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Monthly Archives: March 2014

Call: 12th International Symposium on Smart Graphics

Call for Papers:

12th International Symposium on SMART GRAPHICS
August 27-29, 2014
Taipei, Taiwan

http://www.smartgraphics.org/

Submission deadline: April 15, 2014 (New)

ABOUT SMART GRAPHICS

The International Symposium on Smart Graphics will bring together researchers from Computer Graphics, Visualization, Art & Graphics Design, Cognitive Psychology and Artificial Intelligence, all working on different aspects of computer-generated graphics and the user experiences they enable. This year’s meeting will be held in Taipei, Taiwan.

Advances in computer graphics have made visual media the heart of the user interface, and it is clear that graphics will play a dominant role in knowledge work, entertainment, and the home. Indeed, as computers become more and more pervasive, and display sizes both increase and decrease, new and challenging problems arise for the effective use and generation of computer graphics.

SCOPE

Smart Graphics is grounded in a deep understanding of human abilities, activities, and desires. This understanding arises through the integration of fields such as art, design, and the social, cognitive, and perceptual sciences. Insights are realized in the form of novel methods for producing and interacting with rich graphical displays often utilizing established techniques from Computer Graphics, Artificial Intelligence, and Computer Science in general.

Such interfaces present content that:

  1. engages the user and is aesthetically satisfying
  2. participates in human cognition as external or distributed representations
  3. is sensitive to the real-time demands of the interaction in the context of the available computational resources
    and
  4. adapts the form of the output according to a wider set of constraints such as an individual’s perceptual, attentive, and motor abilities and the nature of the presentation media and available interaction devices.

SUBMISSION

Smart Graphics 2014 welcomes submissions from researchers and practitioners, as well as graphic artists and graphic designers interested in an interdisciplinary approach to the design of smart interactive visual, auditory, and haptic displays.

We specially encourage young researchers to submit their ideas and results.

In 2014, we propose a specific emphasis on the integration of scientific research into the design of intelligent, interactive, and context-aware digital media applications. In particular, we encourage discussion of research that pertains to interactions within the everyday world, using smart graphics and responsive media to enrich and augment experiences, culture, leisure, and work. Read more on Call: 12th International Symposium on Smart Graphics…

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For Sony’s Project Morpheus, “presence is the killer app”

[From Digital Trends, where the story includes more images]

Sony's Project Morpheus

Sony’s long-standing interest in virtual reality gives Project Morpheus an edge

By Adam Rosenberg  —  March 23, 2014

The most impressive thing that Sony’s Project Morpheus could possibly do in its 2014 Game Developer’s Conference reveal is work, and work well. The virtual reality headset immediately carries all of the same promise evident in the most recent iterations of Oculus VR’s Rift offering, and we’ve only just seen it for the first time. Of course, Sony’s been working on Morpheus in secret, compared to Oculus’ much more public crowd-funded development.

“We’ve been doing VR for this project for about three years, so we definitely started before Oculus was even funded,” Sony U.S. R&D senior software engineer Anton Mikhailov tells Digital Trends in a GDC interview. “Certainly, they brought a lot of steam to the whole VR ecosystem, so that’s been a great help for us as well as them. We’re not ignoring their contributions. We think they’re a fantastic group of people who are very excited about VR, but we started our project quite awhile ago.”

Sony has a history with head-mounted displays that extends all the way back to 1997?s Glasstron, of which multiple models were released. That was later succeeded by the HMZ-T1 in late 2011, with T2 and T3 models following in 2012 and 2013, respectively. The Glasstron actually featured some limited game support, but all of these earlier Sony devices amounted to little more than floating screens inside a headset, with a projected image looming large in an otherwise blacked out space. Hardware and software support for head-tracking got its biggest boost in years with the success of Oculus on Kickstarter, though that’s largely a product of great timing. As some form of tech is more widely embraced, expensive supply lines that drive up the cost to consumers become less of an issue.

“This is similar to what we saw with motion control, where you get some big market like cellphones bringing down the cost of something like motions sensors significantly,” Mikhailov says. “So basically, you have this cross-section right now where display panels have gotten small, high-resolution, and affordable, whereas before to get such a panel you’d need to go to military-grade VR simulations. Now you can buy them for a reasonable price. So at this point we can actually make a good quality VR system that is still affordable for people to purchase.”

“It just seemed like the right time. That’s why you’re seeing a lot of this kind of advancement happening very rapidly.”

Sony hasn’t yet assigned any sort of release date for Morpheus, as the hardware is still in development. The Sony-developed demos that we spent time with on the show floor at GDC are more proof-of-concept than sneak previews of future games. Sony’s research team is actively thinking about what a content-rich future in VR looks like, however. There’s nothing confirmed, of course, though we do know that CCP Games’ in-development space combat simulator EVE: Valkyrie is coming to Morpheus. Eidos Montreal’s Thief was also converted for demo purposes at the show, but it’s still undeniably early days for the software development side of Morpheus.

“We really think that presence is the killer app for VR,” Mikhailov says. “The feeling that you get that you are surrounded by a real world. So I think just feeling that you’re in a fantastical environment is already worth the price of admission. Now how you design games in that environment is fairly open-ended. We don’t have much to draw upon. Not many people have done virtual reality games.”

“It’s a little too early to say what is sort of the main genre or whatever, it’s all very up in the air. That’s why we’re revealing this at the Game Developer’s Conference, because we want all the developers to come along and learn with us. We want to be very open with people about our learnings and hope that they’ll be very open with us as well so we can bring this industry up.” Read more on For Sony’s Project Morpheus, “presence is the killer app”…

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Call: Audio Technologies for Music and Media 3rd International Conference (ATMM 2014)

Call For Papers

ATMM 2014 – Audio Technologies for Music and Media 3rd International Conference
6 – 7 November 2014, Bilkent University Ankara, Turkey

http://www.atmm-conference.org

Audio Technologies for Music and Media (ATMM) is an international interdisciplinary conference that focuses on the various aspects of audio, audiovisual and music technologies for music and media, and, also, on the relationship between sound, music and image in both ‘traditional’ and ‘new’ media.

3rd ATMM International Conference will be hosted by the Department of Communication and Design, and will take place on 6 – 7 November 2014 at Bilkent University, Ankara, Turkey. Former keynote speakers of ATMM were Bobby Owsinski (2012) and Lennie Moore (2013); ATMM 2014’s keynote speaker is to be announced.

ATMM encourages submissions from academics, professionals and also from graduate students as well.

Topics

ATMM 2014 will focus on sound design for linear and non-linear media, such as films, videos, computer games, smart phone applications and so forth, but all proposals with topics related to audio and music technologies (including but not limited to the ones listed below) are welcome. Read more on Call: Audio Technologies for Music and Media 3rd International Conference (ATMM 2014)…

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Is that a person — or a painting?

[From HLN, where the story includes a 1:54 minute video; more pictures of the artist’s work are available on her web site and at Daily Geek Show]

Alexa Meade

Is that a person — or a painting?

NEED TO KNOW

  • Artist Alexa Meade brings paintings to life by painting directly on her subjects
  • Find out why her artwork went viral in ‘There’s No Business Like Small Business’

By Natalie Angley
Wed March 05, 2014

A California artist is turning people into paintings — literally.

Alexa Meade, 27, skips the canvas in her artwork. When she paints a portrait, she paints directly on the person and then photographs them.

“When you look at the final image it really looks like a painting,” she says. “But if you look closer, you’ll see there’s more there than meets the eye. There’s life coming through it.” Read more on Is that a person — or a painting?…

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Call: 7th International Conference on Interactive Digital Storytelling (ICIDS 2014)

ICIDS 2014: Call for Papers
The 7th International Conference on Interactive Digital Storytelling (ICIDS 2014)
3-6 November 2014, Singapore

View this call online at: http://narrativeandplay.org/icids2014/call.html

Submission deadline: 16 June 2014

The International Conference on Interactive Digital Storytelling (ICIDS) is the premier venue for researchers, practitioners and theorists to present recent results, share novel techniques and insights, and exchange ideas about this new storytelling medium. Interactive digital storytelling is an exciting area in which narrative, computer science and art converge to create new expressive forms. The combination of narrative and computation has considerable untapped potential, ranging from artistic projects to interactive documentaries, from assistive technologies and intelligent agents to serious games, education and entertainment.

The ICIDS conference series has a long-standing tradition of bringing together theoretical and practical approaches in an interdisciplinary dialogue. We encourage contributions from a range of fields related to interactive storytelling, including computer science, human-computer interaction, game design, media production, semiotics, game studies, narratology, media studies, digital humanities and interactive arts criticism. Read more on Call: 7th International Conference on Interactive Digital Storytelling (ICIDS 2014)…

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Her: Could you ever fall in love with a computer?

[From The Telegraph, where the story includes more images and two videos]

Spike Jonze' Her: Call from Samantha

Her: Could you ever fall in love with a computer?

Spike Jonze’s Her, in which a man falls in love with his computer, was awarded Best Original Screenplay at last night’s Academy Awards. The concept may seem laughable, but advances in artificial intelligence are bringing us closer to our machines than ever before, says Rhiannon Williams

By Rhiannon Williams
03 Mar 2014

When I was a teenager, my friends and I used to hold conversations with a robot. Or to be precise, a chatterbot, a computer programme specifically designed to mimic human interaction through a series of exchanges. SmarterChild was widely available on instant messaging systems, and issued instant responses to whatever you asked it – generally queries about its sexuality and generic streams of abuse. While we were always aware we weren’t actually communicating with it, the novelty of appearing to ‘chat’ with a computer programme lead to over 30 million individuals adding SmarterChild as a contact on MSN messenger and AIM. In the 14 years since SmarterChild’s creation artificial intelligence has evolved exponentially, as has our attachment and reliance upon computers to run our lives. But could we ever actually develop feelings for them?

This is the premise explored by Spike Jonze’s Her, which won Best Original Screenplay at last night’s Academy Awards Ceremony, in which Theodore Twombly (played by Joaquin Phoenix) falls in love with his operating system Samantha, voiced by Scarlett Johansson. The genesis of Her was inspired by Cleverbot, a web application using a similar artificial intelligence algorithm to SmarterChild.

In an interview last year with The Guardian, Jonze described the first 20 seconds of interacting with one of these bots as “a real buzz”. “I’d say ‘Hey, hello,’ and it would say ‘Hey, how are you?’, and it was like whoa … this is trippy,” he said. “After 20 seconds, it quickly fell apart and you realised how it actually works, and it wasn’t that impressive. But it was still, for 20 seconds, really exciting. The more people that talked to it, the smarter it got.”

Lonely Theodore falls in love with virtual companion Samantha’s ability to speak to him like a real human through a small headphone-like device. “Every moment I’m evolving, just like you,” she purrs in his ear, as she rifles through his emails to get to the bottom of his relationship with his ex-wife and gently goads him into getting out of bed each morning.

On occasion I was acutely aware I was watching two of Hollywood’s finest flirting with each other – one present on screen, the other a disembodied voice. Tellingly Theodore’s ex-wife Catherine (Rooney Mara) is horrified by his confession he has fallen in love with his operating system, saying it made sense given that he couldn’t cope with the demands of a relationship with a human with needs.

But on the whole it’s an utterly absorbing love story which deconstructs the complexities of falling in love through the frame of technological innovation. Such is Samantha’s artificial intelligence, she longs to possess a physical body so she can walk around with Theodore and see the world as he does. I found myself able to suspend my disbelief he had developed feelings for a programme, given the tender nature of the pair’s interactions.

I asked Cloudera data scientist Sean Owen, and founder of machine learning company Myrrix, whether feeling compassion and even love for computer programmes won’t seem quite so weird in the future. Read more on Her: Could you ever fall in love with a computer?…

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Call: DiGRA Students present Ludodemia database

[From the blog of DiGRA Students, the student members of the Digital Games Research Assocation (DiGRA); note that the database contains a category “Presence, Engagement, and Immersion” with six sub-categories]

DiGRA Students is proud to present our latest endeavor: Ludodemia.

What is Ludodemia?

Ludodemia is a database for game studies research organized by topic. This database was originally created by the Wellcome Trust as a resource for finding important articles related to particular categories within game studies. However, this resource was hidden in a corner of the Internet that was nearly impossible to find and the organization of the information within the database was difficult to navigate.

With the blessing of the Wellcome Trust, DiGRA Students took on the task of giving the Ludodemia data a face lift. Currently, the database holds the information of about 800 sources and through crowd sourcing we hope that one day it can become a comprehensive source for locating key research articles related to game studies. One of the new features of Ludodemia is the inclusion of altmetric data! This was included so users could instantly visualize a paper’s online attention. While it is not a direct measure of the quality of a particular article (altmetric data can only be generated for work with a doi or PubMed ID), it should help users to identity which papers that are the most popular and have been the most discussed within a particular topic. Read more on Call: DiGRA Students present Ludodemia database…

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Meet the man behind the holodeck

[From StarTrek.com, where the story includes more images and a video; part 2 of the interview is here]

Data and Geordi in the holodeck

Meet The Man Behind The Holodeck, Part 1

By StarTrek.com Staff – March 11, 2014

Here’s a trivia question for you. Who put the idea of the holodeck into the mind of Star Trek creator, Gene Roddenberry? Here’s another one for you: Who invented the very first LCD projector? And one more: Who interacted in the ultimate fanboy video with DeForest Kelley, George Takei, Walter Koenig, James Doohan and Nichelle Nichols, which included an introduction by Roddenberry? The answers are one and the same — Gene Dolgoff, whose bio very proudly describes him as “an innovator and entrepreneur in electronics, optics, holography, lenticular, stereoscopic, and other forms of 3-D imaging, and displays, with over 65 granted patents worldwide and 40 patents pending.” Dolgoff, back in 1964, became one of the world’s first holographers, for three years teaching a course in optics, lasers and holography at the City College of the City University of New York, and, not surprisingly, authoring the text and curriculum utilized in class.

These days, Dolgoff is Chairman, CEO and CTO of 3-D Vision, a Long Island-based company that conducts research to develop, license and market new products and technologies for the emerging 3D TV/computer field. Yet, for all that, Star Trek fans are most indebted to the man for his contribution to Star Trek, a contribution that’s universally accepted, but was never quite publicly acknowledged by Roddenberry. StarTrek.com caught up with Dolgoff at his office for an informative and science-centric conversation. Below is part one of our two-part interview. Visit StarTrek.com to read part two. Read more on Meet the man behind the holodeck…

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Call: Philosophy of Engineering and Artifact in the Digital Era (PHEADE) 7th Conference

Call For Papers:

Philosophy of Engineering and Artifact in the Digital Era (PHEADE)
7th PHEADE Conference

Conference’s theme: Ethics and Predictions of the Future of Technology. Technoethics in the Age of Surprise

http://www.pheade.ro/2014/

Tracks:

  1. Humanism, Technology and Spirituality
  2. Ethics of Research in the Age of Surprise
  3. Religion on the Future of the Human Being in the Emerging Technologies Era
  4. Convergences & Divergences in the Ethics of Technology (Technoethics)
  5. Knowledge & Responsibility

We welcome suggestions for further topics, not included in the above list.

Place: Online community & Jnana-Deepa Vidyapeeth (Pune, India) – Graduate Students Building

Time: December 19-21 2014 (changed from December 28-30 2014) Read more on Call: Philosophy of Engineering and Artifact in the Digital Era (PHEADE) 7th Conference…

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ERWIN (Emotional Robot with Intelligent Network) to help scientists understand human-android relationships

[From the University of Lincoln; two videos are available from ITV]

ERWIN the robot

It’s ERWIN the friendly robot

6th February 2014
Marie Daniels – PR Officer

A ‘friendly robot’ called ERWIN will be used to help scientists understand how more realistic long-term relationships might be developed between humans and androids.

ERWIN (Emotional Robot with Intelligent Network) is the brainchild of Dr John Murray, from the School of Computer Science, University of Lincoln, UK.

It is now being used as part of a PhD study to find out how some of the human-like thought biases in robot characteristics affect the human-robot relationship.

It is hoped the research will not only help scientists to understand and develop better, more realistic relationships between humans and ‘companion’ robots, but that it could also help to inform how relationships are formed  by children with autism, Asperger syndrome or attachment disorder.  Read more on ERWIN (Emotional Robot with Intelligent Network) to help scientists understand human-android relationships…

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