Never really thought I’d talk about VR like this but it’s actually quite intriguing and concerning. So a Mother on a Korean VR talk show recently reunited with her deceased daughter in VR and I don’t know how to feel about it.
Now, I don’t want to come off as insensitive to the mother of course, who knows how that interaction with that VR replicate of her daughter made her feel. It could have helped her move on and deal with the grief, or it could have further added to the trauma. The only way to ever find out is to ask her personally. However, aside from that, now we gotta talk about the psychological and ethical merits that comes from such an act. For a while, we’ve only ever looked at VR as a form of entertainment, just something that lets us immerse ourselves in gaming and otherwise.
I never thought VR would be used in such manner or maybe I didn’t want to see that way, to recreate someone who had past away and allow family/friends to talk and interact with them. I personally don’t think this is right from an ethical standpoint, it feels like we’re about to venture into a dystopian future where people will no longer be able to come to terms with the lose of loved ones and end up developing unhealthy means of coping with it.
Topics like these have always been explored in media, from AstroBoy to A.I. Artificial Intelligence, all of which never ending well. All life comes to and end, and whether is abruptly or natural, we as humans need to come to terms with it one way or another in order to heal and move on.
Technology is getting to a point now where we need to start asking not can we, but should we as we move forward. And you know there will be someone who’ll try and make money of the suffering of others. That Korean show for example likely reap the benefit of that grieving mother and it’s not right by any standard. We know how the world works, if there’s a demand, they’ll surely be someone trying to deliver. In the end, it is not my place to say, if this new form of VR helps people come to terms with their lose, then that’s all I got to say in this subject.
Let me know who you think about this? Would you be OK with something like this as a service?