Entering the uncanny valley: Technophilosophy September Soirée explores the impacts of VR
How is virtual reality changing the way we live? Does living in a virtual landscape create new ethical and moral problems? At the first annual Technophilosophy September Soirée, SRI Research Lead Karina Vold convened an interdisciplinary panel of University of Toronto scholars to discuss the impacts of new technologies on the way we understand our world.
Avery Slater, an assistant professor of English at UofT and a research lead at the Schwartz Reisman Institute whose work explores relations between language and computational technologies, reminded the audience that before there was VR, there was literature. The space of literary imagination, Slater observed, invites readers to experience an alternative reality, and has even launched ideas regarded as “original” to VR. “Literature is the O.G.,” Slater contended. Rather than ask what literature brings to VR, we should pose the question in the other direction.