ISPR Presence News

Monthly Archives: December 2013

Call: First International Workshop on Multiagent Foundations of Social Computing (at AAMAS 2014)

First International Workshop on Multiagent Foundations of Social Computing

Co-located with AAMAS 2014 (
May 5-9, 2014, Paris, France

Social computing broadly refers to computing-supported approaches that facilitate interactions among people and organizations. Social computing has emerged as an exciting multidisciplinary area of research, driven by the wealth of easily available information and the success of online social networks and social media. Social computing applications are characterized by high interactivity among users, user-generated content, and in cases such as Wikipedia, more open governance structures.

Much of the recent excitement in social computing is driven by data analytics and business models. What is still lacking, however, is a deeper conceptual understanding of social computing — e.g., relating to its conceptual bases, information and abstractions, design principles, and platforms. We invite papers that take an explicitly multiagent perspective in addressing these gaps and do so in thought-provoking ways.… read more. “Call: First International Workshop on Multiagent Foundations of Social Computing (at AAMAS 2014)”

Posted in Calls | Leave a comment

Meet the robot telemarketer who denies she’s a robot

[From TIME]

AI call operator

Meet the Robot Telemarketer Who Denies She’s A Robot

Our encounter with an all-too-convincing robot

By Zeke Miller and Denver Nicks
With reporting by Michael Scherer, Christopher Wilson, and Jessica Roy [@jessicakroy]
Follow @timenewsfeed
Dec. 10, 2013

The phone call came from a charming woman with a bright, engaging voice to the cell phone of a TIME Washington Bureau Chief Michael Scherer. She wanted to offer a deal on health insurance, but something was fishy.

When Scherer asked point blank if she was a real person, or a computer-operated robot voice, she replied enthusiastically that she was real, with a charming laugh. But then she failed several other tests. When asked “What vegetable is found in tomato soup?” she said she did not understand the question. When asked multiple times what day of the week it was yesterday, she complained repeatedly of a bad connection.… read more. “Meet the robot telemarketer who denies she’s a robot”

Posted in Presence in the News | Leave a comment

Call: CHI PLAY 2014

Submission Deadlines:
May 8, 2014 (full papers, demos, workshops, doctoral consortium)
June 26, 2014 (student competition, work-in-progress)

The ACM SIGCHI Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play
Twitter: #chiplay

Toronto, Ontario, Canada
October 5-8, 2014

CHI PLAY is a new international and interdisciplinary conference (by ACM SIGCHI) for researchers and professionals across all areas of play, games and human-computer interaction (HCI), we call it: “player-computer interaction”.

The goal of the conference is to highlight and foster discussion of current high quality research in games and HCI as foundations for the future of digital play. To this end, the conference will feature streams that blend academic research and games with research papers, interactive demos, and industry case studies.

CHI PLAY grew out of the increasing work around games and play emerging from the ACM annual conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI) over the last few years.… read more. “Call: CHI PLAY 2014”

Posted in Calls | Leave a comment

CAVE + robotic camera = Immersive research and learning center

[From the Philadelphia Inquirer; more information is available from Villanova]

Omni-directional image of inside of Villanova's chapel

[Image: A still frame from a video by computer scientist Frank Klassner shows an omni-directional image of the interior of Villanova University’s chapel made with a Ladybug camera]

Villanova adding robotic camera to its virtual reality technology

By Jeff Gelles, Inquirer Columnist
December 12, 2013

What if you could explore and conduct research on the floor of the Grand Canyon, or examine archaeological sites underneath the Vatican, without ever leaving the Philadelphia region?

By next fall, those kinds of experiences and many more will be available to students and the broader community inside a virtual-reality enclosure off the lobby of Villanova University’s Falvey Library.

The project is known as a CAVE, which stands for Cave Automated Virtual Environment. It’s being developed under a $1.67 million grant from the National Science Foundation, awarded this year to a team led by computer scientist Frank Klassner.… read more. “CAVE + robotic camera = Immersive research and learning center”

Posted in Presence in the News | Leave a comment

Call: Education and Training for Globally Distributed Virtual Teams – Special issue of Connexions

Dear Colleagues-

As you finish your semesters and move toward the holidays, I wanted to remind you that proposals for the special issue of Connexions entitled Education and Training for Globally Distributed Virtual Teams are due January 15.  These proposals are short, and I have copied the text of the call (with the production schedule) below for your convenience.  The issue will be published in Dec. 2014.  Please consider submitting.  Contact me or Kirk if you would like to discuss an idea.

Best wishes,

Call for Proposals


Preparing the workforce of the future

Special Issue

Guest editors

Pam Estes Brewer
Mercer University (email:

Kirk St.Amant
East Carolina University (email:

Today, information and communication technologies (ICTs) allow individuals located in different nations to collaborate almost as easily as if they were located in the same physical office.… read more. “Call: Education and Training for Globally Distributed Virtual Teams – Special issue of Connexions”

Posted in Calls | Leave a comment

Robometrix VisitorBot Mini, new inexpensive consumer-market telepresence robot

[From Keystone Edge]

The RobotMetrix VisitorBot Mini

Palmyra’s Robometrix starting production and sales of its consumer-market robots

Thursday, December 12, 2013
Writer: Elise Vider

Imagine remotely checking in on elderly loved ones with a mini-robot that you move around using your smartphone.  Or playing with your dog while you’re at work.

Robometrix, a startup in Palmyra, is introducing its VisitorBot Mini, a compact telepresence device that can be operated on a tabletop or floor and sells for only $300. The larger VisitorBot Max stands four-feet-tall and, for example, can move around a factory floor to monitor overseas manufacturing from your Pennsylvania workplace. It sells for about $1,200.

George Keller, who founded Robometrix in 2010 with his son, Tyler, says the company has spent the last few years doing R&D, building and tweaking prototypes to create “telepresence robots that are as simple and inexpensive as possible.… read more. “Robometrix VisitorBot Mini, new inexpensive consumer-market telepresence robot”

Posted in Presence in the News | Leave a comment

Call: AISB AI&Games 2014 symposium

Join us at the AISB AI&Games 2014 symposium.
Deadline for long abstract submission 3rd of January 2014.


The AI & Games Symposium acts as a meeting and network point for researchers from academia, education and industry, in particular those involved with the design, development and evaluation of AI and games. Their expertise could be in a range of areas including: AI, machine learning, planning, narrative, education and training, multimedia, game design and development, game interaction design, characters design, interaction design and evaluation for children, adults and any other relevant area.… read more. “Call: AISB AI&Games 2014 symposium”

Posted in Calls | Leave a comment

Almost Human: Playing the uncanny valley

[Interesting consideration of ‘Computers Are Social Actors’ telepresence issues; this is from Pillow Talk TV, where the post includes several more pictures; more information and full episodes of the series are available on its official web site]

"Almost Human" graphic

Almost Human: Playing the uncanny valley

December 5, 2013
By jcodner

Fox’s new futuristic cop drama Almost Human, from power-house J.J. Abrams and creator J.H. Wyman, steps into the gaping hole on network television left by his previous Fringe and not quite filled by shows like Arrow and Revolution. Starring Karl Urban, Minka Kelly, Lili Taylor, Mackenzie Crook, Michael Irby, and Michael Ealy as “synthetic” Dorian, Almost Human is straight science fiction unfolding in a time not too far away from our own in a social and political climate that seems all too plausible as a potential future.… read more. “Almost Human: Playing the uncanny valley”

Posted in Presence in the News | Leave a comment

Call: Meaningful Play 2014

Meaningful Play 2014
October 16 – 18, 2014
East Lansing, MI, USA

Call for Submissions (Deadline July 1, 2014)

Whether designed to entertain or to achieve more “serious” purposes, games have the potential to impact players’ beliefs, knowledge, attitudes, emotions, cognitive abilities, physical and mental health, and behavior. Central to all of these goals is the idea of Meaningful Play: a player’s sense that actions matter and the context of play matters.

Meaningful Play 2014 is a conference about theory, research, and game design innovations, principles and practices. Meaningful Play brings scholars and industry professionals together to understand and improve upon games to entertain, inform, educate, and persuade in meaningful ways. The conference includes thought-provoking keynotes from leaders in academia and industry, peer-reviewed paper presentations, panel sessions (including academic and industry discussions), innovative workshops, roundtable discussions, and exhibitions of games and prototypes.… read more. “Call: Meaningful Play 2014”

Posted in Calls | Leave a comment

Presence Picture #7: Girl kisses Nelson Mandela statue

Girl kisses Mandela statue

A touching example of social presence after the loss of Nelson Mandela in a photo by Christopher Furlong from Getty Images. The caption:

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA – DECEMBER 09: A young South African girl named Malika is lifted by her mother to kiss a statue of former South African President Nelson Mandela before a service conducted by Archbishop Desmond Tutu at the Nelson Mandela Foundation on December 9, 2013 in Johannesburg, South Africa. Mandela, also known as Madiba, passed away on the evening of December 5, 2013 at his home in Houghton at the age of 95. Mandela became South Africa’s first black president in 1994 after spending 27 years in jail for his activism against apartheid in a racially-divided South Africa.

If you have information or comments about this or future Presence Pictures, please share them with our community by using the appropriate ‘comments’ link (note: WordPress spam filters are said to be overly aggressive, so if you don’t receive confirmation of receipt after you post, please notify us at… read more. “Presence Picture #7: Girl kisses Nelson Mandela statue”

Posted in Presence Pictures | 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