Jaron Lanier: Dawn of the New Everything
Legendary computer scientist, visionary and artist Jaron Lanier tells the extraordinary story of how in just over three decades Virtual Reality went from being a dream to a reality – and how it will transform us and our world. He argues that VR is far more interesting than any single technology, however spectacular. It is, in fact, the most effective device ever invented for researching what a human being actually is – and how we think and feel.
More than 30 years ago, Lanier pioneered its invention. In his latest book he blends scientific investigation, philosophical thought-experiment and a memoir of a life lived at the epicentre of digital innovation to explain what VR really is: the science of comprehensive illusion; the extension of the intimate magic of earliest childhood into adulthood; a shared, waking-state, intentional, communicative, collaborative dream; a hint of what life would be like without any limits. As Lanier shows, we are standing on the threshold of an entirely new realm of human creativity, expression, communication and experience. While we can use VR to test our relationship with reality, it will test us in return, for how we choose to use it will reveal who we truly are.
Jaron Lanier is a philosopher and computer scientist who has spent his career pushing the transformative power of modern technology to its limits. From coining the term 'Virtual Reality' and creating the world's first immersive avatars to developing cutting-edge medical imaging and surgical techniques, Lanier is one of the premier designers and engineers at work today, and his latest book is Dawn of the New Everything: A Journey Through Virtual Reality.
Presented in partnership with Bristol Festival of Ideas.