Rise of immersive technology makes public debate urgent


It is becoming a rise increasingly urgent as a society to think about new technology that immerses you in a digital world. The Rathenau Institute concludes that in the new podcast "Immersed in a New Reality.’’

Large tech companies are investing billions in so-called immersive technology. These rise include virtual reality (VR), where you step into a digital world through VR glasses. Or augmented reality (AR), where you put a digital layer over physical reality through glasses or your phone. According to companies, the technology would result in a so-called metaverse, the "new Internet," where you go not on, but ín.

For the podcast, researchers visited locations where this technology is already being worked on. They take the listener to schools, museums, and a mental health clinic. They also talk to philosophers, artists and psychologists about the opportunities and risks of this technology.

The podcast conversations show that immersive technology offers many new possibilities, for example in teaching or treating anxiety disorders. But certain ethical questions arise with almost all applications. Who has control over the data? How does technology affect your sense of humanity, and your dealings with others? And what about justice: does immersive technology provide the same opportunities for everyone?


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