Jaron Zepel Lanier (born May 3, 1960) is an American computer philosophy writer, computer scientist, visual artist, 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 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.
Lanier has composed contemporary classical music and is a collector of rare instruments (of which he owns one to two thousand); his acoustic album, Instruments of Change (1994) features Asian wind and string instruments such as the khene mouth organ, the suling flute, and the sitar-like esraj. Lanier teamed up with Mario Grigorov to compose the soundtrack to the documentary film The Third Wave (2007). In 2010, Lanier was nominated in the TIME 100 list of most influential people.
Jaron Lanier has been building technology in the Silicon Valley since the 1980s and is often referred to as a founding father of virtual reality. He also has serious reservations about how certain technologies are being harnessed to harvest personal data and use it to alter people’s behavior. He encourages people to delete social media in order to discover who they are apart from it, and to galvanize social media companies into creating more humane business models.
Bio information sourced from Wikipedia