Virtual reality pioneer Jaron Lanier warns about the potential abuse of virtual reality by corporations.
I first heard about Jaron Lanier back in the early late 80s when Cyberspace was a hot topic amongst geeks. Lanier co-founded VPL Research, the first company to make virtual reality headsets and gloves. The scientist, artist, activist and author was there at the beginning of the concepts, philosophy and technology of virtual reality aka Cyberspace. Now, 30 years later, the VR pioneer is concerned about the prospect of virtual reality making its mass market entry.
Buy Now: Sony PlaysStation VR In Stock Here
In an interview with The Seattle Times, Lanier warns about the dangers of virtual reality. "This, more than the (artificial intelligence) stuff, is where we’re going to face the greatest ethical challenge in coming years,” he said.
The amount and kind of data virtual reality systems will be able to collect about consumers will be at the core of ethical challenges. Virtual reality worlds allow companies to influence the behavior of consumers.
Lanier is also raising the issue that VR is controlled by a few large corporations already from the start with Facebook, Google and Microsoft.
"We have to get the power relatively moving in an ethical direction, or we’re in trouble," Lanier said.
With the hype around virtual reality, consumers need to be aware of what companies are doing behind the scenes. Social Media companies are recording our interests and connections today. Virtual reality has the power to not just record our conscious and unconscious reactions, but also manipulate our behavior.
Don't Miss: iPhone 8: Everything You Need to Know
We need a private virtual reality mode soon.