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The Digital Identity Revolution | John Luxford | TEDxWpg

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Virtual Reality and Identity clash when you identify more with your avatar than with your actual self. John Luxford is a self-taught software developer, musician, and entrepreneur who is passionate about technology as a means of social change. After moving to Winnipeg from Ontario in 1999, he worked in the Winnipeg Free Press’ web department, where he wrote an online auction app that ran on every major newspaper in Canada before being bought out. Unfortunately the buyout happened when John was on vacation, and he came back to find himself out of a job. Instead of finding another 9-5, John started Simian Systems, an open source software company that he ran from 2001-2011, working with clients such as Princeton and Disney. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at https://www.ted.com/tedx
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Text Comments (112)
Jorge C. (2 months ago)
Wouldn't it be better if we change the way society judge people? I know it's difficult, but I think it is the real solution. That way anybody could express themselves as they truly are in real life. The thing with artificial reality is that it isn't fixing the problem.
LilyofTheWoods (3 months ago)
sidosophy (4 months ago)
Oh how sad. Everything other then the actual vr technology you spoke of was a coming together of all the socialolgical and psychological issues as you described them into one neat package. The ability to cyberize a avatar of a preferred self or exist in a completely pixelated presence widens the issue of identity (not identity issues) as being the source of most of humanities hang ups. True self is at risk of becoming orphaned by itself in favour of all it will never be What a tragedy you propose for consciousness . And existence
John Wijnberg (4 months ago)
Damn good talk...took a while to get going but once started the passion kept me tuned in to the end ....agree these are interesting times...
Shari Flam (4 months ago)
Self love? What happened to that? The journey. The reconnection?
Kyrtin Atreides (4 months ago)
Genetic engineering actually makes a lot more aesthetics possible than anyone is fighting the FDA to bring to market, like blue and green hair through gene editing as already demonstrated in mice, which can be given to adults with greater ease, sustainability, and lower cost than a bottle of hair dye. Virtual Reality is a good test ground, but becoming who you want to be at the genetic level is already possible, a few tyrants just need to be dethroned to bring that choice to everyone.
FrozenBloodWolf (4 months ago)
Interesting could see a lot of health and safety issues in a world like that, not to mention the various new moral conundrums that would arise.
John Luxford (4 months ago)
Totally agree. As someone who grew up playing outside and didn't have the internet until I was 16, it feels like each generation of tech introduces challenges socially, morally, health-wise, etc. The generation that adopts it first become guinea pigs, which isn't great. That's partly why I argue for deliberate and careful use of technology, because it impacts society without permission, but it's how we end up using it over time that determines whether it's a good or bad thing.
George Porteous (4 months ago)
I'm I the only one that when playing video games with adaptable characters goes out of their way to make it look just like me?
John Luxford (4 months ago)
That's usually my first move too.
Esteban Villanova (4 months ago)
This is plain pathologycal. This man needs therapy, not virtual reality.
Cisco (4 months ago)
Why do you say that?
Evan Johannson (4 months ago)
And suicide rates will continue to increase exponentially..
Yazan Sakran (4 months ago)
This is dope
Calvin Smith (4 months ago)
This is what happens when beta male cucks take over..
Jack Longhearse (4 months ago)
Nice 2002 graphics bro.
John Luxford (4 months ago)
Thanks! VR rendering is about 7x more intensive than a AAA video game, so we're kind of in the GameCube or maybe PS2 era of VR graphics right now.
MW Shaikh (4 months ago)
Wanna see the future that he is talking about? Watch the movie "Ready player one 2018". This is what the satanic elite will lead humans into. Save yourself and your family from this matrix type of a virtual world. Contact me for more info if it worries you too. Peace
TheMasked Artist (4 months ago)
They said I could be anything I want. I can finally be a magical bubble blowing rainbow dragon! :D
Netanel Charlap (4 months ago)
I mean.. Do I really want to grow up and have kids in this FREAKING CRAZY WORLD?!?
Alec Fowler (4 months ago)
This guy seems so thrilled even though everything he says is worrying.
Snowball Effect (4 months ago)
Second Life, Second Chances. I THINK DOGS SHOULD VOTE!
Waooo, amazing perspective!
John Luxford (4 months ago)
Roxy Castillo (4 months ago)
I think this is more of the same... Everyone make his life what he wants to, or have to. There are people that take the path of a healthy life, people on alcoholic situation, with drug problems, of just eating whatever they want... There are also people who doesn't care about cell phones, or technology, or fashion things... This is dangerous, because some people are going to live for their avatars, through them, forgetting about their self and staying in that "digital word"... but is o.k. Because is what people choice, and when someone choose to jump from a building to end with his life, you can't blame the higher of the building about the reason of the death. This technology is going to be amazing, but also have a very dark side.
Nekoback (4 months ago)
I thought it was shaggy
Nick Hurley (4 months ago)
The whole "you're not gonna understand your kids, and your parents didnt understand you THING"...is OVER! Everyone is online and plugged in. Stop saying that.
RileysFilms (4 months ago)
+Nick Hurley I think that's a pretty naïve way of thinking. Not everything said and done on the internet is open to the public, and not all people are going to be interested enough to take part in the same communities. Think about it this way. I can't talk to my grandma about football, not because she doesn't have access to it, but because she is not interested in it. The internet only allows us to develop our own interests. If you have genuine interest in keeping up with youth culture, you're at least on some level going to have to seek it out.
Nick Hurley (4 months ago)
Lesley, your too old, you wouldn't understand.
Lesley Klassen (4 months ago)
Note true. The digital divide is actually bigger today. You won't understand your kids. It's generational. It's not about how smart you are, it's because the cultural references are tied to the technology. :)
Quang Le (4 months ago)
NO, this is too scary
Anya Mae (4 months ago)
Quang Le and not really needed...
Bailey Dillion (4 months ago)
Well that's all good for fun and games. But why are we being FORCED to change? Why is the government experimenting on the human race? Without our consent? Period without our wanting to be experimented on? Funny games for you not for all of us!
Rogue (4 months ago)
Is this a TEDX about VRChat, In VRChat?
John Luxford (4 months ago)
It's actually in an app called Flipside, kinda similar. Free on Oculus and SteamVR (shameless plug :)
Rick Chop (4 months ago)
ready player one used a lot from Anime, Sword Artonline and the digital avatar world of Summer wars
Alpha Strength (4 months ago)
This could be awkward sometimes, it happened to me
BjörkTheBest (4 months ago)
Dude, you're ALSO your body. Accept that and take good care of it.
Yazan Sakran (4 months ago)
You're right. All about balance. Feed the mind, feed the soul, but don't neglect the body.
John Luxford (4 months ago)
I agree 100%. This is just another costume or outfit we can put on, but one that's going to become pervasive like it or not so my point is just about using it for its positives. I'm pretty happy in my own skin, but I also kinda see myself more cartoony than mirrors can render very well :)
T. Rautenbach (4 months ago)
Yo guy who did this, I know youre here to read some comments. Reply if you see this one
John Luxford (4 months ago)
What's up?
Twist in fortune (4 months ago)
My question is when does our online selves become us
Anya Mae (4 months ago)
Twist in fortune never
Fello Foe (4 months ago)
Amazing Presentation, and I agree with what he had to say.
John Luxford (4 months ago)
Thank you!
Spoderman4 (4 months ago)
I expected interesting lecture about VR technology, instead I received leftist speech about 'how easy is to stop trying to accept yourself' and just buy the damn vr gogles to lie to yourself about how cool and unique you are without any effort. how progressive. how empowering. how marxist of you, John.
Evan Johannson (4 months ago)
Agreed, this constant shift of perspective away from what is real and valuable tends to feed the nihilistic and suicidal pathology that so much of modern life already fosters.
Anya Mae (4 months ago)
Spoderman4 my thoughts exactly...
Domantas Grybauskas (4 months ago)
{Delete this} (4 months ago)
Domantas Grybauskas Lmao, are you like 45 years old or more? Cuz you’re acting like it.
Erik S (4 months ago)
I spent 7 years in second life... I don't know that I'd call it a good thing for the whole world to become more like it. Visually interesting? Sure, sometimes. But more often than not, it will probably be everyone looking like duck faced Barbies and no-way-am-I-straight Kens. Furries will be happy though
Yazan Sakran (4 months ago)
Reid Garwin (4 months ago)
We arent allowed to show our identities they way we would like to physically. Physically real Businesses still reject having employees based on how they look. We are coming to a point where virtual reality and physical reality are integrating, its time to accept change and just let people be who they are from inside, out because it honestly doesnt matter. Censorship is bull
Resonance (4 months ago)
My avatar is a Ferret (with a Buttplug tail) ;->
Debra Smith (4 months ago)
As a mother and as an educated woman, I am not sure that what you are describing should be a limiting problem. It must be a little bit joyful to be what you imagine yourself to be without the restraints created by the judgement like 'a book by its cover'. I wonder if this might not be another leap in human interaction. Haven't we all wanted the opportunity to be seen as we want to be or as we are 'inside"? It takes a determined perspective to look past all the 'shoulds' that have been inculcated to see the real person.- Maybe Avatars simply enable that process by sidestepping the 'water' we live within but never see. The issue that I can see is when you wish to leave VR and join your VR buddies in this space and time. IF they STILL have the "judge by the cover" mentality- that can lead to heartbreak when people who have valued you for who you are retreat because of an appearance they did not expect. Another issue is if you yourself "judge your own book by its cover" and that is the saddest of all especially if you allow that perspective to make you selfish and self absorbed. Self acceptance matters and makes life more joyful- not less- but accepting who you are on the inside and giving a chance for that 'race horse' to run its race rather than be hobbled by the starting gate might just give a humanity a jet propelled burst of hope and progress. BRAVO, John! The people of the world will thank you for SEEING THEM and allowing them to experience themselves.
Anya Mae (4 months ago)
Debra Smith yeah i see i might have missed your point a bit at first, i agree..
Debra Smith (4 months ago)
Anya- absolutely. Thank you. My point was more that beauty has a whole lot more to do with how you see than what you see.
Debra Smith (4 months ago)
PS- when my kids started having issues about their appearance (and who never experiences that)- I went and got several magazines and flipped through them with my children. At each model I would ask, is he or she beautiful? After seeing many different kinds of people all defined as beautiful by someone- they came to realize that beautiful has MANY definitions and shapes and sizes.
John Luxford (4 months ago)
Thanks! You're totally right about the judgements that can happen in transitioning from one to the other (avatar vs physical appearance), and there will certainly be lots of issues we haven't even realized yet, but hopefully we can steer this tech to helping people accept themselves and each other, and give us one more tool we can use in expressing ourselves. I'm also hopeful that AR glasses get us looking up again instead of down at our phones, so people can learn some communication basics like making eye contact again :)
Salut! 💖🙌
Chompski (4 months ago)
The way that PC components kept getting up and controlled big companies, no way VR is really gonna be big in 5years. VR machine cost 1k $ and you need another 2k $ pc to play them properly.
Yazan Sakran (4 months ago)
Google Cardboard, and Daydream are much more accessible.
Chompski (4 months ago)
Another thing that makes VR do not improve at all is the content. They are all the same, or even just some reharsed from an existing experience that's already can be achieved without using the VR. At first it would look cool and everything but then since it wasnt build just for the VR it would just gets annoying and boring.
Erik S (4 months ago)
Yes, the BEST VR experiences will probably be tethered to expensive machines for quite some time, but the market potential for cheaper VR is enormous. If the big companies today don't move in, someone new will
John Luxford (4 months ago)
You should check out Oculus Quest, coming out next year. $400 total cost (USD), total freedom to move and interact just like desktop VR today, but without the cables and expensive machine. It's going to take time, and even longer for AR to get good enough, but it is happening.
Am I the only one who thinks there is a huge difference between what he’s calling “our own true selves” and “how we’d like our own true selfs to be like”? I mean I agree that there’s some pieces of our identity gathered in an avatar but the fact that you want to feel and have people feel like you’re that cool more attractive and more fascinating version of yourself doesn’t mean that you are that person at all, rather that’s how you’ll like to be without any sacrifices nor real changes to your overall self and dream away in that fiction till there’s nothing left of real humanity ,just an idealization of a person you’ll never be. I appreciate the innovative intake of this video but truly hope that his premonitions won’t come true or it won’t be the dawn of humans truly reconciling with their identities and sensation of self but the doom of all human experience and sense of individuality(because at the end let’s be honest we all would be almost identical avatars and all will like to have the same fictional lives when the fictional reality kills our sense of identity) and it won’t be technology adapting to us man, neither humans still adapting to technology but becoming the machine itself.
Anya Mae (4 months ago)
Areyoudizzy Blud yes, exactly what i meant. You have to actualy be something to be percieved as such, the rest is just not real.. Earning implies there are points or something to be earned, but in reality it really isn't.. You are training with a purpose to be strong and have skills and actualy be a soldier not with the purpose of earning a soldier title?
Dude Kool (4 months ago)
Anya Mae yeah but what this guy on the comments was talking about was, to truly be someone you have to earn it. Soldiers don’t just become soldiers, they go through training, they go through what a soldier goes through to be able to be a soldier and that then shapes them into who they will be in the future. If you simply decided you wanted to be a soldier because that’s what you’ve always wanted, and you start dressing like one and materialise an assault rifle.. You are not truly a soldier you are imitating one. You get me?
Anya Mae (4 months ago)
Areyoudizzy Blud its not about earning, its simply about being
Dude Kool (4 months ago)
I think VR like the Oasis would genuinely be a great concept, so you can't just choose to become anything you want to be due to you wanting to be perceived that way, but you can earn to be who you want people to perceive you as. Because as you say in your comment, if you haven't earned to be who you are, you are just trying to be someone you can never become.
Anya Mae (4 months ago)
John Luxford yeah im pretty sure you are going to be very limited in your options.. No one can take better care of a human than human himself.
Lucy Gomez (4 months ago)
It's gonna be like the movie " Ready Player One ".
Dude Kool (4 months ago)
Hopefully, at least that way you can earn who you want to be just like irl.
Nice VR chat video btw Is he the new Virtual Husbando Youtuber? Would be more interesting if there's more people but then there would always be an uganda knuckle sigh
Matthew Kilburn (4 months ago)
Anybody remember muds, mushs, and moos ? Where the only description is text-based role playing shared servers.
Wafeeqah qazi (4 months ago)
NekoIsSenpai (4 months ago)
Any other VRChat users down here
James Blackburn (4 months ago)
One of the few good TED talks
- Shooting Starlight - (4 months ago)
+John Luxford I am as well! There are a few that I think are better in my own opinion. Perhaps the OP just hasn't listened to very many TED talks yet.
John Luxford (4 months ago)
+- Shooting Starlight - Thanks, and totally agree!
John Luxford (4 months ago)
Thank you! But I do have to agree with Shooting Starlight, since I'm a fan of quite a few talks myself :)
- Shooting Starlight - (4 months ago)
I beg to differ. It's one of many great TED talks.
Azhar Amin (4 months ago)
Amazing yaar
In 30 years the world will be like the matrix where people don’t work, robots do our work, and our entire selves will be online.
Simon (4 months ago)
Hello again
Jakob Jakobson (4 months ago)
.......... probably not.
Ruoy Llort (4 months ago)
I would love to be digital, completely digital.
Dude Kool (4 months ago)
Real Boss I'd recommend looking up Ray Kurzweil and his work on exponential technology. It may persuade your doubts.
MIdoriya / Deku (4 months ago)
soy el décimo comentario :0, saludos desde Colombia B:y
Aryan Divyanshu (4 months ago)
One of the most unique tedx.
Aryan Divyanshu (4 months ago)
John Luxford Most welcome sir !
John Luxford (4 months ago)
Thank you!
Robots are taking over the planet.
Technoilogies has reached their limit.
BBC Sports Uk (4 months ago)
Woow !! You guys are doing a great. your great work have inspired me to create this channel to share your exclusive videos too. thanks
THIRD EYE ON THE SKY (4 months ago)
You created “STREET FIGHT TV” for Ted Talk uploads? Sounds completely reasonable and not like a plug at all.
Rolling Stone (4 months ago)
Why you lying
tech nology (4 months ago)
Nice video
nurra natural beauty (4 months ago)
I'm early
Berna Kasımoğlu (4 months ago)
Yasin Arslan (4 months ago)
3:35 vr is finished
AlAmeen Ayodele (4 months ago)
AlAmeen Ayodele (4 months ago)
Still first
AlAmeen Ayodele (4 months ago)
Ha ha
AlAmeen Ayodele (4 months ago)

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