Baidu's Head of Metaverse Operations is leaving as the company increases its focus on AI

Short version:

  • Baidu’s Metaverse boss has left the company.
  • Ma Jie’s name has disappeared from the Chinese internet giant’s internal computer database.
  • This comes after Baidu shifted its focus to generative AI in the wake of the ChatGPT craze.

Baidu’s Metaverse boss Ma Jie has allegedly According to a source close to the Chinese internet giant, he has left the company. The South China Morning Post reported on Friday that the source told them Ma’s name could not be found in the company’s internal computer database after a search.

This report follows Baidu’s decision to shift focus to generative AI, the technology that’s been gaining popularity among tech giants lately. Generative AI enables companies to create automated conversational bots that can generate content based on user requests.

Ma, who joined Baidu in 2015, was also quoted by Chinese media The Paper as saying on Friday that he had “already left Baidu.” But the internet giant could neither confirm nor deny the reports.

According to another source that first reported the personnel change, Baidu has been sidelined the metaverse Companies focus on AI. Generative AI has become the shiny new toy for tech giants and seems to be replacing the metaverse.

Facebook, which was renamed Meta in October 2021, has been accused of going in the same direction. However, co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has denied these claims, confirming to his company’s burgeoning Metaverse community that Meta is fully committed to the course.

But Baidu and Meta aren’t the only big-name tech giants retiring from the Metaverse. In February 2023, TencentBaidu’s local rival disbanded its 100-strong extended reality (XR) team just months after its inception. The step was interpreted as a step backwards from the Metaverse race. The company attributed its decision to a drop in earnings following 2022 results.

According to sources in China who spoke to local media, Baidu appears to be sidetracking its Metaverse businesses for the same reasons.

In the USA Microsoft has laid off its industrial metaverse staff and instead focused on products that are likely to generate short-term returns.

In our recent article on the Metaverse, we asked industry experts what it is The future holds for the metaverse amidst recent developments. Obviously, compared to a few months ago, the big tech giant suddenly seems unconvinced about the future of 3D virtual space.

What we’ve learned is that while the consensus view is that the metaverse is here to stay, it may not be the right time for big tech companies to have to show shareholders their progress every three months.

Ma knew that the journey would be long before the metaverse could gain a foothold in the technology realm. Commenting on the Metaverse around the time Facebook was rebranded as Meta, Ma said, “The Metaverse is still in a very early stage of development.” He added that the online community needs patience to build the industry together and to improve.

According to today’s reports, Baidu’s XiRang metaverse “Land of Hope” appears to have lasted only 18 months. Tencent’s XR division and Microsoft’s industrial Metaverse unit each passed four months.

But native Metaverse and Web3 companies like The Sandbox, Windfall, Somnium Space and Decentraland remain on course despite the ongoing bear market.


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