's a couple other companies, they're just not there yet. Again, they're still bulky. They can't do a lot. We're all waiting to see what Apple comes up with.

Menno: And Tia, if we would ask an AI, open AI, for instance, to predict 2023, what would be the answer? So, let's say you type in the sentence, “Technology wise, 2023 will be the year of …”

Tijana: Well, how I see it is maybe a nice green image showing green AI, something with a bunch of leaves surrounded, something hopeful. At least we need it to be for next year.

Menno: Yeah. So, there's hope in AI for the future.

Tijana: Yes.

Menno: That's good to hear.

Tijana: Exactly.

Menno: Yeah. And Mike, last question for you. Normally, we end this show with, “Let's meet in the metaverse.” If we would meet in the metaverse, any preference of a world that Tia, you and I would join and have some fun?

Mike: It depends on what experience we're looking for. If we're looking for a more kind of professional work-based, we could do Horizon Workrooms, but if we want kind of a wild night in the metaverse, we could do VRChat or a platform like that.

Menno: So, Tia, are you in for a wild ride on the metaverse? That's the question.

Tijana: Of course.

Menno: Yeah?

Tijana: Of course.

Menno: Okay then I thank you both and would say, let's meet in VRChat next time. Thank you so much.

Mike: Thanks, Menno.

Tijana: Thank you.

[Music playing]

Menno: I was fascinated there to hear that Mike thinks it is augmented reality wearables, which could be 2023’s next big thing. And it makes sense, given AR is getting a bit normalized on our smartphones already.

So, like 2008 took us by surprise, when it became the year of the smartphone. Could 2023 do it again, with the year of AR glasses? Well, time will tell.

And will the metaverse’s slow start in 2022 be replicated in 2023? Probably, but that doesn't mean its growth this year should be ignored.

At Sogeti, we've been thinking about the metaverse for a long time, but it's only in the past year or so that it has truly entered the public consciousness, that isn't going to end anytime soon.

And my predictions for next year, well, I'll predict that Playing with Reality will be back next year because, well, this is the end of our first series.

Series two will be filled with new guests and some fascinating new topics, all about the future of technology.

We hope you've enjoyed this first series of Playing with Reality. Thanks to Mike and Tia for the insight and personal predictions today, to all our guests throughout this series and to you, for listening.

If you enjoyed this episode and want to let us know, please do get in touch on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Instagram, and you can find us at Sogeti.

And don't forget to subscribe and review Playing with Reality on your favorite podcast app, as it really helps others to find our show. Do join us again next time on Playing with Reality.

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