ISPR Presence News

Monthly Archives: February 2018

Amazon’s Alexa Prize challenges experts to create bot capable of small talk

[Amazon’s Alexa Prize challenges AI experts to create a more natural (presence-evoking) social bot; the original, unabridged version of this long story from Wired describes the background, the competition process and results, and notes that Amazon has another Alexa Prize contest in 2018. –Matthew]

INSIDE THE ALEXA PRIZE

Amazon is in a pitched battle with its rivals to bring truly conversational AI into our homes. So the company is staging a contest—a mad dash toward an outlandish goal: Cook up a bot capable of small talk.

James Vlahos
February 27, 2018

The first interactor—a muscular man in his fifties with a shaved head and a black V-neck sweater—walks into a conference room and sits in a low-slung blue armchair before a phalanx of video cameras and studio lights. He’s brightly lit. The rest of the room is totally dark. He gazes at a black, hockey-­puck-shaped object—an Amazon Echo—on a small table in front of him.… read more. “Amazon’s Alexa Prize challenges experts to create bot capable of small talk”

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Call: PRESENCE 2018 – IMPORTANT DEADLINE AND REGISTRATION UPDATES

Two important updates about the upcoming PRESENCE 2018 conference in Prague:

  1. DEADLINE: The submission deadline is Thursday March 1, but we know how things can go with deadlines, so if you need a few extra days there’s a bit of flexibility – just email me directly on or before the deadline to let us know when to expect your submission.
  2. REGISTRATION: Online registration is now open at EventBrite.

And a couple additional notes/reminders:

  1. PRESENCE 2018 attendees may also be interested in attending the ICA Preconference “Communicating with Machines: Theory and Practice” on May 24.
  2. If you want to find affordable housing during the conference(s) via Airbnb please e-mail SongYi “Grace” Lee at songyi.lee07@gmail.com.

We hope you’ll consider submitting your work and joining us in Prague (or of course just joining us in Prague!).

As always, the full call for papers is on the ISPR website at https://ispr.info/call-presence-2018

If you have any questions or requests, please e-mail me at lombard@temple.edu.… read more. “Call: PRESENCE 2018 – IMPORTANT DEADLINE AND REGISTRATION UPDATES”

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Call: Social Simulation 2018, 14th Annual Conference of the European Social Simulation Association (ESSA)

Call for Papers

Social Simulation 2018 (SSC 2018)
14th Annual Conference of the European Social Simulation Association (ESSA)
August 20-24, 2018
Stockholm, Sweden
http://ssc2018.dsv.su.se/

Submission deadline: 30 March, 2018

Social Simulation 2018 is the 14th Annual Conference of the European Social Simulation Association (ESSA). The conference is one of ESSA’s key activities to promote social simulation and computational social science.

Looking in the mirror is the theme of this conference. As the relatively young field/society enters puberty some critical self-reflection is sought by looking in the mirror ourselves, with relevant others. With high potential of having identity crisis as well as moments of inspiration and insight, this conference aims to support during growing pains of a society in transformation towards proper scientific adulthood.

Papers categories:

SSC 2018 seeks submissions for the following papers categories:

  • Full Paper (max.
read more. “Call: Social Simulation 2018, 14th Annual Conference of the European Social Simulation Association (ESSA)”
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Facebook’s body-swapping AI further blurs line between real and fake

[As this story from The Next Web notes, Facebook’s new DensePose technology represents a new capability for altering the reality presented in video material. As always, the deception could logically have both positive and negative implications. See the original story for a second image and a 3:49 minute demo video. –Matthew]

Facebook’s body-swapping AI has Hollywood written all over it

By Tristan Greene
February 7, 2018

If you thought DeepFakes, the AI that swaps celebrity faces into any video (like porn), was scary wait until you see what Facebook’s DensePose can do.

Facebook’s AI research (FAIR) division last week revealed the details of a neural network that maps 2D images to humans in videos. Basically the team taught AI how to add “skins” to people in videos – in real-time.

If you’ve ever wanted to live in a world where, at the push of a button, you could turn all the people in any video into a Wookie (for example) this is fabulous news for you.… read more. “Facebook’s body-swapping AI further blurs line between real and fake”

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Call: International Conference on Intelligent Human Systems Integration (IHSI 2019)

Call for Papers

International Conference on Intelligent Human Systems Integration (IHSI 2019)
Hilton San Diego Bayfront, San Diego, California USA, February 7-10, 2019
http://ihsint.org

Abstract Submission Deadline (500 words): 10 September 2018

IHSI 2019 OBJECTIVE AND AREAS OF INTEREST

You are cordially invited to participate in the 2019 International Conference on Intelligent Human Systems Integration: Integrating People and Intelligent Systems (IHSI 2019) which will be held at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront, California USA, February 7-10, 2019.

IHSI 2019  Conference aims to provide a global forum for presenting and discussing novel approaches, design tools, methodologies, techniques, and solutions for integrating people, intelligent technologies and automation, and artificial cognitive systems in all areas of human endeavor in industry, economy, government, and education, including but not limited to energy, transportation, urbanization and infrastructure development, digital manufacturing, social development, human health, sustainability, new generation of service systems, as well as safety, risk assurance, autonomy, and cybersecurity in both civilian and military contexts.… read more. “Call: International Conference on Intelligent Human Systems Integration (IHSI 2019)”

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Personal robots are coming into your home. Will they share your family values?

[This in depth discussion of the need for robots to act based on a system of ethical guidelines, how those guidelines should be constructed, whether robots can not only act but ‘be’ ethical, and how humans should ethically behave toward robots, is from the Desert News. See the original story for 21 more pictures and a 7-item survey about robot ethics. –Matthew]

Personal robots are coming into your home. Will they share your family values?

By Jennifer Graham
February 14, 2018

HARTFORD, Conn. — When a Czech playwright coined the word “robot” in 1921, he described mechanical creatures that have “no passion, no history, no soul.”

The absence of soul might be good if your goal is to design a killing machine or simply a robot that will mop floors 24-7 without complaint.

But as manufacturers begin to introduce “companion robots” that play with children and look after the elderly, some scientists and ethicists are thinking that if robots can’t have a soul, they should at least have some foundational ethics to govern their behavior.… read more. “Personal robots are coming into your home. Will they share your family values?”

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Call: 11th International Conference on Game and Entertainment Technologies 2018

CALL FOR PAPERS

GET 2018 – 11th International Conference on Game and Entertainment Technologies 2018
Madrid, Spain, 18- 20 July 2018 (http://www.gaming-conf.org/)

Part of the Multi Conference on Computer Science and Information Systems (MCCSIS 2018)
Madrid, Spain, 17 – 20 July 2018 (http://www.mccsis.org)

Organized by: International Association for Development of the Information Society

Deadline for submissions: 19 March 2018

CONFERENCE SCOPE

The GET 2018 conference aims to bring together research and practice from creative, social and business practitioners and researchers in this challenging field. The focus of this conference is on design, development and evaluation of games, entertainment technologies and the nature of play.

Topics for this conference include, but are not limited to:

  • Development methodologies
  • Design issues
  • Controversial issues – we welcome debate and dissension, for example; games as art, entertainment as purely for monetary returns etc
  • Special Effects
  • Animation
  • Mobile and ubiquitous games and entertainment
  • Serious Games –applications, critiques
  • Philosophical issues
  • Prototypes
  • Social and cultural uses of/for Play
  • Tools and technologies
  • Skills, strategy, rules and chance
  • Genre
  • Immersiveness and engagement
  • Research methodologies in creative practice
  • Usability and playability
  • User/player centered design
  • Psychological, social, and cultural differences in perception and participation
  • Communities, networks, social interaction and social capital
  • Cross-cultural and intercultural approaches
  • Assessment of exploratory learning approaches
  • Emerging practices

PAPER SUBMISSION… read more. “Call: 11th International Conference on Game and Entertainment Technologies 2018”

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Virtual ‘hamster cages’: How tech and presence may erase the limits of inequality

[I believe presence is a powerful tool and that presence scholars and creators have a particular responsibility to consider, warn against, and work to prevent its use for unethical ends. Reminiscent of a Black Mirror story, this cautionary opinion column explores the potential of presence-evoking technology to subvert the mechanisms that prevent the most extreme forms of societal inequality. It was published in Bloomberg View. –Matthew]

[Image: Enjoy. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg]

Are You Poor? Here’s Your Virtual Hamster Cage

Technology could erase the limits of inequality.

By Cathy O’Neil
February 21, 2018

What are the limits of inequality? In a world with virtual reality, history might be an unreliable guide.

Time was you could imagine a peasant revolt: If the poorest were starving, they wouldn’t wait around patiently for political change. Riots would disrupt the status quo. If things were really bad, the army might join in.… read more. “Virtual ‘hamster cages’: How tech and presence may erase the limits of inequality”

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Call: 18th ACM International Conference on Intelligent Virtual Agents (IVA 2018)

CALL FOR PAPERS

18th ACM International Conference on Intelligent Virtual Agents (IVA 2018)
November 5-8, 2018, Sydney, Australia
http://iva2018.westernsydney.edu.au

Sponsored By
Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and SIGAI

Full Papers Due: May 15, 2018
Workshop Proposals Due: April 20, 2018
Demos, Industry Track Submissions and Extended Abstracts Due: May 15, 2018
GALA Video Submissions: October 29, 2018

IVA 2018 is the 18th meeting of an interdisciplinary annual conference and the main leading scientific forum for presenting research on modeling, developing and evaluating Intelligent Virtual Agents (IVAs) with a focus on communicative abilities and social behavior. IVAs are interactive digital characters that exhibit human-like qualities and can communicate with humans and each other using natural human modalities like facial expressions, speech and gesture. They are capable of real-time perception, cognition, emotion and action that allow them to participate in dynamic social environments. … read more. “Call: 18th ACM International Conference on Intelligent Virtual Agents (IVA 2018)”

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Japan’s First Airlines takes passengers on simulated flight to virtual destination

[First Airlines isn’t an airline at all but a clever use of presence-evoking technologies to simulate a flight and visit to vacation destinations. This story from tnooz includes a 4:33 minute video (in Japanese); Reuters has more details and another video (in English), and the Independent’s coverage highlights the founders’ insights about VR. –Matthew]

For ‘First Airlines’ passengers, the journey is the VR destination

Marisa Garcia
February 16, 2018

This one’s a trip. Japanese airline-themed restaurant First Airlines, offers visitors a First class flying experience that includes a virtual reality immersive tour of Hawaii, New York, Paris or Rome.

To make the airline-experience complete, guests arrive to a “check-in desk” before boarding and get a paper boarding pass to commemorate the journey. “Passengers” sit in plush genuine aircraft seats in a mocked-up aircraft cabin that includes environmental elements such as engine sounds and views of the tarmac on take-off playing on large video screens and ambient light shows during the flight portion of the evening with images of starry skies projected onto the ceilings, walls and aircraft windows.… read more. “Japan’s First Airlines takes passengers on simulated flight to virtual destination”

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