Taiwan’s “genius hacker” Audrey Tang (唐鳳) on Sept. 9 held a virtual reality (VR) interview, a month before she is to take office as minister without portfolio in the Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) administration responsible for the digital economy and open government.

This was the first time VR technology was combined with 3-D modeling in an international online interview. Tang was in Paris for the interview, while five students from Taiwan Public Television Station’s "Youth News" were in Taiwan.

In a Facebook post after the interview, Tang detailed how VR can increase civic participation in government and listed the means by which to break the confines of space, time and distance, and to create an equal playing field for all participants at the global stage.

“For example, if we were discussing plans for a park, only the architect would be able to visualize what the park might look like,” Tang said. “But by combining VR with 3-D models and electronic visualization, the discussions will be more accessible to everyone, even very young children.”

Tang explained that VR could allow people who are not able to be present at a discussion to “join in” at a later time, and can also decentralize government policy making.

Because people who take part in VR discussions were not physically present, “the participants would not be judged by their outward appearance, allowing diverse voices to be heard,” she wrote.

The complete interview will air on Taiwan Public Television Station’s "Youth News" on Sept. 24.

First Editor: Olivia Yang
Second Editor: Edward White