Stick em’ up! Bank robbery drills in the Metaverse
The Bank of America is mixing a virtual reality metaverse and artificial intelligence to train new employees on everything from handling angry customers to bank robberies.
Bloomberg reported July 13 that the bank’s 2,000 new hires undergo a week-long training regime that includes slipping on a VR headset to practice responding to a variety of simulated situations.
The VR modules include mundane situations like helping an upset customer or quizzing one which asks for a large swath of cash, and extreme ones, like a full-blown bank robbery.
The newcomers can also just chill out in VR by riding a unicorn or sitting on an island.
AI is also deployed in the training, the new hires practice conversing with a bot acting as a customer and are helped through the conversation by yet another AI bot.
Currently, over 200,000 global BoA staff have been privy to the virtual training. The bank’s call centers also have an AI coaching bot to assist in drilling conversations with clients. Managers can also handball further staff training to the bots.
The innovation and design executive of the BoA’s Academy, Mike Wynn, told Bloomberg that the training is advantageous as these scenarios are “hard to teach traditionally.”
“VR creates anxiety, it gets your heart rate up. It makes you nervous,” he added.
Use of its metaverse is also being mulled for use at job fairs in a bid to entice a younger audience for an enthralling career in banking by having them virtually live out the hum-drum of a bank associate.
Donald Trump’s NFT business opts to hold funds on-chain
Former United States president Donald Trump’s nonfungible token (NFT) licensing business is seemingly choosing to hold its funds on Ethereum, with recently updated disclosures showing next-to-nothing in its bank account.
The update disclosures filed by Trump with the Office of Government Ethics made public on July 13 provided more details on his finances and business dealings — a legal requirement as he again makes a bid for the presidency.
CIC Digital, the firm that gains the revenue from licensing fees for the NFT collections that use Trump’s likeness, has a U.S. bank account with a balance of less than $1,000.
Meanwhile, the company’s Ethereum wallet holds anywhere between $250,000 and $500,000.
In a previous April disclosure, Trump said he earned anywhere between $500,000 to $1 million from his NFT licensing deals.
Trump’s renewed bid for president legally requires him to file a “Personal Financial Disclosure” which can be broad in nature, but it’s unclear why he updated his financial disclosures to be more specific.
Two rounds of NFT collections have been released bearing Trump’s image the last of which, released in April, sold out on their first day.
Siemens $560K campus to be built in the metaverse first
German tech conglomerate Siemens has committed to building a $560,000 (500 million euros) new tech campus in near Nuremberg, Germany, but will appear first digitally in the metaverse.
On July 13 Siemens said it’s spending $1.1 billion (1 billion euros) investment to make a “blueprint for the industrial metaverse” in the country. Half that amount is going to the campus with the goal of making it a hub for what it calls the industrial metaverse — a digital recreation of locations used for troubleshooting and analytics.
The campus will be built just north of Nuremberg and before construction begins the buildings will be planned out and simulated in the metaverse, then copied into the real world, according to Siemens.
Today was a big day for @Siemens and for my hometown. We are investing €1 billion in Germany, with €500 million to lay the foundation for the industrial metaverse in Erlangen. Siemens is creating a new technology campus to intensify research and development and expand our… pic.twitter.com/ZEUeXmoAou
— Roland Busch (@BuschRo) July 13, 2023
The digital replica will allow for the layout to be optimized and adjusted before any ground is broken. The campus will sit alongside its existing factory that makes electronic components.
The funding is part of the firm’s $2.2 billion (2 billion euro) investment plan announced last month which aims to build the company new education centres and regional hubs.
Puma sneaker NFTs let you listen to tracks, while on track
Sports shoe company Puma, NFT company Legitimate and rapper Jay-Z’s entertainment agency Roc Nation have teamed up for a sneaker collection integrated with NFTs.
The collection dubbed “The Evolution of the Mixtape” collection was released July 14 and features three sneaker models called “Disc,” “Cassette Tape” and “Playlist.”
You’re going to want to put on your headphones for this.
14 unique tracks, accessible by scanning the LGT… pic.twitter.com/kkmxeSkFCw
— Legitimate – Phygital Products (@LegitimateTech) July 12, 2023
The tongue of the left shoe features an NFC chip that can be tapped with a phone to grant access to an exclusive portal featuring unreleased music from Roc Nation artists, video content and a documentary.
Such “phygital” streetwear has proven popular, in June French luxury brand Dior shipped a new line of sneakers with one pair that came with a “digital twin” — an NFT.
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NFT firm Dapper Labs had its third round of layoffs in nine months on July 13 with 51 full-time staff and contractors let go, which was around 12% of the company’s staff. In November last year and February 2023 it reduced headcount by 22% and 20% respectively.
An NFT collector shared how they secured a $35,000 decentralized finance (DeFi) loan by putting up a Patek Phillipe luxury watch as collateral which was then made into an NFT granting ownership of the watch to secure the transaction.