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Thank you for your interest in Virtual Reality, Real Virtues, and Augmented Norms and Laws.


The Zoom Webinar takes place from Noon - 1 p.m. PST Thursday, March 10, 2022

In this presentation, philosopher Erick Ramirez and attorney Brittan Heller will discuss some of the novel ethical and legal issues associated with the widening adoption of VR and AR technology, and discuss new norms and laws that might develop in response to the ecosystem that some call the “metaverse.”


This event is part of the IT, Ethics, and Law lecture series, co-sponsored by the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics and the High Tech Law Institute.

Brittan Heller is an attorney who specializes in advising companies on issues such as privacy, freedom of expression, content moderation, online harassment, disinformation, civic engagement, cyberhate and hate speech, and online extremism. She was the founding director of the Center on Technology and Society for the Anti-Defamation League, and has collaborated with major online platforms and gaming companies to combat cyberhate; she has also produced and launched new technology for good, in mediums including AR/VR/XR.  Heller previously worked for the International Criminal Court and the U.S. Department of Justice’s Criminal Division, prosecuting grave human rights violations.

Erick Ramirez is the author of The Ethics of Virtual and Augmented Reality: Building Worlds, published in 2021. An associate professor in Santa Clara University’s Philosophy department,  he is interested in all aspects of moral psychology (moral judgment, sentimentalism, emotion, and psychopathology). For the past several years, his research has centered on exploring interdisciplinary issues involving the ethics of developing and using virtual reality technologies. He is especially interested in the ethics of using VR for experiments, empathy enhancement, and behavioral modification—and has developed virtual reality modules of classic thought experiments.

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