ISPR Presence News

Monthly Archives: June 2018

Call: 2018 European Conference on Ambient Intelligence (AmI 2018)


2018 European Conference on Ambient Intelligence (AmI 2018)
Golden Bay Beach Hotel
Larnaca, Cyprus
12-14 November, 2018

Submission Deadline: 27th June 2018 (extended)

Ambient intelligence refers to normal working and living environments being surrounded by embedded devices that can merge unobtrusively and in natural ways using information and intelligence hidden in the network connecting these devices (e.g. The Internet of Things). Such devices, each specialised in one or more capabilities, are intended to work together based on an infrastructure of intelligent systems, to provide a variety of services improving safety, security and the quality of life in ordinary living, travelling and working environments.


The 2018 European Conference on Ambient Intelligence (AmI 2018) has a focus on the role of Ambient Intelligence, “Towards a Smart and Human Centered Internet of Things”.

We invite submissions of full and short papers as well as posters, presenting original research.… read more. “Call: 2018 European Conference on Ambient Intelligence (AmI 2018)”

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The importance of teaching robots to hug

[Experiment participants “felt understood by, trusted, and liked the presence of [a] robot significantly more after” hugging and being hugged by it; this interesting story about medium-as-social-actor presence from IEEE Spectrum’s Automaton blog includes an interview with the study’s lead author in which he suggests that in the future robots will have “emotional intelligence” and that we may send each other remote customized hugs via robot. See the original story for a second image and a 1:11 minute video, as well as a link at the end to sign up for the blog. –Matthew]

The Importance of Teaching Robots to Hug

Knowing how to give good hugs is an important life skill, even for robots

By Evan Ackerman
June 5 2018

Hugs make us feel warm and safe and comforted and loved. They’re pretty great, if you’re into that sort of thing.… read more. “The importance of teaching robots to hug”

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Job: Postdoc or Research engineer in Human-Agent Multimodal Interaction at Normandy University

Postdoc or Research engineer position in Human-Agent Multimodal Interaction

Laboratory: LITIS (Laboratory of Computer Science, Information Processing and Systems), INSA Rouen, Normandy University, France

Application deadline: August 31, 2018 23:00 – Europe/Brussels


Communicating freely and naturally with a virtual character or a robot is one of the great challenges in human-machine interaction. In particular, the modelling of multi-modal and affective dialogic interactions is a multi-disciplinary scientific issue. This modelling is most often based on a corpus of multi-modal dialogues, whose analysis aims at identifying a set of recurrent behaviours (i.e. to provide a model).

The objective of the DAISI project, to which this recruitment is dedicated, is to learn and exploit multi-modal interaction models based on a set of dialogic patterns. These models are intended to be exploited within virtual characters or robots interacting with users on various application tasks (interactive narration, virtual or augmented environments for human learning, robotic interaction, etc.).… read more. “Job: Postdoc or Research engineer in Human-Agent Multimodal Interaction at Normandy University”

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Step inside a moment of history with Anne Frank House VR

[Oculus and the Anne Frank House museum have debuted a new 25 minute virtual tour across space and time to the Secret Annex where Anne Frank and her family hid from the Nazi over seven decades ago. As this post from the Oculus Blog notes, “Hopefully it [will help] to encourage reflection on the dangers of anti-Semitism, racism, and discrimination and the importance of freedom, equal rights, and democracy.” See the original post for five images from the tour and a 0:57 minute video. –Matthew]

Introducing ‘Anne Frank House VR,’ an Immersive Experience that Recreates Amsterdam’s Secret Annex and Preserves a Piece of Holocaust History

Posted by Oculus VR
June 12, 2018

Today marks what would have been Anne Frank’s 89th birthday. As a teenager, she dreamt of becoming a journalist or writer—and while those dreams were tragically cut short, she succeeded in her ambitions not “to have lived in vain” and “to go on living” after her death through the pages of The Diary of a Young Girl.… read more. “Step inside a moment of history with Anne Frank House VR”

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Call: Perception and Cognition in Augmented Reality – Special issue of PRESENCE

Call for Papers

PRESENCE: Teleoperators and Virtual Environments
Special Issue on Perception and Cognition in Augmented Reality

Submission deadline: Sunday, 30 September, 2018


In recent years, mobile platforms and emerging headworn display hardware have ushered in a new wave of AR excitement and use. To realize AR’s full potential, however, a thorough understanding of perceptual and cognitive factors and their role in informing design of effective augmented reality systems is highly needed; both in research and industry communities alike. To date, there is neither an in-depth overview of these factors, nor well- founded knowledge on most effects as gained through formal validation. In particular, long-term usage effects are inadequately understood. The objective of this Special Issue on Perception and Cognition in Augmented Reality is to showcase current work in this area and to raise awareness of the importance of these issues with respect to user performance, user safety, and system usability.… read more. “Call: Perception and Cognition in Augmented Reality – Special issue of PRESENCE”

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New face-swapping AI: “The end of reality is imminent”

[Other coverage of the latest iteration of AI-based video manipulation of humans (e.g., in Gizmodo and TechCrunch) includes more details while noting the remarkably fast evolution of the technology, and the website of Stanford visiting professor Michael Zollhöfer includes much more information and a statement about both its positive and negative applications, but this short piece in Co.Design describes the implications most starkly. The articles all include the new 7:04 minute video, which is also available via YouTube.  –Matthew]

[Image: Screenshot from Deep Video Portraits demo video. Source: TechCrunch.]

This new face-swapping AI is scarily realistic

The end of reality is imminent.

June 12, 2018
By Jesus Diaz

AI-powered face-swapping technology awed the internet when it debuted last year at Siggraph, the annual computer graphics conference. The videos, known as “deep fakes,” quickly became an even more controversial–and painful–phenomenon as people used the algorithm to create porn videos using the faces of unwilling celebrities or private citizens.… read more. “New face-swapping AI: “The end of reality is imminent””

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Job: Faculty position in Applied Immersive Game Design at University of Canterbury

Lecturer/Senior Lecturer/Associate Professor/Professor
Applied Immersive Game Design

University of Canterbury
Christchurch, New Zealand

Job ID: 6049
Location: College of Engineering
Full/Part Time: Full-Time (37.5 hours per week)
Regular/Temporary: Regular

The closing date for this position is: 29 June 2018 (NZ time)

Applications are invited for a continuing academic position in the area of Applied Immersive Game Design, one of four new academic positions in the new, rapidly growing School of Product Design in the College of Engineering at the University of Canterbury. The School offers a new, exciting degree programme, the Bachelor of Product Design, with majors offered in each of the three areas below:

  • Industrial Product Design
  • Applied Immersive Game Design
  • Chemical, Natural and Healthcare Product Formulation

The appointee will be involved in developing new courses and supervising game design students in areas, including virtual, mixed and augmented reality applications, ranging from entertainment to education, behaviour modification, industrial training, health and rehabilitation.… read more. “Job: Faculty position in Applied Immersive Game Design at University of Canterbury”

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How humans bond with robot colleagues

[This first story from BBC Capital’s new Augmented Reality column provides a vivid, link-filled overview of medium-as-social-actor presence responses to robots. The original version includes six more pictures. –Matthew]

[Image: German Chancellor Angela Merkel meets Pepper the Robot on Girls’ Day on April 26, 2017 in Berlin, Germany. The event is meant to encourage young women to pursue careers in all parts of the German economy, especially in sciences, information technology and engineering, and this year the event occurs simultaneously with the W20 women’s empowerment summit, sponsored by the G20 Group of 20 major economic powers. Photo by Adam Berry/Getty Images.]

How humans bond with robot colleagues

They’re supposed to be coming for our jobs but in practice humans are developing a soft spot for their new robot colleagues.

By Zaria Gorvett
31 May 2018

In our new Augmented Reality column, BBC Capital will explore scenarios you might encounter in your not-so-distant more. “How humans bond with robot colleagues”

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Call: Meaningful Play 2018

Call for Submissions

Meaningful Play 2018
October 11-13, 2018
East Lansing, Michigan

Submissions deadline: Sunday, June 24, 2018

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.

Meaningful Play 2018 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 will include 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.

The call for submissions AND games deadline is Sunday, June 24, 2018.

Complete details on the conference are available at:

While any topic related to games for entertainment and learning is appropriate for submission to Meaningful Play 2018, topics of particular interest include:… read more. “Call: Meaningful Play 2018”

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VR and presence used for bear safety training in British Columbia

[The CBC report below is about a niche but potentially life-saving application of presence-evoking technology; the original story includes three different images. For more information listen to the 4:27 minute report from CBC’s Daybreak North radio program and see the VR Safety Training Solutions website. A short piece from MyPrinceGeorgeNow includes these additional quotes:

“’From the people we have talked to who have taken the [regular] training, they aren’t always confident that they would know how to use it effectively in the field even though they’ve taken the training,’ explains CEO Kelly O’Neill. ‘So we wanted to be able to provide them with an experience that is very realistic.’”

“’This is as real as it gets without being attacked, it is the most effective training tool I’ve seen. I definitely want to add this to our bear safety training programs,’ said Dan Le Grandeur, Bear Scare Inc., Wildlife Management & Training Expert, in a statement.”


This more. “VR and presence used for bear safety training in British Columbia”

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