What Are the Implications of Conversational VR?

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Last week I found myself on the other side of the camera, being
interviewed for a piece that allowed people to ask questions
and hear answers in VR. While most of the project is still
under wraps, it provided an interesting glimpse into a future
of interactivity in the medium — one that has amazing immersion
and education possibilities, but is also rife with ethical
implications.

In my case, the answers I gave will be presented as I stated
them. For this use case, the interviewer is in a more immersive
and intimate environment, but it’s clear that my conversation
was pre-recorded and I’m not speaking in real time.

Viewing some of the other interviews that were produced, I did
find it more absorbing than watching a flat interview. And even
though I was not coming up with the questions on my own, I felt
a greater sense of agency. There’s always going to be a human
element in all of this as well — I found myself annoyed with
some of the simpler subjects, but I had the fortune of being
able to take off the headset and end the “conversation” without
offending anyone; a big improvement over real life, as anyone
who has been cornered by an idiot at a party knows.

But more than the current state of play, this experience and
the accompanying technology offered a fascinating glimpse into
what could come next. Only a few days before I sat before a
green…

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