ISPR Presence News

Monthly Archives: November 2018

Call: Wandering Games Conference 2019

Call for Papers: Wandering Games
July 10–12, 2019
Bangor University, UK
http://wandering-games-conference.bangor.ac.uk/index.php.en

Abstracts and author biographies due by February 1st 2019

  • What does it mean to be a wandering body in a game world?
  • What does it say about the game?
  • The world?
  • The body?
  • What can the act of wandering do?

We seek proposals on wandering games from academics, game designers, and creative practitioners for a conference at Bangor University from July 10–12, 2019. Walking Simulators, the genre of videogame in which there are no points, goals, or win/loss conditions, have for the last several years served as a catalyst for (sometimes furious) debates about anti-game aesthetics, changing gamer demographics, and the radical potential of poetic spatial storytelling in videogames. From Myst to Gone Home, The Path to The Stanley Parable, what began as the derogatory sneer “Walking Simulator” has become a catch-all term for games that are interested in alternative modes of expression, drawing together considerations of embodiment, environment, orientation, and community.… read more. “Call: Wandering Games Conference 2019”

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Kognito uses conversations with virtual humans to prevent suicides on campus, increase empathy in doctor’s office

[A November 12, 2018 story on NBC10 in Philadelphia about La Salle University’s success using the simulation program Kognito to help faculty, staff and students identify and help people who are at risk for suicide led me to the May 2018 story below from CNET with more information about Kognito and other uses of its presence-evoking simulations. See also a 5:53 minute video report from February 2018 from Fox5 in New York via YouTube. –Matthew]

[Image: Interactive role-play simulations are helping health care professionals build empathy and practice communication skills. Source: Kognito.]

Virtual humans could improve conversations at the doctor’s office

Game-like simulations are training health care professionals to be more empathetic and to tackle conversations on tough topics like mental health.

By Abrar Al-Heeti
May 3, 2018

You sit down to talk with your doctor, but you sense he’s in a rush to get to the next patient.… read more. “Kognito uses conversations with virtual humans to prevent suicides on campus, increase empathy in doctor’s office”

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Call: 3rd Workshop on Theory-Informed User Modeling for Tailoring and Personalizing Interfaces (HUMANIZE)

Call for Papers:

3rd Workshop on Theory-Informed User Modeling for Tailoring and Personalizing Interfaces (HUMANIZE)
March 20, 2019
Los Angeles (USA)
http://www.humanize-workshop.org/

In conjunction with IUI 2019
http://iui.acm.org/2019/

Submission deadline: December 3, 2018

MOTIVATION AND GOALS

The HUMANIZE workshop aims to explore the interface between data-driven and theory-driven approaches for constructing intelligent/personalized user interfaces. Data-driven approaches for personalized user interfaces can rely on building models from observed and measured user interaction behavior that can predict future behavior from historic behavior. Theory-driven approaches rely on understanding of how certain psychological traits (e.g. personality, cognitive styles, interests) affect the experience/needs of the intended users.

The combination of these two approaches, model-driven and data-driven, provides an interesting research direction. Understanding what traits of a user influence how an interface can be best personalized to match their needs and experience can be captured in a formal user model.… read more. “Call: 3rd Workshop on Theory-Informed User Modeling for Tailoring and Personalizing Interfaces (HUMANIZE)”

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Furhat addresses Uncanny Valley and diversity challenges in social robotics

[The new Furhat robot addresses the Uncanny Valley and diversity challenges involved in creating medium-as-social-actor presence. The story is from ZDNet, where it includes a 1:02 minute video. There’s also a press release on the company’s website and a collection of videos on YouTube. –Matthew]

Robots have a diversity problem. This Swedish startup could change that

Furhat Robotics is seeking to revolutionize social robotics by moving away from a one-face-fits-all approach.

By Greg Nichols
November 13, 2018

Swedish startup Furhat Robotics, which makes a tabletop social robot that’s a bit like an in-your-face Alexa, unveiled its latest generation social robot last week. The key feature of the robot is an expressive face that’s designed to leapfrog across the Uncanny Valley and foster genuine communication with users.

Furhat’s secret sauce is a rear projection unit inside the robot’s neck that displays a lifelike animated face on an anthropomorphic mask.… read more. “Furhat addresses Uncanny Valley and diversity challenges in social robotics”

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Jobs: 3 faculty positions in HCI and accessibility at Rochester Institute of Technology

JOB ADVERTISEMENT

Three faculty positions
Department of Information Sciences and Technologies
Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT)
Rochester, New York
https://sjobs.brassring.com/TGnewUI/Search/Home/Home?partnerid=25483&siteid=5291#jobDetails=1462074_5291

  • Faculty Type (Tenure Status): Tenure-Track
  • Faculty Discipline: Computer Science, Human Computer Interaction, Information Sciences & Technologies
  • Faculty Rank: Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, Professor
  • Employment Category: Fulltime
  • Anticipated Start Date: 15-Aug-2019
  • Required Application Documents: Cover Letter, Curriculum Vitae or Resume, List of Publications, List of References, Research Statement, Statement of Teaching Philosophy
  • Review of applications begins immediately. Candidates are encouraged to apply by December 15, 2018

As part of a growing, strategic research cluster in human-computer interaction (HCI) and computing accessibility, the Department of Information Sciences and Technologies at RIT invites applications for three full-time tenure-track positions, at the assistant, associate, or full professor rank, for an appointment beginning fall 2019.

We are seeking candidates with expertise in one or more of the following or related areas: computing accessibility for people with disabilities or older adults; data visualization; human-centered machine learning; health informatics; social computing; or wearable, mobile, or ubiquitous systems.… read more. “Jobs: 3 faculty positions in HCI and accessibility at Rochester Institute of Technology”

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New advertising for and inside virtual reality

[Two stories on advertising and virtual reality: First, Adweek describes a new Facebook ad campaign for the Oculus Go (Variety also notes the emphasis on media consumption rather than games) and the importance of engagement by current users vs. the number of headsets sold; the story includes four of the ads, which are also available on YouTube (1, 2, 3, 4). Then, 360i reports on the first programmatic advertising (targeted, algorithm-based placements) inside virtual reality experiences, in this case to promote the second season of National Geographic’s television series Mars. See The Drum for more coverage. –Matthew]

[Image: The rapper Wiz Khalifa stars in a new Oculus Go ad about VR entertainment. Credit: Facebook]

Watch Wiz Khalifa, Leslie Jones and Jonah Hill Experience Virtual Reality in New Oculus Ad

It’s all about entertainment

By Marty Swant
November 13, 2018

Oculus has a new star-studded 60-second spot that aims to highlight how virtual reality entertainment—not just gaming—could be appealing to the masses.… read more. “New advertising for and inside virtual reality”

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Call: Ludo2019 – Eighth European Conference on Video Game Music and Sound

Call for Papers

Ludo2019 – Eighth European Conference on Video Game Music and Sound
April 26th – 28th
Leeds Beckett University
Leeds, West Yorkshire, UK
www.ludomusicology.org

Paper proposals due: February 15th, 2019

We are excited to announce that Ludo2019, the Eighth European Conference on Video Game Music and Sound, will take place April 26th – 28th at Leeds Beckett University.

Please share our Call for Papers poster online and around your institutions.

The organizers of Ludo2019 are accepting proposals for research presentations. This year, we are particularly interested in papers that support the conference theme of ‘Implementation and Preservation’. We also welcome all proposals on sound and music in games.

Proposed papers might be presented as part of planned sessions on:

  • Archiving and preserving game sound
  • Retro musical aesthetics in modern games
  • Approaches, implications and effects of implementation systems for game audio
  • Musical meanings: players’ interpretations and perceptions of music during gameplay
  • Playing (with) game music in game music cultures

Presentations should last twenty minutes, to be followed by questions.… read more. “Call: Ludo2019 – Eighth European Conference on Video Game Music and Sound”

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VR program lets cancer patients at Penn Med watch the sunrise from their waiting room

[I know from personal experience the potential value of a new program at the University of Pennsylvania that uses virtual reality and presence to reduce stress in hospital waiting rooms. This story from The Daily Pennsylvanian describes the program and plans for expanding it. –Matthew]

[Image: Credit: Fern Nibauer-Cohen]

Virtual reality program lets cancer patients at Penn Med watch the sunrise from their waiting room

By Katharine Shao
November 11, 2018

Few people look forward to spending time in a hospital waiting room. There is typically bright, fluorescent lighting, a selection of sterile furniture and, if you’re lucky, a smattering of old magazines to thumb through while you wait for your turn.

Penn Medicine wants to turn that experience on its head by transporting patients to an alternate world. With the Radiation Oncology Department’s new virtual reality program, patients can spend their waiting time looking at the sunrise from the edge of a dock instead of staring at an empty wall.… read more. “VR program lets cancer patients at Penn Med watch the sunrise from their waiting room”

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Call: Special issue of CLASP Papers in Computational Linguistics on dialogue and perception

Call for Papers

Special issue of CLASP Papers in Computational Linguistics (ISSN:2002-9764) on dialogue and perception
https://clasp.gu.se/publications/clasp-papers-in-computational-linguistics

Deadline for submission: 5th December 2018

Following a successful workshop on Dialogue and Perception (https://clasp.gu.se/news-events/workshop-on-dialogue-and-perception-2018) we are now compiling a volume dedicated to the topics of the workshop.

The study of dialogue investigates how natural language is used in interaction between interlocutors and how coordination and successful communication is achieved. Dialogue is multimodal, situated and embodied, with non-linguistic factors such as attention, eye gaze and gesture critical to understanding communication. However, studies on dialogue have often taken for granted that we align our perceptual representations, which are taken to be part of common ground (grounding in dialogue, Clark, 1996). They have also typically remained silent about how we integrate information from different sources and modalities and the different contribution of each of these.… read more. “Call: Special issue of CLASP Papers in Computational Linguistics on dialogue and perception”

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China’s state-run Xinhua News Agency debuts ‘AI anchor’ to read the news

[Presence-evoking technology is impacting the delivery of news, raising important ethical questions. This story is from Mashable, where it includes a 0:31 minute video of an “AI anchor”; for more information and a longer video, see coverage in The Verge. –Matthew]

[Image: Source: Press From]

China’s state-run Xinhua News Agency debuts ‘AI anchor’ to read the news

By Matt Binder
November 8, 2018

The state-run press agency in China, Xinhua, will now deliver news using “AI anchors” made of digital composites that use synthesized voices to “read” the news.

These anchors look realistic, but are actually digital composites that are rendered using actual footage of human anchors reading the news. The AI anchors are able to “read” any text fed into the artificial intelligence using synthetic voices that are created through the use of composite audio recorded from the real-life anchors.… read more. “China’s state-run Xinhua News Agency debuts ‘AI anchor’ to read the news”

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