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  • Print publication year: 2019
  • Online publication date: October 2019

4 - Ethics of Immersive Technologies

from Part I - Technology


When the US Army established the Institute for Creative Technologies (ICT) at the University of Southern California in 1999, the vision was to push the boundaries of immersive technologies for the purpose of enhancing training and education; not only for the military but also for the rest of society. Over the past two decades great progress has been made on the technologies that support this vision. Breakthroughs in graphics, computer vision, artificial intelligence (AI), affective computing, and mixed reality have already transformed how we interact with one another, with digital media, and with the world. Yet this is in many ways only a starting point, since the application of these technologies is just beginning to be realized. The potential for making a positive impact on individuals and society is great, but there is also the possibility of misuse. This chapter describes some of the capabilities underlying the emerging field of immersive digital media; provides a couple of examples of how they can be used in a positive way; and then discusses the inherent dangers from an ethical standpoint.