I've often thought about this but say matrix level VR worlds were available indistinguishable from the real thing were developed with perfect sensory feedbacks. First there would be a real world sim with things just a little better or living a perfect moment from your own memory. After a time more strange ones would emerge; live in the Lord of the Rings universe for a decade, or Star Wars Universe. The tech will also mature for you to develop your own worlds and this is where I think things get strange. Let's say you develop them either consciously or subconsciously (with the latter being more powerful) you would spend a lot of time in these worlds and with them indulging your every whim how would that affect your mental landscape? Our world has social rules which define the person you are and make certain things taboo and others not but if those restrictions were withdrawn what would happen to your personality? A world populated not by your social friends but by people of your own making who react to you just perfectly, wouldn't returning to real people in the virtual world be a shock? Suddenly you cannot predict their behaviour and certain people start behaving like assholes which doesn't happen in the virtual world you created so you retreat there. I feel you could potentially become a child again, someone who is indulged in everything becomes a bit of an unlikeable person, spending all your time in a virtual world where everyone thinks you're great and no one treats you badly wouldn't that unequip you with the tools you needed to get along in the normal social world, almost like a form of self induced brain washing. Same goes for other traits like say you began murdering people in there one day, isn't a pyschotic break inevitable at that level of realism? Not to mention the problem of spending far too much time in VR landscapes which are not healthy for you and it becoming the equivalent of an addictive drug you wont want to break. I see people with atrophied minds from playing too much COD o the XBOX imagine a real world environment where anything is possible? The ultimate designer escape fantasy? Is that a good thing? I really think in these virtual worlds laws would have to be put in place either that or systems would need to monitor your mental landscape for signs of irregularities. I think when you're free to indulge in anything you could quickly become an asshole...or a monster. It would be a form of censorship I suppose but considering the alternatives I think there's only so much the human mind should be exposed to and the basis of keeping us in check is rules. It would also need to monitor time frames spent in these places should is start to adversely effect you but then there is the concept of VR withdrawal. Will it become the new heroine? I'm also skipping over loads of things like cybernetic cognative enhancements which may make a person above all this or intelligent enough to find it either childish or recognise the dangers but it's still an interesting thought I think.
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The Psychological effects of VRThe Psychological effects of
Posted 14 September 2018 - 03:41 AM
Posted 14 September 2018 - 04:15 PM
I think this would definitely be a danger. I think with most people they would get bored without any sort of challenge, and that would lead them to playing multiplayer or creating things which they'd then share, and so they'd have plenty of human interaction and the natural social pressures and feedbacks from that.
Anyone who is not employed using their hands (and by the time we get to matrix level VR robots will be better) can live and work in VR while still being a productive citizen. So someone spending all their time in it isn't necessarily a bad thing on its own (assuming you have some capsule or something that keeps your body healthy like the matrix)
If some people are actually happy living in a single player vr sim being a complete asshole to their imaginary friends and they obey the laws IRL then at least its not hurting anyone else.
Of course people who have gone crazy from too much freedom in vr would probably not be happy, (or content to obey the law IRL) so if it was something that happened a lot we'd have to move towards shared simulations with rules and limits to keep people from going nuts.
Which, if you think about it sounds a bit like the matrix, where the machines gave people paradise, and people rejected it so they put them in a simulation of the real world.
Posted 15 September 2018 - 02:07 AM
I want VR indistinguishable from reality, so I can escape my life.
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Posted 15 September 2018 - 03:15 AM
I don't like escape. In fact, my whole philosophy has to do with purging distraction and escape from life to achieve one's great influence on the world, with an understanding of god's nature. I think people should build themselves instead of escape themselves.
HOWEVER, I understand how bad superficiality affects society. Genetically, I'm not ugly, but others are and it's unendingly unfair to misjudge a beautiful mind with circumstance. So, in that way, I'm fine with it. I think its deserved to judge another for their mind and not their face. However, I like my face, so I don't know what to think about it.
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Posted 04 October 2018 - 04:07 PM
This topic really, really got me thinking - even more so than the other topics on this forum. I want to thank you for such a well fleshed out consideration of current human behavior and society held against a technology that may have both extremely positive and negative impact on humanity. From the moment someone is born, the culture they are born into begins shaping their lines of thoughts, acceptable behaviors, and other such things. Everything possibly biologically is natural; there is nothing "unnatural" as I am a biological vessel and if biology permits I do something, then that things is natural. There is a spectrum of behaviors that would be considered unacceptable in our society today that may be accessible in VR, whether that world be one of your own creations or whether you have joined a server with rules, be them similar or different to society's rules. How would people's moral compasses change if they could do anything they want? And why would they go back to the real world if this one is identical but much better? The only people who would go back to their friends are the ones who had friends prior to their being exposed to VR. Those who are born into such a society with VR may just be hooked up immediately. Additionally, this world would be the first step in completely digitalizing humanity. Why have a real body that needs resources when you simply have the same body but completely digitally? Also, why not just create exact digital copies of your friends in your world so you'd never have to leave? I believe that at this point we would have understood the human genome fully. If humans can be digitalized as a unique mechanism of information flow then why not generate infinite digital humans within each of their own worlds as opposed to biologically create humans. If we have access to the full genome digitally, we can create every combinations of traits in humans as possible. If digital humans wanted to experience the "real" world (which is probably a simulation anyway), they would hook up to ports with robots attached and could have superhuman abilities akin to a fraction of the things possible in digital worlds.
Escape is a serious hinderance to human progress today. And I think escapism behaviors are only going to get deeper, more immersive, and more complex. It is difficult for people to manage themselves in context of the real world and the hazards with VR must be seriously considered before using them.
Again, thank you for this topic, it has spurred thoughts in my mind.
"Utopia is the hope that the scattered fragments of good that we come across from time to time in our lives can be put together, one day, to reveal the shape of a new kind of life. The kind of life that yours should have been." - Bostrom
Posted 04 October 2018 - 05:09 PM
I think the closest we will come to mass simulating humans would be an actor AI which pretends to be all of the characters in a VR server/World there's no point in creating individual sapients to entertain someone, it would cost way more computing power than the appearance of sapience, and open up a host of moral issues.
If we get to a point where humans are digitised for immortality reasons, those humans might want to have a child, who could be created digitally, so I could see that happening eventually, but the idea of creating millions of sapient beings just to toy with and torment is evil and most importantly uncecessary.
(Wow when considered from this angle, God's actions do not look good!)
An actor AI could provide realistic people, but if you shot one of them in the face the actor AI just pulls of it's best death scene, and then focuses on acting the roles of all the other people. No one has died, no one has experienced any pain or suffering, morally speaking its pretty safe.
Of course if you went to turn off the actor AI you're into moral minefield territory, because that AI would be designed to pretend to be human (and therefore would (at worst) be able to do a very good impression of being sapient).
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