Virtual Insanity? Why even after 3,000+ years of ethical debate, philosophy might not be ready in time for our Virtual Future.

Charles Radclyffe
This is the first time in human history when philosophy has been useful. More than useful though, it’s an essential skill and activity if we’re going to achieve the potential benefits of breakthrough technologies such as VR/AR without screwing up society in the process. So, who’s job is it to get VR ethics right? Who will be our guide? How can we be sure to develop applications and solutions that benefit the world without falling into a moral chasm? In this talk, digital ethicist Charles Radclyffe will explain why VR/AR can’t simply be treated in the same way as other technologies have before - and what lessons can be learned from the past so we can build the future (virtual and real) that we want to have.

I am a Digital Ethicist, writing about Emerging Technology and Ethics
I study how people and organisations can best design emerging technology to shape the futures they want to create. A childhood spent asking ‘why’ led me eventually to study Law, where I became most interested by legal philosophy – the general principles that drive the rules that govern the societies we live in. I’ve spent most of my career working in technology – either as an entrepreneur selling technology to Banks, or working for Banks buying from start-ups. Working in Financial Services has taught me a great deal about mission-critical technology design, life as an entrepreneur has focussed me on just getting the job done. Holding the balance between these lines of tension is where I work now. I see a bright future for us if we can get this balance right, technology can help us get there – but not without lots of critical thinking. That’s why my writing is aimed at asking questions, exploring difficulties, and provoking debate.

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