Are Avatars the future for SMEs? | A blog by Business Butler

Are Avatars the future for SMEs?

Can you imagine as a business owner that some day in the future you will be able to sleep easy, safe in the knowledge that while you are getting some much deserved rest your business is being run by an avatar version of you. 

I know, it sounds far-fetched but when you think about how quickly technology has developed over the past few years, it’s really not surprising that some talented tech wizards will be able to create a being that could take over business when humans cannot.

Your own personal avatar

Virgin Money’s futurology report revealed that by 2050 the UK’s small businesses will be run by personal avatars. The research hints that due to the advances with AI over the next three decades SMEs will be seen using virtual intelligent clones who can take over the workload while the owners can then focus on “priority tasks, enjoy downtime, and even sleep”. All this while a clone of them does it for them. It is a very strange concept to wrap your head around… I’m 23 years of age, I have been brought up surrounded by technology but even this is a strange concept for me to understand!

It would free up a lot of time for people though. Imagine being able to run your business exactly how you want to without lifting a finger. It would totally change how things operate and so much time would be available, forget about maternity leave.. If you have an AI that can take over then you could take all the time off you need but still technically be working. 

Decision making

The Virgin Money report which also includes predictions by David Coplin, who is a UK futurologist, has said that the avatars would be programmed by the owner of the SME and would be programmed by using their “business persona” and would be “fully independent and authorised to operate and make decisions on their behalf”. The future is really here now, it all sounds like a concept from a film. It is exciting to think about though!

Mr Coplin also said: ‘While most business owners would love to have a crystal ball to predict future opportunities and barriers, the reality is in the past 30 years our lives and businesses have undergone dramatic change that very few people foresaw.

“In the 1990s, businesses sent letters printed on dot-matrix printers or faxes to communicate, unable to predict we’d be having the daily virtual meetings we’re so used to today.

“The next three decades are likely to be similarly transformational, so SME leaders should focus on building their capacity to adapt their business in response.”

The metaverse

Alongside all of this you also have Facebook’s Metaverse which is in the simplest terms a form of digital interaction where a virtual experience can either simulate the real world or go further and beyond. A plan with the Metaverse is to be able to interact as if you are in the office with other humans. Using VR headsets to walk, talk and get work done. It’s like being able to go anywhere in the world from the comfort of your home.

Personally I think this is a slippery slope as, as a human race we don’t want to lose everything to its digital counterparts. But this could also really benefit some people, for example disabled people who struggle going into the office could really utilise this if they struggle with commuting. I imagine it will have its ups and downs like all things do!

What are your thoughts on avatar bosses and working from the Metaverse? Do you think it’s cool? Revolutionary? Smart? Or do you think it could go wrong and humans could get lazier and lazier until none of us leave our homes? It’s odd to dwell on but all we can do is watch and see what comes of it!

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