Article by Massimo Chiriatti, Chief Technical and Innovation Officer at Lenovo Infrastructure Solutions Group (ISG)
As the world tries to recover from the grips of COVID-19, the demand for virtual experiences has drastically increased. With new technologies related to the development of computers, graphics, and hardware, the virtual world has become a reality, writes Massimo Chiriatti, Chief Technical and Innovation Officer at Lenovo Infrastructure Solutions Group (ISG)
The Metaverse, a virtual world that transcends reality, blockchain and artificial intelligence is being combined therefore creating an imperative need for Data Centres and the role it will play in developing these technologies.
For years, science fiction has been anticipating trends in the real world, and the Metaverse is no exception.
The Metaverse combines immersive virtual reality with the narrative and participatory strategies of video games. And recent investments in AR and VR technologies have been fundamental to the development of this virtual world.
In South Africa, more than 16% of people have participated in the metaverse or virtual worlds, according to the SA Social Media Landscape 2022 report. Thanks to the millions of people who are active on social media, with more people expected to explore the virtual metaverse world.
The Metaverse will also soon provide businesses as well as consumers with an immersive, three-dimensional, and interactive space.
Much like video games, people can create an avatar in the form of a digital twin and choose exactly how they want them to look and act.
Once virtual environments are established, it will be possible to work, play, make friends, carry out research and teach others by interacting within the environments.
We are therefore talking about a virtual reinterpretation of the real world, where people can use cryptocurrencies to buy rooms and plots of land, building virtual properties to exhibit and live in.
Making the Metaverse a reality requires the ability to process data rapidly and in real-time. This will mean an increased focus on enhancing network connectivity, reducing latency, and empowering businesses to scale their storage capabilities on demand.
The rise of the Metaverse will no doubt lead to more data centres, proving that a futuristic, virtual world still relies on physical infrastructure to make it a reality.
For artificial intelligence (AI) systems to have a successful impact on society, they depend on more than just underlying code. AI success depends on those who use its systems and how they use them.
Therefore, we cannot avoid using AI. We need it, because we are witnessing an acceleration in the amount of information and data available, which now exceeds the human capacity to understand it. We need to apply a filter to select and process it. This is where data centres become crucial to AI.
The acceleration in AI adoption in recent years has created a greater emphasis on computing resources and supporting infrastructure.
AI algorithms make better decisions when they are exposed to more data, meaning that businesses must bolster their storage capabilities to ensure they are capturing valuable sets in their data centres.
Major innovations, such as machine learning and AutoML, will empower us to rapidly build data science models and effectively borrow the functioning mechanisms of the brain, through AI.
However, AI is only ever at the mercy of the information it is given, meaning that it will never replace humans.
Its specific expertise makes any given machine unusable outside the reality it has observed. Ultimately, human judgment is required to understand a change in context.
Blockchain is potentially one of the greatest technological innovations of the last ten years. It is a system that enables people and organisations to stipulate agreements and record information permanently without the need for a central authority.
This has significant implications for the way we think about many of our economic, social, and political institutions.
By harnessing blockchain, society can theoretically do business with a partner located anywhere on the planet and exchange any resource with any size of transaction. In addition, there is no need for an intermediary to guarantee that both parties will effectively do what they have promised to do – in the blockchain, everything is established beforehand.
The decentralised nature of blockchain technology will transform the economic landscape over the coming years.
The inaugural African Blockchain Report, published by CV VC in collaboration with Standard Bank, has revealed that South Africa is among the top fundraisers for new blockchain ventures in Africa, with $18,89 million raised to fund five blockchain and cryptocurrency companies.
The report showcases how Africa has self-accelerated blockchain as a transformative force for society, and the economy, also including how pioneers continue to reinforce the need for more unified action on regulation and infrastructure.
The findings demonstrate how nations and stakeholder capitalists are beginning to step in and embrace Africa’s self-determining participation in the fourth industrial revolution, hence the need for funding, to enable the use of a massive amount of compute power and storage.
Data centres must therefore play a critical role in the development of blockchain as they give companies the agile connectivity, processing and storage capabilities that make it possible.
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