PRIVACY LOST: New Short Film Calls for Regulation Against AI-powered Human Manipulation

SANTA CLARA, Calif., June 2, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — A short film entitled PRIVACY LOST is set to be released at the Augmented World Expo (AWE) in Silicon Valley on June 2, to highlight the dangers of AI-powered mixed reality. It is now freely available online.

The film depicts how AI-powered immersive technologies could threaten our privacy in dangerous new ways and enable new forms of emotional and behavioral manipulation. The film’s producers call for regulation that protects our emotional privacy and bans real-time manipulation by AI generated conversational spokespeople.

In the near future, mixed reality technology will make our world a magical place. Soon to be deployed by the largest tech companies on the planet, AI-powered glasses will fill our lives with artistic and creative content everywhere we go, from our homes and offices to retail stores, parks, restaurants, schools, and even city streets.

Unfortunately, this magical future comes with great risks. Unless regulated, these devices could allow platforms to track our behaviors and monitor our emotions like never before. Not only will this threaten our privacy, it will leave us vulnerable to AI manipulation throughout our daily lives. 

PRIVACY LOST is a short film about our augmented future and the very real dangers headed our way. Developed with support from Minderoo Pictures, the Responsible Metaverse Alliance, and the XR Guild, it aims to educate the public and policymakers about the emerging risks.  

The film was written & produced by Dr. Louis Rosenberg, an early VR researcher who developed the first mixed reality system at Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) three decades ago and is now a vocal advocate for regulation. The film was shot at HeadQ Productions, a virtual studio outside Amsterdam led by Director and Producer, Peter Stoel.

As depicted in the film, mixed reality devices use powerful sensors to process facial expressions and track real-time emotions. This emotional data is not only a threat to user privacy but could also be used to manipulate users in real-time through AI-powered interactive influence.

Image from Privacy Lost Image from Privacy Lost

“Mixed Reality is an amazing technology that will free computing from the limitations of the flat screen,” explained Rosenberg at the Augmented World Expo (AWE). “But without guardrails, it could also allow tech platforms to track everything we do and monitor exactly how we feel while doing it. This could be used to influence our behaviors through AI-generated content that adapts to our every emotion. This is profoundly dangerous.”

PRIVACY LOST depicts a simple example of the dangers. A family eats in a restaurant while mixed reality glasses transport them to a beachfront café. In that future, their emotions are processed in real time, enabling an AI-generated waitress to optimize her sales tactics, skillfully upselling each of them. Of course, the risk of AI-optimized influence is not limited to selling products or services. The same tactics could be used to deploy misinformation and propaganda.

“The risks to children are the most concerning,” said Dr. Catriona Wallace, founder of the Responsible Metaverse Alliance. “AI-powered characters like the teddy bear depicted in Privacy Lost could easily influence and manipulate kids. The technology to achieve this already exists, and without regulation these tactics are likely to be deployed in the near future.”

PRIVACY LOST is freely available online in hope that is shared widely. It aims to educate the public about the risks of AI-powered influence, especially in immersive worlds that track user behaviors and emotions. The call to action is regulation that protects emotional privacy and bans real-time manipulation through AI-generated conversational influence.

For more information, visit the film’s website:


The Responsible Metaverse Alliance (RMA) is a social enterprise and international movement dedicated to supporting the development of the metaverse, and virtual worlds, so that they are handled responsibly from a perspective of design, deployment, safety, culture, inclusion, operations and function. The RMA has a focus on working with politicians, government officials, regulators and policy makers internationally, to support them in addressing potential harms of the metaverse.

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 Louis Rosenberg, PhD is an early pioneer of virtual and augmented reality. His work began over thirty years ago in VR labs at Stanford University and NASA. In 1992 he developed the first mixed reality system (Virtual Fixtures platform) at Air Force Research Laboratory. In 1993 he founded the early VR company Immersion Corporation and brought it public on NASDAQ. In 2004 he founded Outland Research, an early developer of geospatial augmented reality technology. He is currently CEO and Chief Scientist of Unanimous AI, a company that amplifies human intelligence in shared environments. Rosenberg received his PhD from Stanford, was a professor at California State University, and has been awarded over 300 patents for VR, AR, and AI technologies.