Immersive Tech (VR/AR) Research

Research Overview

Virtual and Augmented Reality (VR/AR) devices are rapidly becoming part of our everyday lives. This emerging Immersive Technology lets users experience wholly virtual environments (like distant places, times, or even fantasy worlds) in VR, or virtual objects in the real world (Pokemon in your garden, a virtual temperature gauge on your GBBO cake) in AR. This project will explore what this technology means for our concept of what is real, what it means for the trust we put in perception, and how this technology might disrupt our preferences and decision-making processes. I will also ask: does the AR/VR revolution offer us something philosophically novel, or is it just a new way to engage with known issues?

I have significant industry experience in this area, as well as pertinent philosophical expertise, and Fiona Macpherson and I have attracted funding in support of the Philosophy of Augmented and Virtual reality project, hosted at the Centre for the Study of Perceptual Experience (CSPE) in Glasgow. In 2017 we established the VRAR Lab within the CSPE, conducted knowledge exchange and philosophical workshops with academics and industry partners, developed a range of funding proposals, and conducted a Virtual Reality Teaching competition to generate VR application ideas for use in higher education.

In September 2017, I took up the post of Lord Kelvin Adam Smith fellow in Virtual and Augmented Reality at the University of Glasgow. We will be seeking collaborators in academia and in industry in our ongoing Immersive Technology project. To get in touch, please email vrar-lab AT glasgow.ac.uk.

Presentations:

(* for peer review)

"Virtual Fictionalism and the puzzle of virtual theft" with Nathan Wildman

*2019 Politics, The Law, and Ontology, Manchester.

2019 Glasgow Humanities Public Lecture series.

*2018 Salzburg workshop on Fiction and the Law.

"Virtual Reality: Digital or Fictional" with Nathan Wildman

*2018 ESA, Maribor.

"Virtual Reality in Teaching"

*2018 LTDS Conference, Glasgow

"Virtual Causation"

2017 Philosophy of Virtual and Augmented Reality Workshop, Glasgow

"Virtual and Augmented Reality in Science"

*2017 Visualisation in Science Conference, Glasgow

Forthcoming:

"Immersive Technology and Medical Visualisation"

Accepted for publication in Rea, P. (Ed.) (2019) Biomedical Visualisation, Volume 3. Series: Advances in experimental medicine and biology. Springer Nature.


“Virtual Reality: Digital or Fictional”

with Nathan Wildman

(Disputatio)

Virtual realists say that virtual objects (e.g. my virtual longbow) really exist, and virtual events (e.g. my shooting a grey cartoon raider with an arrow) really take place. Meanwhile, virtual irrealists hold that virtual objects do not really exist, and that virtual events do not really occur – these are mere fictions. Recently, Chalmers (V&R) has developed a particular version of realism, virtual digitalism. Here, we aim to do two things. First, we will critique Chalmers’ virtual digitalism – and, as our objections readily generalize to cover alternative versions, realism in general. Second, building off our critique, we go on to develop a broadly Waltonian version of virtual irrealism, virtual walt-fictionalism.

2018

"Welcome to the Machine" (with J.A. Carter) for The Philosopher's Magazine.

Work in progress:

“Virtual Fictionalism and the puzzle of virtual theft”

with Nathan Wildman