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Microsoft Closes Industrial Metaverse Project Airsim to Focus on AI, Lays Off Team Members.

Microsoft informed a few members of its internal team earlier this week that it was ending development on the Airsim project. As part of its industrial metaverse vision, this project was getting ready to employ AI-based drone simulation software. According to a February 2023 blog post from Microsoft, the idea of the industrial metaverse is to transform how humans and robots work together. With a Web3 twist, the technology might eventually assist business participants in proactively and effectively solving challenges.

The software behemoth’s effort aimed to combine AI and the metaverse. According to a Business Insider article, Microsoft told the project team that they were being laid off after deciding to discontinue the program. However, it’s still unknown how many individuals were let go in total.

A Microsoft spokesperson affirmed their commitment to Azure as the driving force behind the industrial metaverse and ongoing investments in diverse AI initiatives within the company. They expressed pride in the positive outcomes this incubation has generated for their customers.

Microsoft has also stopped supporting the Bonsai project, which used AI to create autonomous systems for industrial usage, in addition to Airsim. Together, Airsim and Bonsai comprised Microsoft’s industrial metaverse project. Although Airsim was launched in 2017, Bonsai was a stand-alone platform that Microsoft purchased in 2018.

At first, Microsoft viewed these initiatives as a way to support industrial app developers by pushing Microsoft Azure cloud services to take on Amazon Web Services. Microsoft Chief Technology Officer Kevin Scott, who is also in charge of the company’s collaboration with OpenAI, was in charge of the programmers.

According to reports, Scott made the decision to temporarily switch his focus from the industrial metaverse to AI when Microsoft and OpenAI began to get along better. However, this is not the first time Microsoft has halted projects aimed at the creation of an industrial metaverse.

Microsoft terminated another program of that kind back in February, laying off a group of one hundred employees. At the time, the business had stated that it preferred short-term initiatives that could bring in more money more quickly.


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