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Virtual Reality as a Tool to
Fascilitate Empath
Lynda Joy Gerry
29th of June 2016
What do we mean by empathy? 2
Empathy as Mindreading 3
Mutual Wave Machine with Suzanne Dikker (left) and Marina Abramovich (right)
The Emergence of Empathy
 One View: Empathy is tied to
self-emergence, thus
infants/children do not develop
empathy or in...
Early Infant Interpersonal Interactivity 5
Infant Sensitivity to Interpersonal
Timing (Trevarthin and Murray, 1985)
6
Empathic Computing (Billinghurst,
2016)
1. Recognition – systems that can
recognize your feelings and emotions
(sensors)
...
1. Recognition
 Started by Roz Picard at MIT Media Lab
 Systems that recognize emotion through:
Facial Expression
Galv...
Empathy as Recognition 9
Empathy as Understanding
“Virtual reality offers a whole new
medium to tell stories that really
connect people and create ...
Project Syria (de la Peña, 2015) 11
Clouds Over Sidra (Chris Milk) 12
13
New Eyes for Students (Makropol)
 Project designed to teach the UN Development Initiatives
to Danish grade school childre...
The Potential: What Happens When
People Take Off the VR Headset
15
Empathy as Sharing
Can we develop experiences that
allow us to share what we are
seeing, hearing, and feeling with
someon...
The Amphibian SCUBA Diving
Simulator (Dhruv Jain, MIT Media Lab)
17
Goal: Help people
understand the liberating
effects of...
Virtual Embodiment,
Bodily Illusions, and
Avatar Effects
18
Childhood (Siggraph 2015)
 Kenji Suzuki, Univesity of Tsukuba
 What does it feel like to be a child?
 VR display + move...
20Virtual Embodiment
Banakou, Groten, Slater, 2013
Examples of Avatar Effects
 Embodying a body of a different race reduces implicit racial biases
(Groom, Bailenson, and Na...
The Machine to Be
Another: Body Sharing
Illusions
22
First Person 23
THE MACHINE TO BE ANOTHER:
An Empathy Machine?
24
“Empathy is created the moment we try to put ourselves in
another person...
Machine to Be Another: Live Stream
Perspective Sharing + Swapping
25
Machine to Be Another: Perspective
Sharing
26
What this Looks like to Performer and
User in The Machine
27
Machine to Be Another: Perspective Sharing
+ Seeing Oneself from Other’s POV
28
What this Looks Like in the Machine 29
Machine to Be Another: Full Body
Swap
30
What Happens When People Take off
the Headset?
31
The Effect: After Wearing the Headset
 “Now when we look into another person's eyes,
what we see is another person lookin...
The Machine to Be Another
(MIT Media Lab)
33
Painter Project and
Cognitive Perspective
Sharing
34
Painter Project: Stereo Footage with
Binaural Audio
35
Ex Nihilo: Exploring the Stimulation of Creativity and
Empathy through Embodied Experiences in Virtual
Reality
36
Gallagher et al. (2015)
Neurophenomenology of Awe and
Wonder
37
Video of Experimental Task 38
39
40
41
42
Introducing Ex Nihilo
In The Republic, Plato asks, "Will we
say, of a painter, that he makes
something?" and answers, "Ce...
“Imitated” Paintings by Subjects 44
Subject Quote
“It almost feels like collectively
discovering something that was in her
head all along. The experience all...
Empathy as Understanding
the World as Perceived or
Experienced By or For
Someone Else
46
Notes on Blindness
47
48
Achromatopsia & Color-Sound
Synesthesia
49
Seeing Through Touch:
The World of Visually
Impaired Children
50
51
52
53
54
Simulating Color-Sound Synaesthesia
 “Not many people go for a walk in the
supermarket for fun, but I do. I have an elect...
Autumn (Tusmørke) 56
Autism: Too Much Information 57
Discussion Question
What is the value of having these
types of experiences that allow us to
understand the world as filte...
Does This Promote
Helping Behavior?
59
Seeing the World as Someone Who is
Colorblind (Promoting Helping Behavior)
60
Ahn et al., 2015
Be My Eyes
61
62
VR TO REDUCE
COGNITIVE BIASES
63
Somatosensory Resonance
Definition: We understand other’s
physical and mental states by
remapping other’s body states ont...
Visual Remapping of Touch
 Through the visual remapping of
touch, synchronous touch stimuli
applied to one’s own face and...
Visual Remapping of Touch 66
Fini et al., 2013
Reducing Implicit Racial Bias:
The Enfacement Illusion
67
Ahn et al., 2015
The Next Challenge
“We’re starting to move out of the ‘wow’
phase of this new technology and into
‘what does this mean fo...
Final Discussion Question
How can virtual reality
help us understand one
another?
69
Thanks for your Attention!
lynda@whatisexperience.com
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Copenx workshop: Virtual Reality as a Tool to Facilitate Empathy

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Workshop on 16th September, 2016 at CopenX Virtual Reality Conference.

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Copenx workshop: Virtual Reality as a Tool to Facilitate Empathy

  1. 1. Virtual Reality as a Tool to Fascilitate Empath Lynda Joy Gerry 29th of June 2016
  2. 2. What do we mean by empathy? 2
  3. 3. Empathy as Mindreading 3 Mutual Wave Machine with Suzanne Dikker (left) and Marina Abramovich (right)
  4. 4. The Emergence of Empathy  One View: Empathy is tied to self-emergence, thus infants/children do not develop empathy or interpersonal understanding until after they reach the “mirror stage” of self-recognition 4
  5. 5. Early Infant Interpersonal Interactivity 5
  6. 6. Infant Sensitivity to Interpersonal Timing (Trevarthin and Murray, 1985) 6
  7. 7. Empathic Computing (Billinghurst, 2016) 1. Recognition – systems that can recognize your feelings and emotions (sensors) 2. Understanding – systems that help you better understand the experience of others (VR) 3. Sharing – systems that help you better share the experience of others (AR) 7
  8. 8. 1. Recognition  Started by Roz Picard at MIT Media Lab  Systems that recognize emotion through: Facial Expression Galvanic Skin Response (GSR) Physiological responses 8
  9. 9. Empathy as Recognition 9
  10. 10. Empathy as Understanding “Virtual reality offers a whole new medium to tell stories that really connect people and create an empathic connection.” - Nonny de la Peña http://www.emblematicgroup.com 10
  11. 11. Project Syria (de la Peña, 2015) 11
  12. 12. Clouds Over Sidra (Chris Milk) 12
  13. 13. 13
  14. 14. New Eyes for Students (Makropol)  Project designed to teach the UN Development Initiatives to Danish grade school children, especially cultural diversity, global sustainability issues, and perspective taking  Transports student to Africa, where a little girl guides audience on a tour through her world and talks about her life  Unique design that allows for a “you” relation where audience feels present and like the little girl is talking to them. 14
  15. 15. The Potential: What Happens When People Take Off the VR Headset 15
  16. 16. Empathy as Sharing Can we develop experiences that allow us to share what we are seeing, hearing, and feeling with someone else? 16
  17. 17. The Amphibian SCUBA Diving Simulator (Dhruv Jain, MIT Media Lab) 17 Goal: Help people understand the liberating effects of disabilities, which Jain (who is deaf) likens to the experience of being underwater.
  18. 18. Virtual Embodiment, Bodily Illusions, and Avatar Effects 18
  19. 19. Childhood (Siggraph 2015)  Kenji Suzuki, Univesity of Tsukuba  What does it feel like to be a child?  VR display + moved cameras + hand restrictors 19
  20. 20. 20Virtual Embodiment Banakou, Groten, Slater, 2013
  21. 21. Examples of Avatar Effects  Embodying a body of a different race reduces implicit racial biases (Groom, Bailenson, and Nass, 2009)  Embodying a tall avatar increases self-confidence in negotiation tasks (Yee and Bailenson, 2007)  Embodying an attractive avatar increases self-disclosure (Yee and Bailenson, 2007)  Embodying a stressful posture in a virtual body can increase stress even though physical body is not in that posture/position (Bergström, Kilteni, and Slater, 2013)  Embodying a child avatar body causes subjects causes an overestimation in object sizes 21
  22. 22. The Machine to Be Another: Body Sharing Illusions 22
  23. 23. First Person 23
  24. 24. THE MACHINE TO BE ANOTHER: An Empathy Machine? 24 “Empathy is created the moment we try to put ourselves in another person’s shoes.” – Aspen Baker, TED Radio Hour “The machine to be another is designed to stimulate empathy through embodied interaction between individuals.” (Bertrand et al., 2014) To what extent can we experience and understand what it is like to be someone else?
  25. 25. Machine to Be Another: Live Stream Perspective Sharing + Swapping 25
  26. 26. Machine to Be Another: Perspective Sharing 26
  27. 27. What this Looks like to Performer and User in The Machine 27
  28. 28. Machine to Be Another: Perspective Sharing + Seeing Oneself from Other’s POV 28
  29. 29. What this Looks Like in the Machine 29
  30. 30. Machine to Be Another: Full Body Swap 30
  31. 31. What Happens When People Take off the Headset? 31
  32. 32. The Effect: After Wearing the Headset  “Now when we look into another person's eyes, what we see is another person looking back at us. Now we see another being who is just like us, another entity trapped inside the illusion of all these packages of individual differences -- body, personality, etc. – Carl Rogers 32
  33. 33. The Machine to Be Another (MIT Media Lab) 33
  34. 34. Painter Project and Cognitive Perspective Sharing 34
  35. 35. Painter Project: Stereo Footage with Binaural Audio 35
  36. 36. Ex Nihilo: Exploring the Stimulation of Creativity and Empathy through Embodied Experiences in Virtual Reality 36
  37. 37. Gallagher et al. (2015) Neurophenomenology of Awe and Wonder 37
  38. 38. Video of Experimental Task 38
  39. 39. 39
  40. 40. 40
  41. 41. 41
  42. 42. 42
  43. 43. Introducing Ex Nihilo In The Republic, Plato asks, "Will we say, of a painter, that he makes something?" and answers, "Certainly not, he merely imitates." 43
  44. 44. “Imitated” Paintings by Subjects 44
  45. 45. Subject Quote “It almost feels like collectively discovering something that was in her head all along. The experience allowed this completely different way of connecting to someone that doesn’t rely on facial expressions or anything.” 45
  46. 46. Empathy as Understanding the World as Perceived or Experienced By or For Someone Else 46
  47. 47. Notes on Blindness 47
  48. 48. 48
  49. 49. Achromatopsia & Color-Sound Synesthesia 49
  50. 50. Seeing Through Touch: The World of Visually Impaired Children 50
  51. 51. 51
  52. 52. 52
  53. 53. 53
  54. 54. 54
  55. 55. Simulating Color-Sound Synaesthesia  “Not many people go for a walk in the supermarket for fun, but I do. I have an electronic eye that converts light into sound to enable me to “hear” colour – so the cleaning product aisle is very exciting. The rows of rainbow-coloured bottles sound like a symphony to me.”  -Neil Harbisson 55
  56. 56. Autumn (Tusmørke) 56
  57. 57. Autism: Too Much Information 57
  58. 58. Discussion Question What is the value of having these types of experiences that allow us to understand the world as filtered through the perception of another? 58
  59. 59. Does This Promote Helping Behavior? 59
  60. 60. Seeing the World as Someone Who is Colorblind (Promoting Helping Behavior) 60 Ahn et al., 2015
  61. 61. Be My Eyes 61
  62. 62. 62
  63. 63. VR TO REDUCE COGNITIVE BIASES 63
  64. 64. Somatosensory Resonance Definition: We understand other’s physical and mental states by remapping other’s body states onto our own sensorimotor system 64
  65. 65. Visual Remapping of Touch  Through the visual remapping of touch, synchronous touch stimuli applied to one’s own face and the face of an outgroup member results in a decrease in implicit biases. 65
  66. 66. Visual Remapping of Touch 66 Fini et al., 2013
  67. 67. Reducing Implicit Racial Bias: The Enfacement Illusion 67 Ahn et al., 2015
  68. 68. The Next Challenge “We’re starting to move out of the ‘wow’ phase of this new technology and into ‘what does this mean for humanity?’” – Chris Milk 68
  69. 69. Final Discussion Question How can virtual reality help us understand one another? 69
  70. 70. Thanks for your Attention! lynda@whatisexperience.com

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