ISPR Presence News

Monthly Archives: March 2018

Call: thinkBIG Workshop on the Ethical and Social Challenges posed by Artificial Intelligence

Call for Registration: thinkBIG Workshop on the Ethical and Social Challenges posed by Artificial Intelligence

Location: Cumberland Lodge, The Great Park, Windsor, SL4 2HP, UK

Date & Time: 25th June 2018, 09:30–18:00

The thinkBIG project (Nello Cristianini, University of Bristol) invites registrations for a one-day workshop on ‘The Ethical and Social Challenges Posed by Artificial Intelligence’, to be held at Cumberland Lodge, Windsor.

The rapid adoption of AI and data technologies in everyday life has created new opportunities but also risks that were not considered before. Among them are concerns about privacy, fairness, transparency, and accountability, which arise from devolving many consequential decisions to machines. There are also concerns about public opinion, employment and individual autonomy and wellbeing, particularly when those decisions are made on the basis of personal data.

In this workshop we will review the main challenges, with an eye to identifying positive contributions that we can make, either in a technical or in a conceptual way.… read more. “Call: thinkBIG Workshop on the Ethical and Social Challenges posed by Artificial Intelligence”

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Perils of presence: Think Facebook can manipulate you? Look out for virtual reality

[This story from The Conversation effectively makes the unsettling point that the potential of presence-evoking technologies like VR to be used to learn about and manipulate us far surpasses the current concerns about Facebook, and that we better start facing these dangers. –Matthew]

Think Facebook can manipulate you? Look out for virtual reality

March 21, 2018
By Elissa Redmiles, Ph.D. Dtudent in Computer Science, University of Maryland (Elissa Redmiles receives research funding from a variety of sources including the National Science Foundation, National Center for Women in Technology, and Facebook.)

As Facebook users around the world are coming to understand, some of their favorite technologies can be used against them. It’s not just the scandal over psychological profiling firm Cambridge Analytica getting access to data from tens of millions of Facebook profiles. People’s filter bubbles are filled with carefully tailored information – and misinformation – altering their behavior and thinking, and even their votes.… read more. “Perils of presence: Think Facebook can manipulate you? Look out for virtual reality”

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Job: Lecturer in Computer Games in Department of Computing at Macquarie University, Australia

The Computing Department at Macquarie University is looking to hire a new person to grow our Game Design and Development program. I’m the Program Director and I’m happy to answer any questions. Full details are available at:
http://jobs.mq.edu.au/cw/en/job/502502/lecturer-in-computer-games

–Malcolm Ryan (malcolm.ryan@MQ.EDU.AU)

Lecturer in Computer Games
Macquarie University
Sydney, Australia
Faculty/Office: Department of Computing, Faculty of Science and Engineering

Applications Close: Saturday, 19 May 2018

ABOUT THE DEPARTMENT

The Department of Computing is the home of more than 30 academic staff and more than 70 research students, and an ever-growing cohort of undergraduates and postgraduate coursework students. The department offers a broad range of cutting edge undergraduate and postgraduate courses and enjoys a strong research ethos.

We are inviting top applicants for a continuing position at the Lecturer level.  The position will be based in the Department of Computing, Faculty of Science and Engineering. … read more. “Job: Lecturer in Computer Games in Department of Computing at Macquarie University, Australia”

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Virtual reality puts physicians, trainees – even you – right in the operating room

[It’s certainly not the first use of presence-evoking technologies for medical, even surgical, training but this story from the University of Virginia emphasizes the ease of use, low cost, soon-to-be wide availability and important benefits of VR recordings of surgeries for a variety of audiences. The linked video clip mentioned near the end of the story is only 30 seconds long, but for more information and a 9 minute video see the PR Newswire press release. –Matthew]

[Image: Dr. Ziv Haskal has created a virtual procedure that puts the viewer right in the operating room with him. Credit: Josh Barney, UVA Health System]

Virtual Reality Puts Physicians, Trainees – Even You – Right In The Operating Room

March 19, 2018
Josh Barney

Physicians, trainees and even laypeople can now experience what it’s like inside an operating room as an expert radiologist performs one of the most difficult medical procedures of its kind.… read more. “Virtual reality puts physicians, trainees – even you – right in the operating room”

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Call: Emotional Machines: Perspectives from Affective Computing and Emotional Human-Machine Interaction (Springer anthology)

[See also August 2017 call for conference submissions in ISPR Presence News. –Matthew]

Call for contributions to the anthology “Emotional Machines. Perspectives from Affective Computing and Emotional Human-Machine Interaction”

Accepted by Springer, Series Futures of Technology, Science and Society

Editors: Catrin Misselhorn and Maike Klein

Submission deadline of extended abstracts: 30 April 2018

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 (Springer anthology)”

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Facebook wins patent for robot that may one day follow you around at home

[Facebook has patented a design for a two or three legged robot that would likely have telepresence capabilities; since it’s Facebook, much of the coverage raises privacy concerns. This story is from CNN, where the original includes a second image. –Matthew]

Facebook robots may one day follow you around at home

by Matt McFarland
March 6, 2018

Your future Instagram pictures could be taken by a Facebook-branded robot that follows you around the house.

That is, if a newly awarded Facebook patent ever becomes a reality.

The company received a patent on Tuesday for a self-balancing robot that’s capable of standing on either two or three legs. The concept resembles a telepresence robot, complete with a screen, camera and microphone.

The patent states the robot may have other abilities such as carrying cargo and a cooling system to control its temperature.… read more. “Facebook wins patent for robot that may one day follow you around at home”

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Call: Future Technologies Conference 2018

Call for Papers

FTC 2018 – Future Technologies Conference 2018
15-16 November 2018
Vancouver, BC, Canada
https://saiconference.com/FTC2018

Paper Submissions Due: 01 April 2018

ABOUT THE CONFERENCE

The Future Technologies Conference presents the best of current systems research and practice, emphasizing innovation and quantified experience. FTC has emerged as the foremost world-wide gathering of academic researchers, Ph.D. and graduate students, top research think tanks and industry technology developers.

Join us for FTC 2018, the world’s pre-eminent forum for reporting technological breakthroughs in the areas of Computing, Electronics, AI, Robotics, Security and Communications.

The 2017 and 2016 conferences successfully brought together technology geniuses in one venue to not only present breakthrough research in future technologies but to also promote practicality and applications and an intra- and inter-field exchange of ideas.

CONFERENCE TRACKS… read more. “Call: Future Technologies Conference 2018”

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Can VR and presence help stop sexual harassment in the workplace?

[Presence may be a powerful force for addressing the timely and much too common problem of sexual harassment. This story is from Los Angeles Magazine, where the original includes three other pictures; more information is available on the Vantage Point Indiegogo page and in coverage available via the Press page on the company’s website. –Matthew]

Can Virtual Reality Help Stop Sexual Harassment in the Workplace?

An L.A.-based entrepreneur and sexual violence-survivor is bringing a fresh solution to life

March 19, 2018
Liz Ohanesian

I’m a silent presence inside a tidy office, observing as one woman and two men work into the evening. The boss enters the room and he’s quickly impressed with the woman’s work. There’s something in the way he’s behaving, though, that’s unsettling. He mentions wanting to take her on an upcoming trip to New York. She says that she can stay with her sister, but he answers that this won’t be feasible.… read more. “Can VR and presence help stop sexual harassment in the workplace?”

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Call: “Collaboration in Mixed-Reality” for Frontiers in Robotics and AI

Call for Papers: “Collaboration in Mixed-Reality” for Frontiers in Robotics and AI

In collaboration with the journal Frontiers in Robotics and AI, section Virtual Environments we are organizing an article collection on “Collaboration in Mixed-Reality” (Guest Editors: Anthony Steed, Gregory Francis Welch, Thierry Duval).

The aim of this project is to bring together international experts to provide a comprehensive view of this topic. Would you like to participate as a contributing author?

The full description of this project can be found here: http://www.frontiersin.org/Virtual_Environments/researchtopics/Collaboration_in_Mixed_Reality/7506.

The submission deadline is Sep 30, 2018.

Manuscripts will be peer-reviewed and, if accepted for publication, will be free to access for all readers, and indexed in relevant repositories.

A longer scope can be found below my signature.

Can you please kindly indicate whether you would like to participate using the links provided here?

YES – I would like to participate
http://www.frontiersin.org/AcceptContributor.aspx?activationkey=b86c17a7-76d1-4cb7-afc2-f4cb4da341e1

MAYBE – tell me more
Please contact me at a.steed@ucl.ac.uk, I will be glad to send you more information.… read more. “Call: “Collaboration in Mixed-Reality” for Frontiers in Robotics and AI”

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Virtual reality takes terminal cancer patients to dream places

[This story from Asahi Shimbun describes a very positive and meaningful use of presence. The original story includes a second image. –Matthew]

[Image: A virtual reality device used in the clinical study is demonstrated at the Ashiya Municipal Hospital in Ashiya, Hyogo Prefecture. The image shown on the personal computer screen is also displayed inside the goggle. (Credit: Akiyoshi Abe)]

Virtual reality takes terminal cancer patients to dream places

By AKIYOSHI ABE/ Staff Writer
March 19, 2018

ASHIYA, Hyogo Prefecture–Cancer patients in a palliative care unit at a hospital here are ticking off their “bucket list” destinations or attending events that are otherwise impossible to reach by using a virtual reality headset.

The experience, a limited provision at the Ashiya Municipal Hospital as part of a health-care research project, has largely been seen as a positive experience by recipients.

Hospital officials are hoping the practice will help improve the patients’ quality of life in their final days.… read more. “Virtual reality takes terminal cancer patients to dream places”

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