What Can Virtual Reality (Actually) Do?

Sunday, December 12, 2021

What Is It

VR transports users into all kinds of different realities, some modeled on the real world, others completely invented. Though still in its infancy, the technology has become so sophisticated, it can trick the brain into treating the virtual experience as real and unmediated. So what is the most prudent way to employ this cutting edge technology going forward? Could VR help solve real world problems, like implicit bias or the climate crisis? And as the technology becomes more widely available, are there potential dangers we ought to be seriously thinking about? Josh and Ray strap on their headsets with Jeremy Bailenson, Director of the Virtual Human Interaction Lab at Stanford, and author of Experience on Demand: What Virtual Reality Is, How It Works, and What It Can Do.

Part of our series The Human and the Machine.

Comments (1)


Harold G. Neuman's picture

Harold G. Neuman

Friday, October 8, 2021 -- 6:01 AM

I would submit that virtual

I would submit that virtual reality may help us dream. Do we need help? I do not know. How things really are has been largely exploited. Actuality is pretty secure. Where did the notion of three dimensional printing originate? Someone must have dreamed that up,yes? Or was it hiding-in-plain-sight, behind a mathematical principle or schema? Not everyone is smitten by VR. That is not an issue. Robots are socially sterile but applications are expanding rapidly. Sorry, Virginia, but there are new things under the sun. We just have not seen them. Yet.

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