Identity in AR and VR

Identity in AR and VR

Jeremy Bailenson (Stanford University's Virtual Human Interaction Lab): My job at Stanford is to run experiments, understand how the mind works when people encounter agents and avatars and other scenes in Virtual Reality. To figure out how can social communication and virtual reality solve some pretty hard problems. We've studied the way people interact with other people represented by avatars and the neat thing about social VR, people are the content. You just let him talk.

David Oh (Head of Developer Relations at Meta): In this near future that we're building virtual characters and virtual avatar will be part of our everyday life. Avatars are going to even become a second identity for us. These ideas of identity and who we are as individuals it really just matters in here and throughout augmented reality will be able to change those realities for the better.

Philip Rosedale (Founder of Second Life / CO_Founder High Fidelity): The game here is for each of us to be unique to be interesting. People often say that our real-world identities are somehow more real than our chosen identities in virtual worlds but I actually think the opposite is true. In the same way that we project ourselves into our clothes or into our tools in the real world we also project ourselves into our avatars. They are very much are us.

Ron Millar (Chief Creative Officer at VR Chat): Custom avatars are hugely important for social VR. People like to identify people and like to be identified. People want to be what they want to be. [They] like to express themselves and I think virtual reality allows you to express yourself in ways we never had before and the more customizing you can do the better.

Rosedale: The Big thing that people want, I think, in VR is other people and creativity. More than anything people want to basically get past all this new hardware and get to the real thing that we all want to do which is to make and be together.

Oh: You'll be having these second characters that are populating your existing environment that can actually not only give you information but also they can be your friends and I think that's going to be really important for the future of how digital avatars are represented in augmented reality.

Bailenson: What VR offers is even if you can't solve this really really hard problem, which is artificial intelligence, you can create these scenes and scenarios and avatars and agents that actually inspire emotional responses. So you can't solve AI but you can create scenes and interactions that make the brain feel real.

Millar: We discovered through a community that there's not a style. If you were to join VR Chat and you happen in anime or you happen to be into robots are you happen to be into cartoon characters, why should really restrict you from being that in the meta-verse?

Oh: This new future we're being able to augment who we are as individuals. Where we can really enhance ourselves with these technological superpowers.

?: Translation of identity into VR is amazing. No one's ever understood it. We still don't understand. It's still unfolding as a story.

Rosedale: One of the things I'm fascinated about with Morph is that here we've got a team products diving right in the middle of this biggest question which is how are we going to use these VR interfaces and these VR devices to actually make our own identity. I think it's one of the most important discovery problems that we face in building VR as an ecosystem.

Millar: That's where we're headed because not everyone's an artist and I think there's got to be different ways that allow you to take a character, edit how you want, some things on the fly, in the actual system itself.

Oh: I really do believe that augmented reality can get us closer to who we are as individuals and who we are and what it means to have identity.

Rosedale: You know, I jump out of bed every morning to keep working on building something that I think in the end will be, in some strange amazing way is kind of bigger than anything we as humans have ever done.

Bailenson: If we can make an avatar feel like this, we've completely changed the landscape of how we think about work, living, and play.