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What Can Virtual Reality (Actually) Do?

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Can VR really put you in someone else’s shoes?

VR transports users into all kinds of different realities, some modeled on the real world, others completely invented. Though still in its infancy, the technology has become so sophisticated, it can trick the brain into treating the virtual experience as real and unmediated. So what is the most prudent way to employ this cutting edge technology going forward? Could VR help solve real world problems, like implicit bias or the climate crisis? And as the technology becomes more widely available, are there potential dangers we ought to be seriously thinking about? Josh and Ray strap on their headsets with Jeremy Bailenson, Director of the Virtual Human Interaction Lab at Stanford, and author of Experience on Demand: What Virtual Reality Is, How It Works, and What It Can Do. Sunday, December 12 at 11 am.

This is the second episode in a three-part series, The Human and the Machine.

Devon Strolovitch studied medieval Judeo-Portuguese manuscripts and earned a PhD in Linguistics from Cornell University before coming to KALW. He is the Senior Producer of Philosophy Talk, and since 2007 has hosted Fog City Blues, the weekly digest of Blues in the Bay Area and beyond.