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Author Archives: Matthew Lombard

Call: AIC 2017 – 5th Edition of the International Workshop on Artificial Intelligence and Cognition

CALL FOR PAPERS

AIC 2017
5th Edition of the International Workshop on Artificial Intelligence and Cognition
Larnaca, Cyprus, November 1-3 2017
Workshop website: http://di.unito.it/AIC2017/
Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AIC_Workshop
hashtag: #aic2017ws

Paper submission deadline: July 15, 2017

MOTIVATION

The research in Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been based, from an historical standpoint, on a strong collaboration with Cognitive Science. This collaboration, has produced – along the years – mutual benefits. In AI this partnership has driven to the realization of intelligent systems based on plausible models of human cognition.

In turn, in cognitive science, this partnership allowed the development of cognitive models and architectures providing greater understanding on human thinking.

In recent years, after a period of partial fragmentation of the research directions, the area of cognitively inspired artificial systems is progressively attracting a renewed attention both from academia and industry and the awareness about the need for additional research in this interdisciplinary field is gaining widespread acceptance.

AIC 2017 is the 5th appointment of the workshop series AIC (http://dblp.uni-trier.de/db/conf/aic/index), started in 2013 and stemming from the need of creating an international scientific forum for the discussion and the presentation of the theoretical and applied research developments in the field of cognitively inspired Artificial Intelligence.

SPECIAL-FOCUS: AIC 2017 particularly welcome papers related to the problems concerning cognitively-inspired methods of Knowledge Representation and Reasoning, Knowledge Acquisition and Learning, Knowledge Processing Mechanisms in Cognitive Systems and Architectures

As for the previous editions, the AIC 2017 workshop aims at putting together researchers coming from different domains (e.g., artificial intelligence, cognitive science, computer science, engineering, philosophy, social sciences, etc.) working on the interdisciplinary field of cognitively inspired artificial systems.

Both papers spotlighting theoretical issues and experimental research in the field are welcome. We also particularly welcome papers raising challenging questions, innovative ideas and out of the box thinking and which, as a consequence, can help to promote interesting discussions at the workshop.

Argument & Cognition: AIC 2017 will host the launching of a new workshop on Argument and Cognition as a special session/track within the AIC program. This will aim to examine the kinks between the computational nature of human reasoning and the dialectical nature of argumentation. In particular, it will address the question of how argumentation could form an underlying theoretical and practical basis for building Cognitive Systems. Papers in this special session will concern the synthesis of work from Cognitive Science and Psychology on (high-level) aspects of cognition with work on Argumentation in Artificial Intelligence and other fields. (Some further information on this link of Argument and Cognition can be found at http://cognition.ouc.ac.cy/argument/.)

TOPICS

Topics of interest include but are not limited to:

  • Knowledge Representation and Cognition (e.g. Neural Networks models, Ontologies and representation of common sense etc.)
  • Cognitive Architectures (e.g. SOAR, ACT-R) and Cognitive modelling for Artificial Systems
  • I.C.A. (Biologically Inspired Cognitive Architectures) and systems
  • Cognitive Robotics
  • Human-Robot Interaction
  • Evaluation of cognitively driven AI systems compared with other AI approaches
  • Cognition and Semantic Web
  • Methodological open questions on AI and Cognition
  • Automated reasoning: deductive, probabilistic, diagnostic, causal and analogical inference
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Historical and theoretical relation among Cognitive Science and Artificial Intelligence
  • Knowledge discovery and acquisition
  • Modelling of human learning and knowledge acquisition in complex domains
  • Computational Linguistics, Natural Language Processing & Understanding
  • Logic and Reasoning
  • Evolutionary Computation
  • Cognitively inspired Machine Learning
  • Computational Theories of Learning
  • Computational Models of Narrative for Artificial Systems (Visuo-Auditory Narrativity, Perception)
  • Cognition and Moving Image
  • Computational Creativity
  • Decision Support Systems

Topics for the special session on Argument and Cognition include links of Argumentation with:

  • Human Reasoning
  • Human Decision Making
  • Comprehension
  • Persuasion
  • Learning
  • Computational Cognition
  • Cognitive Systems design

Read more on Call: AIC 2017 – 5th Edition of the International Workshop on Artificial Intelligence and Cognition…

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Newcastle U study explores prospects and ethics of VR porn

[This news release from Newcastle University describes a new study that raises important questions about the ethics of presence in the context of sexuality; see also researcher Matt Bloom’s opinion piece in The Conversation. –Matthew]

The ‘reality’ of virtual reality pornography

How the latest digital technology could blur the line between reality and fantasy, pushing the dangers of porn to a whole new level.

Published on: 19 May 2017

Experts at Newcastle University, UK, are investigating how virtual reality is changing the experience of pornography.

Through headsets such as the Facebook owned Oculus Rift and Playstation VR, the technology allows the user to become an active part of these ‘new’ sexual experiences.

Presenting their research at the CHI 2017 conference, the Newcastle team say the growing popularity of VR technologies that put users into experiences where previously they were an onlooker, could mean the extreme, degrading or even abusive imagery in pornography becoming all the more ‘real’.

Now the team, based in Open Lab, part of Newcastle University’s School of Computing Science, are calling on the digital community to take responsibility for this emerging technology and to help inform the development of this “very prominent, but not often talked about, ‘human-computer’ interaction”. Read more on Newcastle U study explores prospects and ethics of VR porn…

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Call: 10th Workshop on Intelligent Narrative Technologies (INT10, with AIIDE 2017)

Call for Papers

The 10th Workshop on Intelligent Narrative Technologies (INT10)
Co-located with the 13th AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Interactive Digital Entertainment (AIIDE)
October 5-9, 2017, Snowbird, UT, USA

Workshop website: http://www.di.unito.it/~rossana/INT10/index.html

IMPORTANT DATES:
Submission deadline: July 5, 2017
Notification of acceptance: August 1, 2017
Camera ready: August 21, 2017
INT10 workshop: October 5-6, 2017

The Intelligent Narrative Technologies (INT) workshop represents the tenth iteration of a series of gatherings dedicated to advancing research in artificial intelligence for the computational understanding and expression of narrative. Our goal is to contribute to this forward momentum by congregating a multidisciplinary group of researchers and practitioners to share their latest work at the intersection of narrative and technology.

Previous editions of INT have been celebrated in conjunction with premium conferences on AI and entertainment, games and arts, such as ICIDS, ELO, FDG and AIIDE (INT9, http://icids2016.ict.usc.edu/about-int9/). INT10 will be celebrated as a workshop of the Thirteenth AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Interactive Digital Entertainment (AIIDE).

INT brings together computer scientists, psychologists, narrative theorists, media theorists, artists, writers, and members of the interactive entertainment industry. From this broad expertise, the workshop focuses on computational systems to represent, reason about, create, adapt, and perform interactive and non-interactive narrative experiences. This also includes fundamental research in relevant fields such as natural language processing, believable virtual characters, commonsense reasoning, computer vision, computational media, and human storytelling.

TOPICS OF INTERESTS

  • Artificial intelligence for story generation and storytelling
  • Computational understanding, analysis, and summarization of narratives, including natural language processing and computer vision
  • Applications of intelligent narrative technologies, including education and healthcare
  • Drama management for interactive narratives and drama
  • Narrative discourse generation
  • Virtual cinematography for narratives
  • Virtual characters that converse, narrate, perform, and behave believably
  • Computable narrative models inspired by cognitive science, narratology, drama studies, and related disciplines
  • Narrative presence and engagement in virtual environments
  • Narrative-related affect and emotion
  • Narrative knowledge acquisition
  • Computational creativity in narrative systems
  • Authoring tools for intelligent narrative technologies, including collaborative authoring
  • Evaluation methods for intelligent narrative technologies
  • User studies and deployed intelligent narrative systems
  • Human-computer interaction with narrative technologies
  • Models and measures of engagement in interactive narrative
  • Interaction-oriented narrative annotation and narrative corpora

Read more on Call: 10th Workshop on Intelligent Narrative Technologies (INT10, with AIIDE 2017)…

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Audi installation lets you create racetrack in sandbox, then test-drive it in VR

[The creative marketing tool described in this story from Medium raises interesting questions about the roles of scale, personalization and nostalgia in presence experiences. The original story includes other images and both mentioned videos; an interactive 360 degree demonstration video is available from Audi Norway and on YouTube. The project is a logical extension of the AR Sandbox created at UC Davis. –Matthew]

Read more on Audi installation lets you create racetrack in sandbox, then test-drive it in VR…

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Call: 2017 Workshop on Hybrid Human-Machine Computing (HHMC 2017)

Call for (Extended) Abstracts

2017 Workshop on Hybrid Human-Machine Computing (HHMC 2017):
From Human Computation to Social Computing and Beyond
20-21 September, 2017
University of Surrey, Guildford, UK
Website: http://hhmc2017.commando-humans.net/

IMPORTANT DATES

Abstract Deadline: 31 May 2017 (extended from 21 May 2017)
Author Notification: 23 June 2017
Early Registration: 17 July 2017 (presenters) / 4 September 2017 (non-presenters)

INTRODUCTION

The 2017 Workshop on Hybrid Human-Machine Computing (HHMC 2017) is 2-day workshop, to be held at the University of Surrey, Guildford, UK, on 20 and 21 September, 2017. It is a workshop co-funded by University of Surrey’s Institute for Advanced Studies (IAS), a number of other organizations and related research projects.

When we talk about “computing” we often mean computers do something (for humans), but due to the more and more blurred boundary between humans and computers, this old paradigm of “computing” has changed drastically, e.g., in human computation humans do all or part of the computing (for machines), in computer-supported cooperative work (CSCW) humans are working together with assistance from computers to conduct cooperative work, in social computing and computer-mediated communication people’s social behaviours are intermingled with computer systems so computing happens with humans and computers at the same time while humans are using computers to live their lives, and for cyborgs we are talking about human-robot hybrids or robot-human hybrids where the boundary between humans and machines becomes even more blurred. To some extent we see more and more a hybrid human-machine computing (HHMC) world where both humans and machines are working with and for each other.

The main goals of the workshop include 1) to bring researchers working in different disciplines but with common research interests on HHMC together for exchanging research ideas, and 2) to promote interdisciplinary collaborations and experience sharing between different subjects.

The workshop will also be used as an event to discuss medium- and long-term activities in the UK and internationally on HHMC related research, such as the possibility to set up a UK- and/or a European-wide research network funded by UK and/or EU funders. If successful, the workshop may be continued in future years as a pan-Europe or an international event.

At the workshop participants will be able to present their research work and ideas as oral presentations and posters. To encourage participations, the workshop will call for extended abstracts (up to 800 words) rather than full papers, and there will be a light-weighted peer review process conducted by the workshop’s technical program committee to ensure quality of presented work while encouraging less mature work to be discussed among participants. Different types of work can be presented: original research, position papers, surveys, work in progress, research projects and networks, etc. Work already published elsewhere is also encouraged to be presented as posters and/or short (elevator pitch type) talks.

The workshop will also include several invited keynote talks given by renowned UK and international researchers working on different topics of HHMC. There will also be a panel discussion focusing on how to develop the HHMC research community further after the workshop ends.

TOPICS OF INTEREST

We welcome submissions addressing research problems in the following (but not limited to these) topics related to Hybrid Human-Machine Computing (HHMC):

  • Human computation (crowdsourcing, games with a purpose, human interactive proofs, CAPTCHA, mobile sensing, etc.)
  • Social computing
  • Social media analytics
  • Computational social science
  • Social simulation
  • Computer-mediated communication
  • Human-in-the-loop computing (modelling, simulation, optimization, machine learning, data mining, sensing, etc.)
  • Human-agent collectives
  • Humans as (part of digital / physical) sensors
  • Computer-assisted arts
  • Human-assisted computer arts
  • Computer-supported cooperative work (CSCW)
  • Collective intelligence
  • Social search (e.g., collaborative filtering)
  • Cognitive computing, cognitive psychology and cognitive science in general
  • Computational behavioral science
  • Human-centric computing / Human-oriented computing
  • Interactive information visualization / Visual analytics
  • Interactive multimedia systems / quality of user experience / joint subjective-objective quality assessment
  • Human-like computing
  • Citizen science
  • Brain-computer interface
  • Human-robot hybrids / Robot-human hybrids / Cybernetic organisms / Cyborgs
  • Humanoid / humanoid robots / androids
  • Biological robots / biots
  • Social robots
  • Related theoretical computer science topics such as Turing tests
  • Related philosophical aspects such as definition of intelligence and essential differences between humans and machines
  • Ethical issues about HHMC
  • Legal aspects of HHMC
  • Business opportunities around HHMC
  • Industrial innovations around HHMC
  • Applications of HHMC in different fields such as physical sciences, engineering, medical sciences, social sciences, humanities

Read more on Call: 2017 Workshop on Hybrid Human-Machine Computing (HHMC 2017)…

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Presence for the past: Technology delivers nostalgia on demand

[This story from The Atlantic is about how a variety of technologies will increasingly allow us to reproduce vivid memories; note the important comments near the end about some of the ethical implications of these developments (some of which echo concerns about telepresence after death). The original story includes an infographic titled “The Machinery of Memory: A Timeline.” –Matthew]

[Image: Credit: Alvaro Dominguez]

The End of Forgetting

Technology delivers nostalgia on demand.

Ben Rowen
June 2017 Issue

When Uncle Joshua, a character in Peter De Vries’s 1959 novel, The Tents of Wickedness, says that nostalgia “ain’t what it used to be,” the line is played for humor: To those stuck in the past, nothing—not even memory itself—survives the test of time. And yet Uncle Joshua’s words have themselves aged pretty well (despite being widely misattributed to Yogi Berra): Technology, though ceaselessly striving toward the future, has continually revised how we view the past.

Nostalgia—generally defined as a sentimental longing for bygone times—underwent a particularly significant metamorphosis in 1888, when Kodak released the first commercially successful camera for amateurs. Ads soon positioned it as a necessary instrument for preserving recollections of children and family celebrations. According to Nancy Martha West, the author of Kodak and the Lens of Nostalgia, the camera “allowed people … to arrange their lives in such a way that painful or unpleasant aspects were systematically erased.”

Technology is poised to once again revolutionize the way we recall the past. Not so long ago, nostalgia’s triggers were mostly spontaneous: catching your prom’s slow-dance song on the radio, riffling through photo albums while you were home for the holidays. Today, thanks to our devices, we can experience nostalgia on demand. The Nostalgia Machine website plays songs from your “favorite music year”; another app, Sundial, replays the songs you were listening to exactly a year ago. The Timehop app and Facebook’s On This Day feature shower you with photos and social-media updates from a given date in history. The Museum of Endangered Sounds website plays the noises of discontinued products (the chime of a Bell phone, the chirping of a Eurosignal pager). Retro Site Ninja lets you revisit web pages from the ’90s.

This is just the beginning: While these apps and websites let us glimpse the past, other technologies could place us more squarely inside it. But although psychologists believe nostalgia is crucial for finding meaning in life and for combatting loneliness, we don’t yet know whether too much of it will have negative, even dystopian, effects. As technology gives us unprecedented access to our memories, might we yearn for the good old days when we forgot things? Read more on Presence for the past: Technology delivers nostalgia on demand…

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Call: 11th International Workshop on Multi-Agent Systems and Simulation (MAS&S 2017)

CALL FOR PAPERS

11th International Workshop on Multi-Agent Systems and Simulation (MAS&S 2017)
Prague, Czech Republic, 3 – 6 September, 2017
WWW: https://www.fedcsis.org/2017/mass and https://fedcsis.org/
E-mail: mass2017@fedcsis.org

Position paper submission: May 31, 2017

We would like to cordially invite you to consider contributing a position paper to MAS&S 2017 – held as a part of the Federated Conference on Computer Science and Information Systems (FedCSIS 2017).

Multi-Agent Systems (MASs) provide powerful models for representing both real-world systems and applications with an appropriate degree of complexity and dynamics. Several research and industrial experiences have already shown that the use of MASs offers advantages in a wide range of application domains (e.g. financial, economic, social, logistic, chemical, engineering, Internet of Things). When MASs represent software applications to be effectively delivered, they need to be validated and evaluated before their deployment and execution, thus methodologies that support validation and evaluation through simulation of the MAS under development are highly required. MASs are designed for representing systems at different levels of complexity through the use of autonomous, goal-driven and interacting entities organized into societies which exhibit emergent properties The agent-based model of a system can then be executed to simulate the behavior of the complete system so that knowledge of the behaviors of the entities (micro-level) produce an understanding of the overall outcome at the system-level (macro-level). In both cases (MASs as software applications and MASs as models for the analysis of complex systems), simulation plays a crucial role that needs to be further investigated.

TOPICS

MAS&S’17 aims at providing a forum for discussing recent advances in Engineering Complex Systems by exploiting Agent-Based Modeling and Simulation. In particular, the areas of interest are the following (although this list should not be considered as exclusive):

  • Agent-based simulation techniques and methodologies
  • Discrete-event simulation of Multi-Agent Systems
  • Simulation as validation tool for the development process of MAS
  • Agent-oriented methodologies incorporating simulation tools
  • MAS simulation driven by formal models
  • MAS simulation toolkits and frameworks
  • Testing vs. simulation of MAS
  • Industrial case studies based on MAS and simulation/testing
  • Agent-based Modeling and Simulation (ABMS)
  • Agent-based Ambient Systems
  • Agent Computational Economics (ACE)
  • Agent Computational Finance (ACF)
  • Agent-based simulation for energy systems
  • Agent-based simulation of networked systems
  • Scalability in agent-based simulation
  • Agent-based modeling of intelligent social phenomena

PAPER SUBMISSION AND PUBLICATION Read more on Call: 11th International Workshop on Multi-Agent Systems and Simulation (MAS&S 2017)…

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VR, art, re-enactment hybrid ‘Carne y Arena’ simulates a harrowing border trek

[This story from The New York Times describes a presence experience with the potential to alter opinions on a timely social issue, addresses some of the challenges of designing experiences in emerging media, and comments on the role of artists in determining the future success of those media (see the last paragraph in particular). The original story includes an additional image. –Matthew]

Iñárritu’s ‘Carne y Arena’ Virtual Reality Simulates a Harrowing Border Trek

By Jason Farago
May 17, 2017

CANNES, France – After weeks in the desert, dehydrated and afraid, refugees and migrants who are apprehended crossing the United States-Mexico border are regularly locked in what are called las hieleras: the freezers. They are meant to be short-term holding cells — they have no beds — but they also exact a kind of extrajudicial punishment. As revealed by a Freedom of Information Act request in 2015, migrants are trapped there for nearly two days on average. Children are separated from their families; detainees are deprived of food. Sometimes their lips split. Sometimes their skin turns blue.

The cold of the hieleras is the first thing you feel in “Carne y Arena” (“Flesh and Sand”), a groundbreaking hybrid of art exhibition, virtual reality simulation and historical re-enactment by the Mexican film director Alejandro G. Iñárritu on view here ahead of its art-world debut in June at the Prada Foundation in Milan. You enter a cold-storage chamber, spare but for a few industrial benches, and are instructed to remove your shoes and socks. Dusty slippers and sneakers, recovered from the border zone, litter the floor. Barefoot, you exit the cold room and enter a larger one, its floor covered with sand. Attendants equip you with an Oculus Rift virtual-reality headset, headphones — and a backpack. The darkness gives way, and you find yourself on the border, and in danger. Read more on VR, art, re-enactment hybrid ‘Carne y Arena’ simulates a harrowing border trek…

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Call: Technology, Consciousness and Experience – 20th BPS CEP Annual Conference

CALL FOR PAPERS

British Psychological Society (BPS)
Consciousness & Experiential Psychology (CEP) Section
20th Annual Conference: Technology, Consciousness and Experience
7-9th September 2017
Royal Holloway, University of London, Egham, Surrey TW20 0EX, UK
https://www.kc-jones.co.uk/cep2017

First submission deadline: 2 July 2017

Technology pervades modern life. Most of us are dependent on ICT and relate to others through it. Digital life appears to be changing experience. This conference explores the impact of the digital world on consciousness and experience. Themes include but are not limited to: the impact of immersion in digital technologies on ways of being, questions around advancing AI and robotics, how people navigate the digital world, use of digital media in applied psychology, education, clinical and health settings, and the role of digital technologies in helping further understanding of human behaviour. We welcome psychologists, philosophers, neuroscientists and others interested in this area. Further details are available on the CEP website (www.bps.org.uk/cep) under the Events tab, at www.kc-jones.co.uk/cep2017 and on the BPS events list.

Submissions:

We invite submissions on any topic related to the conference theme including oral papers, symposia, workshops, case studies, short (haiku deck) presentations and poster submissions and are open to other forms of presentation (e.g. debate). See Submission guidelines downloadable from www.bps.org.uk/cep under Events. Submissions (maximum 300 word abstract) via Questback submission system at https://response.questback.com/britishpsychologicalsociety/cepsubmission2017. Papers will normally be allocated 25-45 minutes for presentation and discussion. Symposia and workshops will normally be allocated an hour and a half. Presenters will need to register for the conference. Read more on Call: Technology, Consciousness and Experience – 20th BPS CEP Annual Conference…

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The evolution of presence tech: Inside Google’s slow-mo VR moonshot

[This long piece from Backchannel provides an optimistic but realistic status report on the evolution of presence technologies, including details on Google’s new stand-alone VR headset; the original version of the story includes more images. –Matthew]

Inside Google’s Slow-Mo VR Moonshot

Clay Bavor knows immersive computing is a long-term project. Here’s what he’s doing to make it happen faster.

Steven Levy, Editor of Backchannel
May 17, 2017

No one in Silicon Valley loves virtual reality or believes in its future as much as Clay Bavor. As vice president of VR and AR for Google, he’s a passionate advocate for the technology, with which he has been obsessed since he was a teenager. In Bavor’s three years of involvement with the company’s efforts in artificial realities, he has taken a populist approach, introducing accessible mobile phone-based products such as the dirt-cheap Cardboard viewer and the more recent $79 Daydream viewer.

Today, at Google’s big I/O developer conference, he’s announcing new moves that edge the company away from the VR dollar store—if not quite into the high-rent district. The splashiest of this bunch is an instant-on, standalone headset — think of it as a Daydream viewer with the phone built in, optimized for VR. Google has built a prototype “reference model” of this headset with Qualcomm’s help, and in the coming months Lenovo and HTC VIVE will release sleek commercial versions. The price is expected to fall in the mid-hundreds range—similar to the higher-end VR rigs sold by Oculus and HTC, but without the $1,200 or so supercharged computer that those products require.

Yes, you get what you pay for. The computation in these new devices is more akin to that of the phone than the supercomputer. But Google will announce at an I/O session tomorrow that it has come up with a scheme — codenamed Seurat, after the painter — to produce graphics that look as good as those from much higher-priced systems.

Google has other news: an augmented-reality version of its Expeditions classroom application, and advances in its Tango phone-based navigation system.

But just as significant, and maybe more so, is something that Bavor isn’t introducing in his presentation. It’s… an essay. Bavor plans to publish it the moment he hits the I/O stage to introduce Google’s new advances. Though it reflects his optimism about the field, it deals frankly with a problem that resonates throughout the entire bespoke-reality business: The hype about VR might be driving unrealistic expectations. Read more on The evolution of presence tech: Inside Google’s slow-mo VR moonshot…

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