Politics, Foreign Policy, Current Events and Occasional Outbursts Lacking Couth

Today as I was waiting for the bus I thought it'd be awesome if I had an augmented reality computer built into my sunglasses so I could tell me where the bus was exactly by pointing out with a giant arrow in the sky the geographic location of the bus. My mind started wandering around the ideas of augmented reality and virtual reality.

One idea I thought about was virtual environments and memory. Let us think of a thought experiment involving a virtual reality machine that is indistinguisable from reality. Human memory in the virtual world would work the same as human memory in the virtual reality (except perhaps if you had a person who kept on reminding themselves that it was all a simulation and thus would effect his or hers own beliefs). In what ways could this virtual reality (VR) be exploited?

One way I thought of was in the realm of lying and deception. It is often said that a good liar believes their own lie, but a problem is that the lie is still, in essence, a lie.

But ... what if the lie wasn't a lie? What if the liar created a situation in the VR environment where he convinced himself the lie was true? For instance, a liar is late for an important meeting because he was just plain lazy but doesn't want to give that excuse because he has been caught out before, and this time may be fired. He quickly slips into the VR environment to come up with an honourable excuse like say ... performing CPR on an elderley person. He dashes into the meeting and states he is late because he just saved a life. The liar is convinced of this. In the liars internal world he really saved a life and others are somewhat convinced by his verbal excuse that he really did do what he said he did. I could see such VR simulations as ways to exploit increasingly advanced lie detector tests.

A problem with the scenario is that it is just the solitary liar and his VR world. His lies can still be found out by searching for evidence to his claims in the real world (or the data in the VR world depending upon the network, hardware or software used). There are some possible solutions to this problem. What if the liar created an experience where other real world people experienced the same memories from the same VR simulation that was indistinguisable from the real world, but those witnesses didn't know they were in a short-term simulation? Similar to a virtual honeypot the liar, who in this thought experiment is also a computer hacker, lures these individuals into the seams of transition between reality and virtual reality, by hacking into their augmented realities and seamlessly adding his own data to their experience, so the real world others become unwitting followers of his consensus reality.


deichmans said...

The abyss of solipsism beckons.... :-)

The Red Son said...

DARPA is working on such a visual display that calculates bullet trajectories on the fly and points an arrow to where the gunmen/gunwomen are firing. Sounds like something I could use.

subadei said...

Interesting bit of theory, Munz. Reminds me a bit of Tad Williams Otherworld series.

Anonymous said...

yes, the rabbit hole is headed that deep.

why the real question is when will "the mass" realize that they really are going to be just the batteries....

a whimper.. not a bang.