ISPR Presence News

Monthly Archives: December 2014

Call: Book chapters for Emerging Human-Machine Technologies

Call for Chapters: Emerging Human-Machine Technologies

Edited by Steven John Thompson, PhD

The realm for a universal forum that discovers, explores, and prepares the way for eventual large-scale cyborg sociocultural integration, which just a few years ago would have been incredulous, is now upon us as partly evidenced through the proximity at which science, technology and the Internet are rapidly arriving at expectant machine sentience. This publication will address critical, foundational elements of study in human-machines and cyborgs, including their creation, governance, policy, and sustainment; rights, privileges, and expectations for participation in digital society; and other imperative aspects of their impending peaceful existence alongside their biological human, plant, and animal inhabitants in this world.

Emerging Human-Machine Technologies will publish high-quality, anonymously peer-reviewed essays that explore universal concerns, ethics, objectives, and principles in aspects of human enhancement technologies related to human-machines, machine-humans, their cyber-relatives, and proliferation of cyborg activity, culture, engineering, society, and technology. This volume will include groundbreaking and exploratory author contributions from engineers, practitioners, researchers, scholars, scientists, theorists, political scientists, lawyers, philosophers, ethicists, and human factors technologists who work closely theoretically or in practice with select human enhancement technologies, synthetic biological sciences, military advancements, robotics engineering, nanoscience technologies, and related allied research interests. The book will provide a forum for cybernetics issues in the humanities in emerging technologies, including research into design, engineering, and technological aspects of human-machine creation and existence for potential acceptance, ethics, participation, policy, governance, and socialization between individuals and corporate, global, networked, human-machine experience.

Ashgate Publishing has already expressed interest in this volume for its Emerging Technologies, Ethics and International Affairs series with selected abstracts to be duly considered by the publisher.

POSSIBLE TOPICS Read more on Call: Book chapters for Emerging Human-Machine Technologies…

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Backed by Google and Mozilla, VR-enabled browsers and gear could soon immerse Web users in 3-D worlds

Warm wishes for a very healthy, happy, safe and productive new year to everyone in the ISPR/Presence community – I’m looking forward with you to lots of exciting and thought-provoking (tele)presence developments in 2015!

–Matthew Lombard (managing editor, ISPR Presence News)

Web VR Mozilla graphic

[From Scientific American] , where the story includes a different image]

 

Virtual Reality Comes to the Web—Maybe for Real This Time

Backed by Google and Mozilla, VR-enabled browsers and gear could soon immerse Web users in 3-D worlds

December 29, 2014 |By Susan Kuchinskas

Get ready to take the stage with Paul McCartney. If that’s not your thing, you can test-drive the latest SUV before it’s available in showrooms or experience a movie as though you’re in the scene. That’s been the promise of virtual reality (VR) for years, although stepping into an immersive three-dimensional virtual world has always required expensive stereoscopic head-mounted displays and other specialized equipment.

A new, more accessible form of virtual reality delivered via the Web promises to let people experience digital worlds in 3-D using head-mounted displays connected to a variety of browser-enabled devices. Web VR is expected to offer the ability to move you from one immersive experience to another with a click of the mouse, touch of the screen or nod of the head. Web VR will let software developers port their virtual worlds to the Web, making them available for most VR hardware.

Google and Mozilla are setting these wheels in motion within the next month or so when they deliver updated Chrome and Firefox browsers that support Web VR. Facebook’s $2-billion acquisition of VR headset maker Oculus VR earlier this year and the release of relatively inexpensive headsets from Samsung and Google provide further evidence that Web VR could be ready for wider use. Read more on Backed by Google and Mozilla, VR-enabled browsers and gear could soon immerse Web users in 3-D worlds…

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Call: 9th International/Interdisciplinary Conference on Modeling and Using Context (CONTEXT 2015)

First Call for Papers and Call for Workshop Proposals

The 9th International and Interdisciplinary Conference on Modeling and Using Context (CONTEXT 2015)
2-6 November 2015, Lordos Beach Hotel, Larnaca, Cyprus

http://cyprusconferences.org/context2015

The CONTEXT conferences are the world’s prime forum for presentation and exchange of insights and cutting-edge results from the wide range of disciplines concerned with context.

The main theme of CONTEXT 2015 is “Back to the roots”, focusing on the importance of interdisciplinary cooperations and studies of the phenomenon. Context, context modeling and context comprehension are central topics in linguistics, philosophy, sociology, artificial intelligence, computer science, art, law, organizational sciences, cognitive science, psychology, etc. and are also essential for the effectiveness of modern, complex and distributed software systems.

CONTEXT 2015 invites high-quality contributions from researchers and practitioners in foundational studies, applications and evaluations of modeling and use of context in all relevant fields. Areas of interest include, but are not limited to, the role of context seen from different perspectives in:

  • Agent-based architectures
  • Ambient intelligence
  • Cognition and perception by humans and artifacts
  • Context-aware and situated systems
  • Context modeling tools
  • Communication and dialogue
  • Data analysis and visualization
  • Decision making
  • Discourse comprehension and representation
  • Engineering, e.g., in transport networks, industrial plants etc.
  • Experimental philosophy and experimental pragmatics
  • (Formal) models of context
  • Human-computer interaction
  • Knowledge representation
  • Language acquisition and processing
  • Learning, knowledge management and sharing
  • Logic and reasoning
  • Machine learning
  • Ontology/ies
  • Semantics and Pragmatics
  • Smart and interactive spaces
  • Understanding art, images, music and theatre

Read more on Call: 9th International/Interdisciplinary Conference on Modeling and Using Context (CONTEXT 2015)…

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“Digital immigrants” in other countries could soon guide robots around your house

[From New Scientist]

Robot sitting at your kitchen table

[Image: Who are you looking at? (Image: Yves Gellie/Picture Tank)]

Will remote-controlled robots clean you out of a job?

“Digital immigrants” in other countries could soon guide robots around your house. Some find that creepy – and that could be just the start of the trouble

04 December 2014
Magazine issue 2998

The death of distance. That was the great promise of the internet in its early days: by making cheap, immediate communication possible around the world, it would eliminate geographical constraints on relationships, media and commerce.

Twenty-odd years later, much of that promise has come to pass: all manner of work is now done remotely. Call a helpline and your query might be answered by someone halfway round the world; buy a book and it might be delivered from a warehouse on another continent. But pockets of labour have remained the preserve of humans – mostly those that involve the “last mile”, where, say, parcels must be delivered or premises cleaned.

Perhaps not for much longer. Faced with the difficulty of developing genuinely smart robots, people are exploring the idea of having humans guide relatively dumb machines. Trials are under way with cleaning robots, but it is not hard to see how the same technology could be used to outsource all sorts of jobs, from receptionists to care workers.

Robotics thus has the potential to help countries that are short of labour by, in effect, importing virtual workers – if it can win public acceptance. Read more on “Digital immigrants” in other countries could soon guide robots around your house…

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Call: 5th International Workshop on Artificial Intelligence in Medical Applications (AIMA’15)

CALL FOR PAPERS

5th International Workshop on Artificial Intelligence in Medical Applications (AIMA’15)
Lodz, Poland, September 13-16, 2015

WWW: http://fedcsis.org/aima
E-mail: aima2015@fedcsis.org

We would like to cordially invite you to consider contributing a paper to AIMA – held as a part of the Federated Conference on Computer Science and Information Systems (FedCSIS 2015).

FedCSIS a yearly international multi-conference organized by the Polish Information Processing Society (PTI) in cooperation with the IEEE Region 8, ACM Special Interest Group on Applied Computing, European Alliance for Innovation, Lodz ACM Chapter, Polish Operational and Systems Research Society – POSRS, Eastern Cluster ICT Poland, Mazovia Cluster ICT (further technical collaborations will be announced shortly).

The workshop on Artificial Intelligence in Medical Applications – AIMA 2015 – provides an interdisciplinary forum for researchers and developers to present and discuss latest advances in research work as well as prototyped or fielded systems of applications of Artificial Intelligence in the wide and heterogenious field of medicine, health care and surgery. The workshop covers the whole range of theoretical and practical aspects, technologies and systems based on Artificial Intelligence in the medical domain and aims to bring together specialists for exchanging ideas and promote fruitful discussions. Read more on Call: 5th International Workshop on Artificial Intelligence in Medical Applications (AIMA’15)…

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VR/AR at Seattle’s Space Needle make for enhanced experience

[From the Kitsap Sun, where the story includes a photo gallery]

AR at Seattle's Space Needle

[Image: Visitors to the Space Needle in Seattle walk past a circle on the floor that produces an animated image of the Space Needle when viewed with the new Space Needle app, at left. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)]

High-tech additions to Space Needle make for enhanced experience

Donna Gordon Blankinship
Dec 27, 2014

SEATTLE — Visitors to Seattle’s Space Needle are treated to a gorgeous view of this waterfront city when skies are clear and the sun is shining.

But on a recent beautiful day, many in the crowd on the observation level of the Space Needle — one of Seattle’s most popular tourist attractions — ignored the view over Elliott Bay.

Instead, they were mesmerized by virtual depictions of views and peeks into other Seattle tourist attractions that appeared on walls, screens and videos. The new high-tech experience at the Space Needle includes a virtual reality video that seems to take visitors all over Seattle to check out other tourist sites, while they ignore the real view that brought them there.

Anan Bishara, who was visiting from New York for his first visit to Seattle, jokingly said after a virtual look at the Pike Place Market that maybe he wouldn’t even need to stop by Seattle’s No. 1 tourist destination to see the real thing. Read more on VR/AR at Seattle’s Space Needle make for enhanced experience…

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Job: PhD Studentship in Embodied Programming for Primary Pupils, University of Sussex

[Follow the project title link for full details.  –Matthew ]

The University of Sussex is offering a PhD scholarship jointly funded by the School of Engineering and Informatics, and the EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council).

Read more on Job: PhD Studentship in Embodied Programming for Primary Pupils, University of Sussex…

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When white people see themselves with black skin, something interesting happens

[From The Huffington Post, where the story includes another image and a 1:02 minute video]

African American face

When White People See Themselves With Black Skin, Something Interesting Happens

The Huffington Post | By Anna Almendrala & Macrina Cooper-White

Posted: 12/15/2014

The antidote to racism partly lies in empathy, or the willingness to “walk a mile in someone else’s shoes,” as the saying goes. But scientists from universities across Europe are taking the maxim one step further, providing people an opportunity to experience life in someone else’s skin by experimenting with virtual reality as a means of helping people shed racial stereotypes.

Researchers from London and Barcelona teamed up to discuss their recent experiments on virtual reality and race in an opinion piece for the journal Trends in Cognitive Sciences, published Dec. 15. The researchers found that if people got the chance to physically experience their own body with different skin colors (or ages and sexes), their unconscious biases against other racial groups could be diminished. Read more on When white people see themselves with black skin, something interesting happens…

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Call: ISWC 2015 – 19th annual International Symposium on Wearable Computers

Announcement and Call for Papers

ISWC 2015
The 19th annual International Symposium on Wearable Computers
September 7-11, 2015, Osaka, Japan

http://www.iswc.net/

ISWC 2015, the 19th annual International Symposium on Wearable Computers, is the premier forum for wearable computing and issues related to on-body and worn mobile technologies. ISWC brings together researchers, product vendors, fashion designers, textile manufacturers, users, and related professionals to share information and advances in wearable technology.

ISWC invites submissions on everything related to computing on the body: on-body sensing and sensor networks; wearables for professional use, mobile healthcare, or entertainment; wearability and interaction; and “on-the-go” uses of mobile devices and systems. Submissions can be a Full Paper (of maximum 8 pages), a Note (4 pages), or a Brief (2 pages), and are due early April, 2015. Read more on Call: ISWC 2015 – 19th annual International Symposium on Wearable Computers…

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Presence Picture #10: “The Cover up” by Erik Johansson

Erik Johansson's "The Cover up"

Photographer Erik Johansson introduces himself on his web site with this: “I’m a photographer and retoucher from Sweden. I use photography as a way of collecting material to realize the ideas in my mind.” A larger version of this piece, titled “The Cover up,” is available here, and much more mind-bending presence-related work (including video material) is available on his site.

Read more on Presence Picture #10: “The Cover up” by Erik Johansson…

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