Behind the scenes, AI is the engine (“the algorithm”) that recommends and pushes content to you (Netflix shows, TikTok and YouTube videos, music, etc.). This is the kind of AI that will perform single specific tasks well, but it’s still quite limited.
AI, however, is also empowering creators with new tools that haven’t existed before. Photo and video editing apps let you easily adjust scenes to alter or remove elements. Audio tools automatically align music to go complement a video, adjusting length and matching key moments. These are time savers, to be sure, but I'm certain digital creators will find ways to use such capabilities to transform content in ways we haven't foreseen. These features also lower the barrier to entry for making videos, music, etc., enabling more people to create. We'll see more more and more AI-enabled art next year, it just won't be obvious.
VR and the Metaverse. This is tricky, because these are really two different things (although Facebook, I mean Meta, would have you believe otherwise). If we’re talking about an alternate reality that is indistinguishable from our physical reality, we still have a long way to go. But if the Metaverse is an alternate space where people go to express themselves, interact, and transact, we’re already there. In gaming environments, such as Roblox, Minecraft, and other massive online worlds, gamers have created alternate representations of themselves and spend much of their time interacting through their "avatars". Arguably, even some messaging and social media platforms are primitive "Metaverses".
But if we’re talking about goggles you put on your face to transport you to another reality, I don’t believe this will become mainstream for some time, if ever. Hard-core gamers may disagree (and there are some truly compelling and immersive games created for VR headsets). For most people, neither the technology (it’s still heavy and uncomfortable) nor the motivation (content) are there yet. And for most artists and performers, I don’t see a compelling use… yet. One may eventually emerge, but I’d hold for a few years, at least.