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.
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.
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.