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Column: Technology advances mean dog days over?




Ever since I heard my human talking about the article, I have had mixed feelings. On the one paw, I think it might be useful for him to know just what it is like to be one of us. On the other paw, I would hate for him to get any ideas about changing the comfortable living arrangements we have here at home. On yet another paw, if this avatar thing were to become standard practice for humans, the implications for animals would be enormous.

Sydney the dog here. Recently, I overheard my human discussing with his mate — my other human — an interview he had read on the Internet.

Apparently, Stanford University has a “Virtual Human Interaction Lab” where something called “Avatar Studies,” are conducted. One of the researchers, cognitive psychologist and associate professor Jeremy Bailenson, was describing an experiment where humans become “virtual cows.”

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