ISPR Presence News

Monthly Archives: August 2017

Job: Research Assistant Professor for Immersive Environments at Virginia Tech

Research Assistant Professor for Immersive Environments
Institute for Creativity, Arts and Technology
Virginia Tech University
Blacksburg, Virginia

Faculty Rank: Research Assistant Professor
Posting Number: SR0170329
Quick Link:

Employee Category: Research Faculty
If restricted or temporary, enter end date: Reviewed annually
Tenure Status: Non-Tenure Track
Academic Year or Calendar Year: Calendar Year
Percent Employment: Full-time
Pay Range: Commensurate with Experience

Job Posting Date: 08/18/2017
Review Begin Date: 09/11/2017


Virginia Tech is a public land-grant university, committed to teaching and learning, research, and outreach to the Commonwealth of Virginia, the nation, and the world. Building on its motto of Ut Prosim (that I may serve), Virginia Tech is dedicated to InclusiveVT—serving in the spirit of community, diversity, and excellence. We seek candidates who adopt and practice the Principles of Community, which are fundamental to our on-going efforts to increase access and inclusion, and to create a community that nurtures learning and growth for all of its members.… read more. “Job: Research Assistant Professor for Immersive Environments at Virginia Tech”

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Why Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality will soon mean the same thing

[Precise and explicit definitions are essential for scholars (a quest close to my heart when it comes to presence). Especially in the last decade the evolution of the technologies that evoke presence has raised challenges for defining the nature and categories of the technologies and even for defining and measuring presence (e.g., many questionnaire items don’t apply well to augmented reality). This column from Computerworld outlines the situation and argues that despite the important distinctions, soon the technologies will all be commonly known as “virtual reality.” The original version of the column includes a second image and a 4:28 minute video. –Matthew]

Why Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality are the same thing

People are already confused about virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), mixed reality (MR), 360-degree video and heads-up displays. It will get worse before it gets more. “Why Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality will soon mean the same thing”

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Call: Chapters for “Research Games: Using Game Design Elements as an Inspiration for HCI Research Methods”

Call for contributions on an edited book on
Research Games: Using Game Design Elements as an Inspiration for HCI Research Methods

Chapter proposal deadline: 1st September 2017

In recent years, games have increasingly received attention as a source of inspiration for areas outside of games and play itself. After a successful workshop at CHI 2016 we are preparing an edited book in the Springer Human-Computer Interaction Series explicitly aiming to reveal bridging concepts and presenting methods for introducing the application of game elements and game design principles to research in the field of HCI. This Book will focus on how game design elements can be used to improve HCI research and how such elements can become part of the different phases in human-centered and participatory design. The book will focus on both, complete ‘research games’ and on the use of single game design elements in research.… read more. “Call: Chapters for “Research Games: Using Game Design Elements as an Inspiration for HCI Research Methods””

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More presence coming to the dining experience

[This story from the Irish Independent describes several ways presence experiences are becoming more common at restaurants; the original version includes two more pictures and for more information check out the websites of Shanghai’s Ultraviolet and Ibiza’s Sublimotion. –Matthew]

[Image: Sea food: Diners at Shanghai’s Ultraviolet restaurant take in an underwater experience. Photo: Scott Wright of Limelight Studio]

Out for a byte: dining is now a feast for all senses

Technology à la carte will whisk you away to a Tuscan garden while kitchen robots flip your burgers. Sue Quinn savours the thought

June 7 2017

Have a taste of this: you fancy going out for dinner, so you ask your voice-activated reservations device to recommend a restaurant based on your culinary tastes and budget. When you walk through the restaurant door, staff instantly recognise your face, recall your name and remember it’s your birthday, along with your favourite drink and the most appropriate food for your genetic profile.… read more. “More presence coming to the dining experience”

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Call: International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Information

Call for Abstracts

International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Information
University of Porto (Portugal)
December 5-7, 2017

Deadline for submissions: September 30, 2017

Dear all,

Proposals are welcome for the International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Information, which will be held at the Faculty of Arts, University of Porto (Portugal) on December 5, 6 and 7, 2017. The official language is English.

Graduate students, junior researchers and senior scholars are welcome to submit their work.


  • Professor Luciano Floridi (University of Oxford)
  • Professor Estela Bicho (University of Minho)
  • Professor Eugénio Oliveira (University of Porto)
  • Professor Luis Moniz Pereira (University of Lisbon)


We invite submission for a 30 minute presentation (followed by 10 minute discussion).

The following tracks are available:

Track A: Human-Technology Interfaces

  • History and Philosophy of Brain-Computer Interfaces;
  • Conceptual issues (what is and what is not a BCI);
  • Neural prostheses, neurochips and neural interfaces;
  • Brain-Machine interfaces and its applications;
  • Invasive, Partially Invasive and Non-invasive BCIs;
  • Electronic neural networks and brain-to-brain interfaces;
  • Future directions and challenges;

Track B: Philosophy and Ethics of Information

  • Conceptual nature and basic principles of information;
  • Unified theory of information and logical theories of information;
  • The symbol-grounding problem and the gettier problem;
  • the 4th Revolution: the impacts of ICTs and the infosphere;
  • The Design of Internet Architecture and Human Rights;
  • The Ethics of Big Data and Cloud Computing: the Right to be forgotten;
  • Theoretical Foundations of Computer Ethics;

Track C: Artificial Intelligence

  • History and Philosophy of Artificial Intelligence;
  • Artificial General Intelligence and Friendly AI;
  • Artificial neural network models;
  • Computational Theories of Mind versus Biological Theories of Mind;
  • Weak AI, Strong AI and Skepticism;
  • Logic versus Anti-Logic approaches to AI;
  • Embodied, Enactive, Extended and Embedded approaches to AI;
  • Machine Learning and Quantum Computation;
  • Robots replacing humans (Moley robotics, Everwin Precision Technology, Da Vinci (surgery), Humanoid robots, Robot sex, Nursing, Health Care, Law, etc.);

Track D: General Ethical Considerations

  • The Consequences of BCI technology, the side-effects and alteration of personhood;
  • Blurring of the division between human and machine;
  • Therapeutic applications and their possible exceedance (human enhancement), mind-reading and privacy, mind-control, use of technology by governmental authorities;
  • Animal welfare and experimentation;
  • Risks of an uncontrolled AI development (the Control Problem, Robots of War, Virtual Reality Torture, etc);
  • Existential Risks (Hawking, Musk, Bostrom, Gates);

Track E: Transhumanism

  • Whole Brain Emulation (mind-uploading) and life extension technology (digital immortality);
  • Moore’s Law, computer power and technological singularity;
  • Brain simulation and reverse-engineering;
  • The problem of Personal Identity (Ship of Theseus) and survival;
  • The enhanced carnality of Post-Biological Life and Neurobotics;
  • Superintelligences, Virtual Reality and Natural Cyborgs;

Track F: Ethics and Law of Artificial Agents

  • Artificial Agency and Moral Status of robots;
  • Ethical and Moral Considerations in Non-Human Agents;
  • Programming Machine Ethics;
  • Robots, AI Revolution and Unemployment;
  • Political, legal and ethical consequences of non-human agents;

Track G: Open Track (other topics)

  • The Imaginary of Artificial Intelligence in the Arts (film, series, literature, etc);
  • Dystopian narratives, privacy and freedom of speech;
  • Robotic Art;
  • Other topics related with Artificial Intelligence and Information.
read more. “Call: International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Information”
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Finally: An augmented reality app that injects the internet into real life

[As this story from Wired notes, in the possibly-near future a virtual layer of experience will become overlaid on and intertwined with our nonmediated world, with lots of potential uses and impacts. The new Mirage app is an early step toward that future. –Matthew]

Finally: An Augmented Reality App that Injects the Internet into Real Life

Peter Rubin
August 8, 2017

When Ryan Staake and Patrick Piemonte first worked together, they helped you get around: Both were interface designers at Apple, with Piemonte working specifically on the iPhone’s map technology. Now, nearly a decade later, the two are working together again—but this time, instead of helping you get around, they want to use the power of augmented reality to appreciate the hidden things around you.

That’s the idea behind Mirage, an iOS app the duo and a small team just released.… read more. “Finally: An augmented reality app that injects the internet into real life”

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Call: Emotional Machines: Perspectives from Affective Computing and Emotional Human-Machine Interaction (interdisciplinary conference)

Interdisciplinary Conference:
Emotional Machines. Perspectives from Affective Computing and Emotional Human-Machine Interaction
September 21-22, 2017 at the Institute of Philosophy, University of Stuttgart, Germany

Free with registration

Humans have emotions, machines do not. This seems to be a truism: Human beings are made of flesh and blood; they do not just act rationally but impulsively and emotionally. They make decisions, feel attracted to objects or subjects or repelled by them. They mourn others, are in a good mood or suffer from depression. But what about machines? At first glance machines and emotions seem to be at odds with each other. We program machines and they calculate without any emotions. However, if we take a closer look, things are not so clear: machines are today able to recognize and react to emotions, and according to their designers some even possess emotions.… read more. “Call: Emotional Machines: Perspectives from Affective Computing and Emotional Human-Machine Interaction (interdisciplinary conference)”

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Beyond virtual reality: Synthetic reality and our co-created futures

[This big picture perspective on the future of mediated experience from Forbes makes a compelling case that today’s technologies are leading us toward what has only been considered in science fiction, raising some of the same intriguing philosophical questions about the nature of humans and how we would use or misuse such technologies. –Matthew]

[Image: A picture taken on June 8, 2016 in the gardens of the Chateau de Versailles shows ‘Waterfall’ installation by Danish artist Olafur Eliasson. The spectacular installation cascades into the Grand Canal of the famous royal gardens outside Paris. Eliasson created eight works for the palace built by ‘Sun King’ Louis XIV, the most absolute of France’s absolute monarchs.  (Photo credit: Geoffroy Van Der Hasselt/AFP/Getty Images)]

Beyond Virtual Reality: Synthetic Reality And Our Co-Created Futures

Robert C. Wolcott, Contributor – I explore business, leadership and humanity in our technological more. “Beyond virtual reality: Synthetic reality and our co-created futures”

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Call: Design for Health

Call for Papers: Design for Health

Design for Health is an international refereed journal covering all aspects of design in the context of health and wellbeing. The Journal is published twice a year and provides a forum for design and health scholars, design professionals, health-care practitioners, educators and managers worldwide.

Design for Health is affiliated with the Design4Health conference, established in 2011.

The Journal aims to publish thought provoking work based on rigorous research. It invites high quality, original submissions that make a contribution to knowledge and practice in the context of the design of health products, services and interventions that promote dignity and enhance quality of life. It adopts the World Health Organisation’s definition of health as the ‘state of complete physical and mental wellbeing and not only the absence of disease’ (1948).

The Journal publishes work which utilizes design and creative practices as methods and tools within research to engage people to understand problems, and visualize new possibilities and future scenarios.… read more. “Call: Design for Health”

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Ethical, practical challenges of VR-AR-AI-IoT blurring the lines between physical and virtual reality

[Presence scholars should lead the way in making sure everyone involved considers and addresses the challenges created by evolving technologies, as highlighted in this column from Futurism. –Matthew]

[Image: “Reality is An Illusion” by Louis Dyer via Deviant Art]

Will AI Blur the Lines Between Physical and Virtual Reality?

By Jay Iorio, Innovation Director for the IEEE Standards Association
August 15, 2017

The Notion of Reality

As technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR), big data, 5G, and the internet of things (IoT) advance over the next generation, they will reinforce and spur one another. One plausible scenario is a physical world so enhanced by personalized, AI-curated digital content (experienced with what we today call augmented reality) that the very notion of reality is called into question.

Immersion can change how we interact with content in fundamental ways.… read more. “Ethical, practical challenges of VR-AR-AI-IoT blurring the lines between physical and virtual reality”

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