Changing lives with virtual reality, artificial intelligence and robots

June 27, 2019
Distinguished Professor Mary-Anne Williams, a social roboticist, spoke at the Shine Dome for the Changing Lives with Science speaker series. Image: BE Sydney.

By 2020, it is estimated that 200 million virtual reality (VR) headsets will have been sold worldwide.

This was just one staggering statistic presented during an evening of surprising stories told by researchers Dr Naseem Ahmadpour and Distinguished Professor Mary-Anne Williams.

The event, held on 18 June at the Shine Dome, was part of the Academy’s Changing Lives with Science speaker series.

Professor Williams, a social roboticist and founder of the Magic Lab at the University of Technology Sydney, traced the rise of artificial intelligence (AI) in her talk. She discussed the risks and opportunities of this emerging tech, and outlined four strategies for dealing with AI into the future.

Dr Ahmadpour researches design for health and wellbeing, and her recent work has focused on VR. She explored several exciting applications of VR, including helping children with needle phobias and improving motivation for physical activity.

Catch up on previous events by checking out the #ScienceChangingLives hashtag on Twitter.

Don’t miss the next evening of science storytelling on 13 August 2019, Sounds through science: cochlear implants. We will hear from Professor Graeme Clark AC, the inventor of the cochlear implant, and Professor Jennie Brand-Miller, an internationally renowned scientist whose life was transformed by cochlear technology.

The Academy is grateful for the support of the University of Canberra, our Exclusive Presenting Partner.

More information about Changing Lives with Science

© 2022 Australian Academy of Science

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