Hide table of contents

(Written quickly to get a thought out there; I'm by no means an expert!)

I'm curious about what will – or could –occur at the intersection of EA and virtual reality. 

I know quite little about how the progress in VR is progressing, but I'd guess that some form of dramatic advancements in the next 5 years is likely. (My guess is based on VR investments from companies like Facebook and Apple as well as some impressive state of the art demonstrations I saw on Twitter).

Such advancements could change a lot about how people consume media and interact with one another.

So, how could VR advancements be leveraged to improve the world? 

I'll share two ideas off the top of my head below, but I'm sure I'm missing some!

  • Meet up spaces as a better alternative to EAGx Virtual, or for smaller interest group gatherings
  • Inspiring visualizations (e.g., documentaries, video games, art) that motivate ideas like scope insensitivity, existential security, and an expanding moral circle (or EA itself).[1] Examples:
    • the experience of someone in extreme poverty for a day; the experience of a factory farmed animal; portrayals of different possible futures; portrayals of times past that give some sense of how far we've come.
  1. ^

    Anecdotally, I think this could be really powerful. The first time I tried on an Oculus headset I explored the International Space Station I had a powerful 'oh my god, that pale blue dot' experience as I looked down at earth. (Although I think I'm particularly susceptible to this sort of 'emotional altruism.')




New Answer
New Comment

1 Answers sorted by

Depends on what level and type of advancement we're talking about. I think interactiveness opens far more doors in VR than say improved graphics. Something that immediately came to mind was the ability to perform simulations of surgery without the high stakes. If you could tailor the experience to specific patients, you could get an opportunity to discover unexpected complications that might arise with that specific procedure. 

With higher levels of immersion, your example of exploring the space station would be really interesting. I'm not sure of the benefit to humanity, but things like walking on the moon in VR would be mindblowing. As you imply, it might also give us some valuable perspective that carries over to real life, expands our horizons, and makes us less petty.

More from michel
Curated and popular this week
Relevant opportunities