ISPR Presence News

Author Archives: Matthew Lombard

Call: Cognitive Architectures for Artificial Minds – Special issue of Journal of Cognitive Systems Research

Journal of Cognitive Systems Research


The design and adaptation of Cognitive Architectures (CA) is a wide and active area of research in Cognitive Science, Artificial Intelligence and, more recently, in the areas of Computational Neuroscience, Cognitive Robotics, and Computational Cognitive Systems. Cognitive architectures have been historically introduced i) to capture, at the computational level, the invariant mechanisms of human cognition, including those underlying the functions of reasoning, control, learning, memory, adaptivity, perception and action, ii) to form the basis for the development of cognitive capabilities through ontogeny over extended periods of time, and iii) to reach human level intelligence, also called AGI (Artificial General Intelligence), by means of the realisation of artificial artefacts built upon them.

During the last decades many cognitive architectures have been realised, and agents based on such infrastructures, have been widely tested in several cognitive tasks involving reasoning, learning, perception, action execution, selective attention, recognition etc.

This special issue is intended to provide an overview of the research being carried out in the interdisciplinary area of cognitively inspired AI systems designed and integrated with existing or novel CA. Both papers presenting theoretical and applied research contribution in the field are welcome.

In particular the interests of this issue are focused (but not limited to) on papers addressing the following problems: i) how different cognitive functions can be successfully integrated in general cognitive artificial agents ii) how novel integrative approaches differ and improve previous perspectives adopted in cognitive architectures iii) how the integration of cognitive architectures with external cognitive systems (e.g. specialised in specific tasks such as natural language understanding; planning, multimodal perception etc.) can improve the local performance of cognitive agents while respecting the architectural requirements of general intelligence.

AREAS OF INTEREST Read more on Call: Cognitive Architectures for Artificial Minds – Special issue of Journal of Cognitive Systems Research…

Posted in Calls | Leave a comment

How augmented reality is fighting cultural erasure in East Harlem

[Presence scholars have emphasized virtual reality over augmented reality, but projects like the one described in this story from The Creators Project point to the potential of AR to evoke a meaningful altered perception of a place. See the original story for many more images. –Matthew]

AR from the Caribbean Cultural Center African Disaspora Institute

How Augmented Reality Is Fighting Cultural Erasure in East Harlem

Beverly Bryan — Oct 23 2016

Culture and history are vital, though often invisible, parts of any community, but the Mi Querido Barrio (My Beloved Community) augmented reality tour, presented by New York City’s Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute (CCCADI), showcases the many different ways AR can make visible the unseen. The digital art project is part of the Home, Memory and Future exhibition celebrating the Caribbean Cultural Center’s grand reopening in its new East Harlem location.

Using the AR app Blippar, anyone with a smartphone and a guide to the tour’s location markers can point their phone at landmarks across the rapidly-gentrifying neighborhood and unlock augments—artworks, photographs, and interactive features—that bring the past to life. A marker in front of a 7 Eleven, for example, reveals that it was the original location of Justo Botánica, a famous and long-standing spiritual emporium that was given just 30 days to vacate the building along with five other small businesses.

Oliver Rios, one of several artists who participated in Mi Querido Barrio, grew up in the historically Latinx area, often affectionately called El Barrio, and still lives there. He remembers when it was a place rich in culture though economically poor, circumstances that are reversing as high rises replace brownstones. The 44-year-old graphic artist spent his youth doing graffiti and painting anti-drug and anti-violence murals and memorials. In some cases, the buildings he painted simply aren’t there anymore.

When Rios heard about Mi Querido Barrio, he volunteered to contribute his photographs from that time, which can now be viewed on residents’ smartphones. He believes AR technology can strengthen his community: “It is a great way to not only educate, but preserve and connect. I think that the more people start using it, especially the younger generation, the more they are going to open their eyes and want to reinvent,” he says. Read more on How augmented reality is fighting cultural erasure in East Harlem…

Posted in Presence in the News | Leave a comment

Call: Context in the Home – Workshop of the Context-17 Conference

Call for Papers

Context in the Home
A Workshop of the Context-17 Conference
Paris, France, 20-23 June 2017,

Workshop website:

Submission due: December 30th, 2016


This workshop will bring together researchers and professionals from different domains to discuss key issues in the implementation, evaluation and practical use of context for the development of smart objects, services, and applications that are useful, usable, and desirable in domestic settings. We welcome work on core enabling technologies such as hardware and software infrastructures that support, include or use context, open data for context benchmarking, bottom-up VS top-down approaches to context modeling, machine learning for human intention and activity recognition as well as for detecting exceptions to routines. We also invite work that addresses context from an end-user’s experience including intelligible context representation, controllability and inspectability of learning mechanisms, privacy and trust, as well as lessons learned from real world experiments. At the end of the workshops, we expect to get insights on:

  1. which infrastructure is best suited for efficient context processing for the home; and
  2. how to combine declarative context (e.g. with end user development) and computed context (AI, machine learning)

Applications connected to societal issues such as health and well-being, energy and water consumption, waste, and persuasive systems, are welcome. Read more on Call: Context in the Home – Workshop of the Context-17 Conference…

Posted in Calls | Leave a comment

My first virtual reality groping

[Here’s a depressing example of the all-too-timely dark side of presence; it’s from Medium, where the story includes two screenshots from the QuiVr game. –Matthew]

Woman using VR

[Image: Source: The Verge]

My First Virtual Reality Groping

October 20, 2016
Jordan Belamire

Last week I was groped in virtual reality — did you know that could happen? I didn’t, but now I’m all the wiser. Read more on My first virtual reality groping…

Posted in Presence in the News | Leave a comment

Call: AAAI 2017 Workshop on What’s next for AI in games

AAAI 2017 Workshop on What’s next for AI in games
At the Thirty-First AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AAAI-17)
San Francisco, California, USA
Workshop Date: February 4 or 5, 2017 (TBD)

Deadline for paper submissions: October 31, 2016 (extended deadline)



With the recent success of AlphaGo, computers now dominate the field of classic board games. While many researchers have already broadened their games-related research beyond the goal of achieving high performance in traditional games, the recent achievement of this milestone result makes it an appropriate time to reflect as a field on what is next in AI in games. With this workshop we seek to bring the broader AI community into this conversation.

This workshop will provide a place for AI researchers working in diverse areas such as machine learning, neural networks, human-aware AI, goal planning, game theory, robotics, and more to share their techniques and findings with those working in games research and the games industry. In the meantime, it provides a venue for game researchers to share their innovation and reflect on current challenges with the broad AI community.

This workshop will consist of three main components: Peer-reviewed paper presentations, invited talks on recent research, and short position talks and a panel discussion on the future of AI in games. We are particularly interested in seeing work that bridges between research communities, applying new approaches or applying work in new or novel domains. Anyone with an interest in AI and Games should consider submitting to or attending this workshop. Read more on Call: AAAI 2017 Workshop on What’s next for AI in games…

Posted in Calls | Leave a comment

The NBA begins weekly VR broadcasts of basketball games

[Aside from the further expansion of VR presence experiences, it’s interesting that the NBA learned that it had to incorporate elements of traditional broadcasting into its 360-degree live broadcasts to maintain viewer attention and interest. This story is from Fortune. –Matthew]

NBA-NextVR broadcasting

Here’s How the NBA Is Stepping Up Its Virtual Reality Game

by Jonathan Vanian
October 20, 2016

The NBA is getting more serious with virtual reality.

NBA Digital, a joint venture between Turner Sports and the NBA that manages the league’s online properties, said that it will broadcast one basketball game a week that viewers can watch in 360 degrees. The first custom broadcast will debut October 27 when the Sacramento Kings play against the San Antonio Spurs. During the broadcast, the NBA will stream the game in 180-degrees, in which viewers can turn their heads to follow the action, while a graphical display of the game’s statistics will be streamed in another 180-degrees to accompany the broadcast.

Viewers can watch the first game for free as long as they sign up for a free trial of the NBA League Pass, the NBA’s video subscription service, and have a Samsung Gear VR headset as well as the appropriate Samsung smartphone.

Eventually, the NBA will make 360-broadcasts available to the Google Daydream View virtual headset, says Jeff Marsilio, NBA vice president of global media distribution. Marsilio adds that it’s “likely” that other headsets like Facebook’s Oculus Rift , the HTC Vive, and the Sony PlayStation VR will be supported.

The NBA is partnering with virtual reality startup NextVR, which will be doing a lot of the production legwork, such as setting up a broadcasting truck outside the arena and filming the game. NextVR will work with NBA producers on how the game will be presented, and the NBA will have dedicated announcers and sideline reporters who will narrate the game. Read more on The NBA begins weekly VR broadcasts of basketball games…

Posted in Presence in the News | Leave a comment

Call: 3DUI 2017 – IEEE 12th Symposium on 3D User Interfaces

Call for Papers

3DUI 2017, IEEE 12th Symposium on 3D User Interfaces
18th & 19th March
Los Angeles, California, USA

Abstract submissions due: November 22, 2016 (midnight PST)

Since IEEE 3DUI 2016, there has been an explosion of new technology that requires 3D user interface solutions. There are therefore many open 3D user interface research questions and more new technologies required. The IEEE 3DUI 2017 Symposium is the conference to showcase your results to the community. For that purpose, IEEE 3DUI 2017 solicits high-quality Papers and Technotes within the scope of 3D User Interfaces.

The symposium will last for two days, and will be followed immediately by the IEEE Virtual Reality 2017 conference.

Papers (up to 10 pages) should describe original and mature research results and will typically include some evidence of the value of the research, such as a user evaluation, formal proof, or well-substantiated argument. Technotes (up to 4 pages) should contain unpublished preliminary results of research, application, design or system work. Technotes do not have the hard requirement of an evaluation. The presentation of novel research is a key requirement, and this includes (but is not limited to) technology, techniques, and systems.

Each Paper or Technote should be classifiable as mainly covering 3D UI Research, Application & Design, or Systems using the following guidelines for each:

  • RESEARCH papers should describe results that contribute to advances in state-of-the-art 3D UI, in particular, in the areas of interaction, novel input devices, human-factors, or algorithms.
  • APPLICATION & DESIGN papers should explain how the authors built novel and/or creative 3D UIs to solve interesting problems. Each Paper should include an evaluation of the use of the 3D UIs in the given application domain.
  • SYSTEMS papers should show results that contribute to advances in state-of-the-art 3D UI technology, software or hardware. Papers should describe how the implementers integrated known techniques and technologies to produce an effective 3D UI system, along with any lessons learned in the process, and include an evaluation of the system such as benchmarking of latency, frame-rate, jitter, accuracy, etc. Simply describing a system without providing appropriate measures does not constitute a satisfactory Systems Paper.

Topics of the symposium include (but are not limited to): Read more on Call: 3DUI 2017 – IEEE 12th Symposium on 3D User Interfaces…

Posted in Calls | Leave a comment

Inception VR wants to be the Netflix of Virtual Reality

[Inception VR looks like another promising step toward the widespread adoption of presence-evoking VR experiences; the story from Digital Trends includes different images and a 2:34 minute interactive video. –Matthew]

Inception VR -Bringing Immersive Experiences to Life

This Company Wants to be the Netflix of Virtual Reality

By Andy Boxall
October 19, 2016

When you want to watch some great streaming video, where do you go? Netflix, perhaps? Amazon Video? There are fantastic original shows from both these titans.

Now, what if you’d like a similar, quality video experience for your virtual reality headset? Sure, there are many apps out there that pull together some great, and not so great, VR videos. But there’s no guarantee of quality, and no single destination to visit where you’ll always find something amazing, cool, and new to watch.

That’s where Inception VR comes in. It wants to bring everything that makes Netflix, HBO, and Amazon Video great to the world of VR. Read more on Inception VR wants to be the Netflix of Virtual Reality…

Posted in Presence in the News | Leave a comment

Call: MuseumNext Europe 2017

MuseumNext Europe
Rotterdam, The Netherlands
26-28 June, 2017

Deadline Friday 6 January (5pm GMT)

MuseumNext is a global conference series on the future of museums, taking place in the world’s cultural capitals since 2009. The conference is a catalyst for innovation, transformation and collaboration in museums, galleries and heritage sites, with more than 900 individuals from 32 countries joining us in 2016.

Each MuseumNext conference has a theme, around which our community comes together to discuss the future of museums. For our European Museum Conference this theme is inspired by the wish to celebrate those people, ideas and technologies that are changing the landscape of the sector.


We invite opinions, expertise, case studies, discussions and workshops around the points below:

Leaders and cultural entrepreneurs – shaking up the museum sector, pushing boundaries and ensuring the future success and relevance of museums, galleries, science centres and cultural organisations in which they work.

Technology – the use of cutting edge technology in the areas of, interactive campaigns, wearables, virtual reality, augmented reality, gadgets, platforms, games and more in the museum space to engage, nurture and connect.

Practice – Innovative work with communities and schools, social engagement with diverse groups, being an ethical museum, raising the significance of the museum in daily lives, connecting and succeeding.

Touring – How are touring exhibitions reshaping the museum landscape, what are the business models which museums are adopting to profit from touring.

Partnerships – Working together across organisations; in conjunction with individuals, groups, regionally, nationally and internationally, sharing resources, goals and people.

Audiences – elevating engagement, widening attendance, sharing a connection with each visitor through personalization, content and programming. Read more on Call: MuseumNext Europe 2017…

Posted in Calls | Leave a comment

How about a nice hot cup of virtual tea?

[This is an interesting demonstration of presence and its potential; the story from Engadget includes a second picture, and more information about ALPS’ development and application of haptic technology is available from the company’s website. –Matthew]

ALPS' virtual cup of tea

How about a nice hot cup of virtual tea?

Haptics combined with heating and cooling elements deliver the feeling (if not the taste) of a cup of tea.

Mat Smith

Electronics company ALPS tests (and manufactures) all kinds of things. But its virtual cup, made possible by haptic technology and heat transmission, is the electronics manufacturer at its weird best. The cup, which is the size of a typical tumbler, is able to transmit a material’s tensile strength and even the temperature of your beverage of choosing. That is, as long as it’s cold water in a plastic cup or hot tea in a mug. As you tilt it, you feel the weight of the cup shift, and hear the water slosh around. As Engadget’s Deputy Tea Editor, I can confirm that the effect is… freaky. Read more on How about a nice hot cup of virtual tea?…

Posted in Presence in the News | Leave a comment
  • Find Researchers

    Use the links below to find researchers listed alphabetically by the first letter of their last name.

    A | B | C | D | E | F| G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z