Stepping Into the Metaverse — with Dr. Courtney Cogburn and Prof. Jeremy Bailenson
The next frontier of the internet is the metaverse. That's why Mark Zuckerberg changed the name of his company from Facebook to Meta, and just sold $10 billion in corporate bonds to raise money for metaverse-related projects.
How might we learn from our experience with social media, and anticipate the harms of the metaverse before they arise? What would it look like to design a humane metaverse — that respects our attention, improves our well-being, and strengthens our democracy?
This week on Your Undivided Attention, we talk with two pioneers who are thinking critically about the development of the metaverse. Professor Jeremy Bailenson is the Founding director of Stanford’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab, where he studies how virtual experiences lead to changes in perceptions of self and others. Dr. Courtney Cogburn is an Associate Professor at Columbia's School of Social Work, where she examines associations between racism and stress-related disease. Jeremy and Courtney collaborated on 1000 Cut Journey, a virtual reality experience about systemic racism.
- In the episode, Courtney says that the average US adult consumes 9 hours of media per day, but the actual number in 2022 is closer to 13 hours.
- Finally, Aza mentions the "pockets of 4.6 billion people" — implying that there are 4.6 billion smartphone users. The global number of social media users is 4.7 billion, and the number of smartphone users is actually 6.6 billion.
Experience on Demand: What Virtual Reality Is, How It Works, and What It Can Do
Jeremy Bailenson's 2018 book exploring how virtual reality can be harnessed to improve our everyday lives
Experiencing Racism in VR
Courtney Cogburn's 2017 TEDx talk about how using virtual reality to help people experience the complexities of racism
Do Artifacts Have Politics?
Technology philosopher Langdon Winner’s seminal 1980 article, in which he writes, "by far the greatest latitude of choice exists the very first time a particular instrument, system, or technique is introduced."
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Bonus - What Is Humane Technology?
Your Undivided Attention is produced by the Center for Humane Technology. Follow us on Twitter: @HumaneTech_