A message from Noble Ackerson, the new President of the CyberXR Coalition

I’m beyond thrilled to join CyberXR and work hand-in-hand with our D&I-focused organizations within the cybersecurity and XR domain. I like to thank our outgoing president April Boyd-Noronha for her leadership and drive towards a safe and inclusive extended reality.

Over the past year, the global pandemic has ravaged all parts of society, and we’ve seen the rapid adoption of virtual and augmented reality in our homes, our work, and schools as a means to foster virtual connection needed because we feel isolated at a time when an end to this pandemic seems uncertain. 

One key area is AI fairness and eliminating bias in the solutions we use every day.

Businesses have accelerated the need for investments in XR: this means an increase in the amount of data collected on an increasing number of users who depend on immersive technologies for entertainment, work, and education. 

The data we collect to enable these XR solutions brings along privacy and human risks that disproportionately affect the underrepresented in how artificial intelligence is used to deliver experiences. Today, machine learning and deep learning drive the immersive experiences we depend on to connect with one another through voice and image recognition, realistic AI-based characters, computer vision, and storytelling. 

By current design, today’s AI is not aware of human values, with no way to tie our values into machine learning model’s inferences or predictions. 

CyberXR, along with our member organizations, looks to continue our work with partners to craft ethical principles and practical policies implemented to ensure we give people, regardless of gender, income, socio-economic status, race, sexual orientation, or religion, the right to participate in the digital society so that we achieve trust, safety, and experiences that speak to our values.

For the last year, I’ve worked with XRSI translating my work to avoiding the practice of current dark patterns into the XR domain, and the ongoing rise in data collection and the human harms due to often-unintended biases, and an increase in breaches. In the XR and AI domains, these current issues are exacerbated, and thus, these socio-technical domains need diverse voices as well as inclusive solutions to ensure that we get the outcomes that speak to our values.

We can do better, together, at a time where XR is becoming the avenue where we find safe social connections. It is our moment to reflect on ethical practices where global shipments of virtual reality (VR) headsets grew 52.5% year over year, to reframe and rethink how we build experiences that reflect values for all.

There’s so much work to be done. As always, the CyberXR Coalition is committed:

  • To focus on research and standards for safety and ethics.
  • To mobilize support for underrepresented communities in emerging technologies.
  • To create public awareness around the risks of ignoring D&I.
  • To advocate for creating ethical, inclusive, accessible, and safe environments for all.
  • To combine resources and organize as a stronger force.

I am looking forward to working with you to address these issues and arm organizations with the systems we put in place to address socio-technical issues across AI computer vision, fairness and bias, data privacy, trust, and dark patterns that disproportionately affect the underrepresented.

Over the past few years, I’ve dedicated my professional life to fighting for data ethics, privacy, and trust by design. With CyberXR, I get to contribute further to this effort. 

I’m honored to work with the team here at CyberXR and to combine our efforts to build a safe and inclusive XR domain that we all want to live in.



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