Metaverse is a term that only science fiction enthusiasts knew once but is now on everyone’s tongues. Some consider it a vision of the future. And others have termed it as the next leap in the evolution of the internet. But for big tech companies, it is a business opportunity. However, one thing is definite: if the concept of the Metaverse succeeds, it will be at the cost of environmental sustainability.
Developers undertake specialized Metaverse training to design the alternate realm of shared immersive experiences. Additionally, they combine technologies like Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) with 3-D designing. Blockchain education also helps them create Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs), which are an integral part of the Metaverse.
Table of Contents
- But How does the Metaverse Work?
- Impractical Energy Requirements
- The Disadvantages of Cloud Services
- AI Development and Training
- Effects of NFTs and Blockchain
- What can we do?
But How does the Metaverse Work?
In brief, you wear a VR headset or AR glasses to step into the Metaverse. You can then work, play, or perform any activity as though you are in the real world. However, you need to create your avatar first. Not only will it mimic your facial expressions, but it will also carry out tasks with complete accuracy.
Moreover, you can buy digital assets in the form of NFTs and even construct a virtual home. A blockchain platform will track all your assets, leading to decentralization.
The Metaverse is a grand idea, and the AI technologies leverage enormous potential for enterprises. Nonetheless, it is not feasible for the environment. And here we will discuss how.
Impractical Energy Requirements
The projections have ignored that Metaverse’s data centers would consume an unrealistic amount of energy. For instance, developers need around a 1,000 times increase in our collective compute capacity to power the Metaverse. Ultimately leading to a rise in carbon footprint.
The leading technologies that enable the Metaverse – VR, AI, blockchain, and AR – utilize tremendous amounts of power. We can take the example of VR equipment in high-end games. Besides pumping 2,000 pounds of carbon into the atmosphere every year, gamers spend a lot on electricity.
Further, blockchain platforms, cloud services, and AI also add a downside to the Metaverse.
The Disadvantages of Cloud Services
Although experts predict that cloud services can prove beneficial, the disadvantages outweigh all the good. To begin with, IT-related services are responsible for 2% of the total carbon emissions. Moreover, analysts at the University of Lancaster report that carbon emissions will significantly increase, by around 30%, if gamers migrate to cloud gaming platforms. However, this number can deflate if more people enroll in blockchain certification courses to harvest the technology correctly.
It is also important to note that the Metaverse will require intensive data processing power. This is because a multitude of people would collectively step into the virtual world, demanding high-resolution imagery. Although unlikely, professionals can try to fix these issues through metaverse training.
AI Development and Training
Researchers at the University of Massachusetts calculated that training one AI model with 213 parameters could emit 626,115 pounds of carbon dioxide or equivalent gases. And considering the envisioned scale of the Metaverse, AI would be a staple for inhabiting it with content.
Moreover, as the platform would maintain a high-quality experience, it will lead to data overflow in the AI models. Also, such systems drain a lot of computing power. For instance, GPT-3, an AI platform, used 1,287 megawatts of electricity and discharged 552 metric tons of carbon dioxide. To put it into perspective, 100 average homes emit the same amount over a year.
Over six months, experts in metaverse training went through 4,789 models to build a “paper-worthy model.” In addition to consuming a lot of time, they emitted more than 78,000 pounds of carbon dioxide equivalent. If developers use this same training process for the entirety of Metaverse development, the environment would be in a horrifying state.
Effects of NFTs and Blockchain
In the Metaverse, users can create NFT avatars and own digital assets backed by a blockchain platform. Since blockchain enables the trading of NFTs, it is a defining component of the Metaverse.
However, NFTs are exceedingly expensive to produce. Further, most NFT-minters rely on the Ethereum blockchain, in which each transaction accounts for 243 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions. Hence, every time you create a block to the blockchain, it results in an increase in the carbon footprint. Therefore, blockchain education is essential for Metaverse developers and users too.
What can we do?
Due to recent technological developments, data centers might steer in a sustainable direction. Also, as these sustainable techniques gain mainstream acceptance, the future impact of the Metaverse might not be so dreadful. Blockchain certification courses are a great way to inform about the potential downsides of the Metaverse and how they can prevent them.
Notably, several companies have claimed to reduce their carbon footprint and protect the atmosphere from Metaverse-powering data centers. For example, Microsoft has pledged to migrate to 100% renewable energy for its Azure cloud platform. Further, it intends to be carbon-negative by 2030 and gain a zero waste certification. Google has also stated that it will operate on carbon-free energy in all its data centers by 2030.
As energy-efficient and sustainable alternatives are gaining attraction, blockchain platforms will also become environment-friendly. The Ethereum Foundation is working on a proof-of-stake standard that will harvest 99.95% less energy than the current standards. Therefore, we can say that with adequate blockchain education, if these methods succeed, the future of Metaverse seems bright.
The Metaverse, even in its developmental stage, is contributing considerably to greenhouse emissions. The VR combined with Augmented Reality is why the Metaverse is debatable from an ecological position. Moreover, cloud services harvest enormous amounts of energy, which is not feasible. Not only does Artificial Intelligence increase air pollution by venting tons of carbon dioxide, but it also requires an unreasonable sum of electricity. Developers and researchers are opting for metaverse training to minimize such flaws.
In brief, although the Metaverse might be a technological advancement, it would cause significant damage to the environment.
Do visit BLOCKCHAIN COUNCIL for more information about the Metaverse.