Consideration of Virtual Reality as Training: A Didactic Introduction

Consideration of Virtual Reality as Training: A Didactic Introduction

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-8401-8.ch008
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In the near future, people and artificial intelligences (AIs) will often be working together. This will require special training for both the people and the AIs. Virtual reality (VR) used for training may come into its own, especially in situations where the people and the AIs must move quickly and safely together. This chapter looks at just such training. In this story, “The Triceratops,” the AIs are in charge of the training; they also control the future employment opportunities of people. This brings out a number of ethical considerations and practical considerations when people's lives are controlled by AIs in important ways, even in training.
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Topics For Discussion

The following discussion points come from information covered in this chapter:

  • 1.

    If AIs and people are working together in symbiosis, does the AI having power over the young people’s future seem fair?

  • 2.

    Should the one with the most technical knowhow make that decision, whither human or AI?

  • 3.

    If the AI sees a need for trained people for a future position, how much power should it have over the training of people to fill that slot?

  • 4.

    Would the reader accept career advice and training from an AI?

  • 5.

    Is there a story in the control of people’s lives by the AIs?



For many species, the climate where they live or spend part of the year influences key stages of their annual life cycle, such as migration, blooming, and reproduction. Climate change not only affects ecosystems and species directly, it also interacts with other human stressors such as development.

For instance, extreme weather events comprise more than 90% of natural disasters in the US (Changnon & Easterling, 2000). The 14 climate- and weather-related disasters that occurred in 2011 [breaking the 2008 record of nine] resulted in the deaths of 800 people, cost an estimated US$53 billion, and took a toll on society in terms of additional injuries and the devastation of thousands of homes.

Change in climate has consequences on the biophysical environment such as changes in the start and length of the seasons, glacial retreat, decrease in Arctic sea ice extent, and a rise in sea level. These changes have already had an observable impact on biodiversity at the species level, in term of phenology, distribution and populations, and ecosystem level in terms of distribution, composition and function. On the other hand, in some landscapes, attempts to increase the resistance of the ecosystem to change, or support the resilience of the biotic community to adapt to change, are not appropriate or feasible, and managers may choose to instead work to hasten and smooth the transition of the current biotic community into one that better aligns with future climate scenarios (Brown et al.,2016).

Ecosystem patterns and processes, such as rates of primary productivity or input–output balance of chemical elements, respond in complex ways to climate change because of multiple controlling factors (Grimm et al., 2013).

The term “environmental services” was introduced in a 1970 report of the Study of Critical Environmental Problems (AA.VV, 1970), which listed services including climate regulation and flood control, water purification, pests and diseases, soil biodiversity, and cultural services. In following years, variations of the term were used, but eventually “ecosystem services” became the standard in scientific literature. The ecosystem services concept has continued to expand and includes socio-economic and conservation objectives (Elrich&Elrich, 1981).

The mapping of ecosystems and their state of conservation is a useful tool for identifying the territorial areas on which ecosystems restoration / recovery projects must be prioritized, to implement sustainable territorial planning, also through the implementation of green infrastructures and to direct the interventions.

A classification of ecosystem services is under development at international level, the Common International Classification of Ecosystem Services [CICES] to facilitate integration of ecosystem services in environmental accounting (CICES, 2019).. It supports their contribution to the revision of the System of Environmental-Economic Accounting (SEEA, 2018) which is currently being led by the United Nations Statistical Division [UNSD] (Haines-Young, 2016).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Corporate Person: A series of powers and responsibilities that are given to corporations that allow them many of the rights of a real person.

NGO: Non-governmental organization. The NGOs in Big Moon Dig Series are the major source of funds for efforts to address the great problems of the 21 st century particularly those that effect large numbers of people. The Janet series of AIs were developed to help organize and manage this effort. Their lead financial officer, JanetM, has an interface avatar that is markedly Latina in skin color and dress.

Artificial Intelligence (AI): The intelligence shown by machines or computer software. An AI in some ways can mimics human intelligence but does not have to match it feature for feature. The interface avatars of these AI are important characters in these stories.

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