Portrait of Jaron Lanier

Jaron Lanier

Computer Scientist, Philosopher, and Futurist
Born: May 3, 1960

Jaron Zepel Lanier is an American computer scientist, visual artist, computer philosophy writer, technologist, futurist, and composer of contemporary classical music. Considered a founder of the field of virtual reality, Lanier and Thomas G. Zimmerman left Atari in 1985 to found VPL Research, Inc., the first company to sell VR goggles and wired gloves. In the late 1990s, Lanier worked on applications for Internet2, and in the 2000s, he was a visiting scholar at Silicon Graphics and various universities. In 2006 he began to work at Microsoft, and from 2009 has worked at Microsoft Research as an Interdisciplinary Scientist.

In 2005, Foreign Policy named Lanier as one of the top 100 Public Intellectuals. In 2010, Lanier was named to the TIME 100 list of most influential people. In 2014, Prospect named Lanier one of the top 50 World Thinkers. In 2018, Wired named Lanier one of the top 25 most influential people over the last 25 years of technological history.


Mentioned in 3 documents

Timothy Leary, Terence McKenna and John Perry Barlow

From Psychedelics to Cybernetics

Timothy Leary journeyed through Europe as head of the psychedelic revolution and consciousness research movement, and he invited some of his tagalong friends to this evening lecture held at the "Alte Feuerwache" in Mannheim to talk about the future evolution of humanity.

Terence McKenna

Virtual Reality Interview

While attending the 1990 Cyberthon event, Terence answered a few questions about virtual reality before heading to the stage.

Terence McKenna

Virtual Reality and Electronic Highs

Terence discusses virtual reality technology, which allows people to have immersive experiences in digital worlds. He describes the state of VR in the 1990s and speculates on its future implications, both positive and negative. He reflects on how VR could lead to new forms of communication and imagination, but also trivial entertainment. If used thoughtfully, he concludes, VR holds tremendous transformative potential.