Tuesday 12pm, 14 May 2019

Can we undo the creepiness of the digital world before Mixed Reality makes everything even more intense?

Jaron Lanier

Computer Scientist, Composer, Artist, and Author -


The only way to fix the digital world is to reengineer the incentives that motivate players. The current incentives reward hoarding the attention of others and manipulating them. What do better incentives look like?


Jaron Lanier is a computer scientist, composer, artist, and author. A pioneer in virtual reality (a term he coined), Lanier founded VPL Research, the first company to sell VR products, and led teams creating initial VR applications for medicine, design, and numerous other fields. He is currently the “octopus” (which stands for Office of the Chief Technology Officer Prime Unifying Scientist) at Microsoft. He was a founder or principal of startups that were acquired by Google, Adobe, Oracle, and Pfizer, and is a former Chief Scientist of Internet2. In 2018, Lanier was named one of the 25 most influential people in the previous 25 years of tech history by Wired Magazine. He’s also been named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time Magazine, top one hundred public intellectuals in the world by Foreign Policy magazine, and one of the top 50 World Thinkers by Prospect magazine. In 2009 Jaron Lanier received a Lifetime Career Award from the IEEE, the preeminent international engineering society. Lanier’s books have been international bestsellers and declared “best of the year” or at least in the top ten multiple times, in venues like the NY Times. He won the 2014 Peace Prize of the German Book Trade, one of the highest literary honors in the world.