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Totally Immersive Virtual Reality: Will it Happen?

Virtual reality FIVR sensory manipulation transhumanism

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#1
Alislaws

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People on this forum have mentioned that they do not believe, (as I do) that a hundred years from now most humans will live mostly virtual existences. I will outline what i think, and i'd appreciate it if you'd let me know why you think this won't/can't happen.

 

First, assumption:

 

1. IF TIVR is possible, we will end up adopting it in massive numbers and the vast majority of people will end up living most of their lives inside it. 

 

To me this seems obvious, someone in virtual reality has an effectively infinitely high standard of living, literally every citizen of a country can have their own thousand acre Caribbean island estate complete with mansion, Olympic swimming pool, and portal to any other server someone has created. Given that a hundred years from now a lot of physical jobs will be done by AI people will be employed (if they are employed at all) in doing things that could be done as well, or better in TIVR. 

 

I know a lot of people today would be hung up on the fact that it's not real, but someone growing up with VR technology would be much more likely to not care.

 

Second, assumption:

2. TIVR is actually possible.

 

My thoughts are:

There are a number of nerves leading to and from the human brain. Mostly they go via the spinal cord With a few going through the skull. e.g. the optic nerve, I think there's like 13 main ones through the skull, and the rest through the spine, obv. they do contain loads of individual nerve cells. You place implants (ideally using nanotech pills or something, not actual surgery) on these nerve cells, they would need to do the following:

 

A) Monitor their activity

B) Interrupt signals from either direction at will

C) Send signals either direction at will

 

This would satisfy the hardware requirements of TIVR.

 

By monitoring a human with these implants for an extended period you could figure out which nerves fire when different things happen, like what pattern of signals come from the optic nerve when you see photo A, what pattern comes from photo B etc. Even if you couldn't map it correctly, the brain can actually adjust to new inputs, so you could just accept that its going to take a few years for people to be able to walk again after getting their TIVR implant.

 

If you simulate signals to the sensory neurons you can create a world that is completely artificial, but indistinguishable from reality to the player.

 

If you monitor the signals coming from the brain to the body and feed them into your computer, this will provide instructions to the player's avatar allowing the player to control it as they control their body.

 

Finally you interrupt signals from the brain to the body, and replace them with artificial signals which mimic (for example) what the brain sends when it is sleeping, so you prevent the player's VR actions from influencing their physical body.

 

You may also need a whole set of injectors in order to simulate things like an adrenaline rush etc. I'm afraid i'm not sure how much of our brain chemistry is affected by our neural activity and how much is purely physical.

 

For example, if i get stabbed in the leg, my brain/body will react by releasing endorphins to allow me to function through the pain. Is this triggered by the pain signal hitting the brain, causing it to in turn trigger the release of endorphins, or does the response bypass the brain entirely?

 

If the first, then the chemical changes could be triggered by simulated events leading to total realism.

If the second then you may need to have a machine that injects the correct chemicals into the bloodstream in response to events in the simulation which would be harder to get right, but not impossible i think.

 

I'm really interested to see why people may think this can't/won't happen. 

 

(Also please make it clear if your arguing with point 1 or 2 or both.)

 

I'm not touching on mind uploading and similar technologies as i'm looking at what could happen in the fairly near future (i.e. my lifetime, i'm 30) or at least in the fairly near future assuming no worldwide collapses in tech level, and obvs if the singularity really kicks off, all bets are off.


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#2
As We Rise

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If everyone/most people disregarded the real life for virtual reality, it would be a total collapse of society, because people need to feed the people inside of the VR and monitor their mental/physical status. No one would be producing crops, no one would be regulating hospitals, crime rates would skyrocket as criminals would take advantage of people being immersed in VR systems, and no one would be repairing buildings.

 

It's better to limit the amount of time spent in VR.


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#3
cerealkiller

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I don't see why anyone would substitute real life and real experiences for fake one's; at least not forever. What are you are proposing might be feasible for holiday experiences in the future, but that's about as far as I think it will go.
I'd much rather lead my life with my wife and kids and then jump in and out of VR when I feel like it as a form of escapism. Who's to say you can't live two lives? Your normal, real existence and then another as a millionaire, celebrity, world leader etc?
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#4
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#5
Jakob

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I don't see why anyone would substitute real life and real experiences for fake one's; at least not forever. What are you are proposing might be feasible for holiday experiences in the future, but that's about as far as I think it will go.
I'd much rather lead my life with my wife and kids and then jump in and out of VR when I feel like it as a form of escapism. Who's to say you can't live two lives? Your normal, real existence and then another as a millionaire, celebrity, world leader etc?

Yeah, I've always doubted that mainstream society will ever abandon reality. Perhaps some fringe Dreamer subcultures might. I suppose they would either have to be rich enough to arrange for somebody to provide for them or else do some form of work in the vrspace.


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#6
FrogCAT

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Whichever way the situation goes, I don't personally plan on spending much time in FIVR, at least in 'real' time. One thing I have thought about quite a bit, is that, if you had a cybernetically enhanced brain, you could live whole lifetimes in FIVR, while only a few hours, or even just a few minutes would have passed in real time. That is an option that I don't think many people have considered. Though I will still spend most of my time in the 'real' world.

 

 

 

 

If everyone/most people disregarded the real life for virtual reality, it would be a total collapse of society, because people need to feed the people inside of the VR and monitor their mental/physical status. No one would be producing crops, no one would be regulating hospitals, crime rates would skyrocket as criminals would take advantage of people being immersed in VR systems, and no one would be repairing buildings.

 

It's better to limit the amount of time spent in VR.

If things keep going the way they are going, people won't be needed for society to run as robots will be doing all the heavy lifting while humans will be more free than ever to pursue more creative and scientific endeavors.


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#7
Alice Tepes

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If everyone/most people disregarded the real life for virtual reality, it would be a total collapse of society, because people need to feed the people inside of the VR and monitor their mental/physical status. No one would be producing crops, no one would be regulating hospitals, crime rates would skyrocket as criminals would take advantage of people being immersed in VR systems, and no one would be repairing buildings.

 

It's better to limit the amount of time spent in VR.

 

 

I don't see why anyone would substitute real life and real experiences for fake one's; at least not forever. What are you are proposing might be feasible for holiday experiences in the future, but that's about as far as I think it will go.
I'd much rather lead my life with my wife and kids and then jump in and out of VR when I feel like it as a form of escapism. Who's to say you can't live two lives? Your normal, real existence and then another as a millionaire, celebrity, world leader etc?

in responding to the first quote, i suspect that by the time we have fully implemented a truly lifelike level of virtual reality we will also have artificial intelligence, to the point where humans will have little actual work to do and most likely (If we are not all dead) we will have moved on from relying on capitalism to regulate ourselves. on the second quote, that is a cultural belief and that most philosophers would probably say something along the lines of "who is to say which reality is more important" but aside from that, we already have people who die because they forget to eat while playing video games. so why is it unreasonable to think with something as fantastic and engaging as virtual reality would you want to deal with something as boring and stressful as reality?


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#8
Yuli Ban

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If everyone/most people disregarded the real life for virtual reality, it would be a total collapse of society, because people need to feed the people inside of the VR and monitor their mental/physical status. No one would be producing crops, no one would be regulating hospitals, crime rates would skyrocket as criminals would take advantage of people being immersed in VR systems, and no one would be repairing buildings.

 

It's better to limit the amount of time spent in VR.

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#9
Raklian

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Virtual reality is part of reality since we're basically engaging with it while existing in reality... it's funny how people try their damned hardest to differentiate or draw a line between the two of them. I suppose they do that to compartmentalize virtual reality as something alien, unnatural from the way things were normally done. But isn't that being disingenuous since they should know what has been considered the "norm" has always been changing?

 

Virtual reality and reality, they both one and the same.


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#10
Erowind

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Virtual reality is part of reality since we're basically engaging with it while existing in reality... it's funny how people try their damned hardest to differentiate or draw a line between the two of them. I suppose they do that to compartmentalize virtual reality as something alien, unnatural from the way things were normally done. But isn't that being disingenuous since they should know what has been considered the "norm" has always been changing?

 

Virtual reality and reality, they both one and the same.

I just wrote a paper about this (in a sense) for one of my uni classes actually. To simplify things, the digital world is made of bits and the physical of atoms, however, they both contain the same inhabitants and influence each other so much that their is no "real" differentiation. Yes, factually this argument should never have to be made Rak. Yet, humans tend to define their environs based on perception, and due to this if a person wants to claim that the digital world is a seperate reality because of their perception, the argument made by them is very valid. That is, unless, you bring in other points that regard to how the worlds interact with one other.


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#11
Recyvuym

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First, yes full-immersion VR definitely will happen unless there's a nuclear war in the next twenty years or something.

 

Second, I'm really looking forward to it.

 

Third, predictably, I believe the cons are going to outweigh the pros at first. To begin with, this technology will be in the control of extremely powerful and ruthless corporations who have nobody to answer to. Not only will they use it to monitor everything you say and do in virtual space, they are also bound to do all manner of messed up things with it in the name of scientific research on the human mind. It's like the Matrix. If you're jacked into this world and you're not in control of it, they can do anything to you. Anything. Think how useful it will be. Got a prisoner of war who won't talk? Plug him into VR for a few weeks and make him relive the time a drone shelled his friend over and over again on repeat until he cracks.

 

Like all digital age technology we already have, we're going to end up abusing the shit out of it and it will reshape our minds in turn, and it will probably be extremely addictive to boot.

 

However, I am optimistic in the long run. Hopefully, after centralised control is swept from this Earth by economic collapse, war, famine, pandemics and climate change, we will hold onto this technology and put it to better use. I think it would be very interesting indeed if the survivors of the collapse still retain the ability to communicate with each other at great distances, and create any imaginary world they want out of digital strata. I eventually foresee that the Internet will be 100% virtual reality. Not an abstract place but an alternate kind of location to physical space, which you can travel through as though you were on some kind of hippy astral projection journey through simulated worlds. It will probably make the nightmarish reality of climate change and ecological breakdown a lot more pleasant to deal with.


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#12
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I like to believe it'll happen, but I'm irrational and desperate. I think if VR develops into this thing where everyone can live in a digital world where they can be and do anything, a lot of people would be into it, maybe even addicted to it. I do think though that no one should have to be in it if they don't to. I honestly don't give a shit what anyone does, they can live in it forever and never come out, I don't care. That's what I'd wanna do probably.

 

I hope it happens before 2045. Like, long before 2045. Waiting 20-30 something years to end personal suffering is too much for me.

 

Of course someone's gonna make fun of me for this again.



#13
Alislaws

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I like to believe it'll happen, but I'm irrational and desperate. I think if VR develops into this thing where everyone can live in a digital world where they can be and do anything, a lot of people would be into it, maybe even addicted to it. I do think though that no one should have to be in it if they don't to. I honestly don't give a shit what anyone does, they can live in it forever and never come out, I don't care. That's what I'd wanna do probably.

 

I hope it happens before 2045. Like, long before 2045. Waiting 20-30 something years to end personal suffering is too much for me.

 

Of course someone's gonna make fun of me for this again.

I certainly have a lot mentally invested in the idea that this is coming. If someone proved to me now it would never happen i'd be wrecked. This and Anti aging tech are my religion in a way, except intellectually i'm aware and agree that they're both going to be really hard and may not happen. (emotionally, i'm totally banking on them happening though)

 

Addiction is basically when you''re so into something it causes you serious problems in life. Assuming people are using VR safely (i.e. they don't forget to eat for a week or something), i don't think there's such a thing as a harmful amount of TIVR time. 

 

Its understandable to really want this, this is the thing that will solve racism, sexism, homophobia and all the other prejudices! You can establish racist servers for each group, then all the racists can hang out in those, and no one else needs to talk to them, and they never need to see a foreign looking face again as long as they live. Everyone Wins!

 

You can have LGBQT-etc. friendly servers where people can inhabit avatars with nothing in common with the biological form they were born to, and do anything they want in whichever bathrooms they choose (to anyone who doesn't log out).

 

On the other hand you can have servers where everyone is expected to play avatars that look like their real world bodies, and abide by 1950s gender roles with no "abnormal" behavior permitted, and everyone has sex with the lights off and when they do, they don't enjoy it because its vulgar. Anyone even looking to long at the wrong bathroom can be perma-banned!

 

I certainly hope that when it comes people are sensible about the legal framework around it. The beauty of a Massive Multiplayer TIVR system would be that, provided everyone can log out at any time, anything goes. You can have no restrictions on what people get up to in there (except for people who are under age!) if you don't like it, you log out. 

 

I think a lot of people have a failure of imagination around this technology, if its totally realistic, why is it different to spend the day in a park in with your family in VR or the real world? The people are the same, the park is the same, if someone knocked you out, then woke you up in the park, you would have no way of knowing if you were in the VR park or a real park, unless one of your family members spilled the beans.

 

The only real downside is the whole "someone else can control your whole perception of reality, and once you logged in for the first time, you can never again be 100% sure if you're in the real world or not" thing, which is admittedly totally terrifying.

 

But of course, you can't be 100% sure you're in the real world now so i think i'd cope.  :biggrin:


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#14
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(@Alislaws  I can't quote your post because the computer I'm on right now won't let me do that for some reason)

 

I wonder how this would work if it was real, 'cause for now we can only imagine what it would look like, play like, how it would work, how you'd get into it, etc.

 

Also sorry for my post being so angry. I've been fed up with something personal and kind of painful that I've been beating myself up over and VR (if it worked in the science fiction way I imagine) would easily fix it. I'm just irritated that something I want that's so simple can't happen in real life and can only happen because of VR or transhumanism.







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Virtual reality, FIVR, sensory manipulation, transhumanism

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