Virtual Reality is making it possible for us to create virtual versions of ourself. In his TEDxSydney talk technologist Jordan Nguyen explains how VR will allow us to create virtual versions of ourself and other people.
We are moving into a time period where the line between us and our technology is becoming increasingly blurred. In the 80s and 90s was saw the rise of VR. This coincided with the start of the internet. Because of the VR technology was overshadowed by the internet.
Nguyen goes onto to discuss some of the technological developments he has been involved with. He developed a smart wheelchair where you could control the wheel chair with you mind.
In 2012 virtual reality technology started to undergo a revival with the Oculus Rift. When Nguyen tried the Oculus Rift he was surprised at how much better than his memory of VR. In fact he remembers his first experience with VR as an actual memory.
One of his insights was that this technology could allow us to create a virtual copy of ourselves. What we need is volumetric recording of ourselves to create a type of virtual skeleton of ourselves. You need a basic artificial intelligence to learn about the person.
The system can then learn a lot about that person. It would capture a copy of the subject that would be realistic enough that we would be able talk to them. One application would be to create virtual copies of famous people like Elon Musk or Bill Gates that we would never normally be able to have a conversation with.
We could also bring back virtual copies of dead relatives. Nguyen uses the example of his dead grandfather and how he would want to speak with a virtual copy of him.
This does create interesting questions of morality. He asked his mother what she thought of bringing back a virtual copy of her father. For her the experience would be too painful because she would have to revisit the loss of her parent. It seems that the difference is that she has a prior relationship with that person.
Another possibility would be to we bring back virtual copies of ourselves. We could ask a younger version of ourselves about the dreams and ambitions that they had for us. He asks what we would think if a previous self asked us about the dream we once had.
In then puts on a demonstration of the technology that he and his team have been working on. He shows himself meeting a virtual version of himself. He leaves the stage by asking people to consider what sort of stories and values they would want a virtual version of themselves to share.