I don’t know about you but I’m totally psyched about watching the new Tron Legacy movie coming out soon, I may even watch it on 3D. It’s pretty amazing that the original was created about twenty years ago with today’s concept of how far humans and computers can interact with each other in an online world. The question I ask myself, will we be able to create technology to actually transfer our minds to the online world to the point that we are self aware of our virtual surroundings as if it is the real world?
Already, we have the computer/human relationship of extending our behavior to the virtual world. We use platforms like Second Life to socialize and take online classes. We even communicate about our personal lives with strangers using Facebook and Twitter. In a class I took last semester, called Theories of Embodiment, I read two books as part of our research called The Phenomenological Mind by Shaun Gallagher and Dan Zahavi as well as Embodied Visions by Torben Grodal. They both have different perspectives of how we cognitively interact with the world around us, in this case computers and the Internet but they both similarly conclude that we have this innate ability to extend our emotions and socialization to visual simulations, particularly online avatars. We immerse ourselves within a virtual environment.
For example in Second Life, to express emotions we select different gestures within the program to allow our avatars to express those actions. Already, technology is being researched and developed where web cams can capture our facial movement which can be transferred on to more intrinsically designed and animated avatars.
With all this technology being developed, it could be that we may be close to interacting in a Tron world than before but I believe it will never replace actual human face to face interaction but as a supplement to our ongoing need to communicate and build relationships. I see great potential for online distance learning and for those who are physically disabled and unable to meet in person.
What’s your opinion on this?
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