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Tuesday, March 22, 2016

We're Already Violating Virtual Reality's First Code of Ethics

By Daniel Oberhaus
Originally published March 6, 2016

Here is an excerpt:

Indeed, it was in light of this potential for lasting psychological impact during and after a virtual reality experience that Madary and Metzinger drafted a list of six main recommendations for the ethical future of commercial and research virtual reality applications. Broadly summarized, their recommendations are:

1) In keeping with the American Psychological Association’s principle of non-maleficence, experiments using virtual reality should ensure that they do not cause lasting or serious harm to the subject.

2) Subjects participating in experiments using virtual reality should be informed about the lasting and serious behavioral effects resulting from virtual reality experiences, and that the extent of this behavioral influence might not be known.

3) Researchers and media outlets should avoid over-hyping the benefits of virtual reality, especially when virtual reality is being discussed as a medical treatment.

4) Awareness of the problem of dual use, or using a technology for something other than its original intention, in the context of virtual reality. The author’s particularly are wary of military applications for virtual reality (which are already being put to a lot of use), whether this means its use as a novel torture device or a means of decreasing a soldier’s empathy for the enemy.

The article is here.