ISPR Presence News

Monthly Archives: December 2018

Jobs: Faculty positions in HCI in Understandable Autonomous Systems: Ethics, Transparency and Trust at University of Glasgow

Lecturer/Senior Lecturer/Reader in Understandable Autonomous Systems: Ethics, Transparency and Trust (GIST)

The University of Glasgow, UK

Reference Number: 023201
Location: Gilmorehill Campus / Main Building
College / Service: COLLEGE OF SCIENCE & ENGINEERING
Department: SCHOOL OF COMPUTING SCIENCE
Job Family: Research And Teaching
Position Type: Full Time
Salary Range: £35,210 – £39,610 / £43,266 – £50,132 / £51,630 – £58,089 per annum

Full details: https://www22.i-grasp.com/fe/tpl_glasgow01.asp?s=4A515F4E5A565B1A&jobid=97137%2C6172467223&key=205929019&c=15992371562348&pagestamp=dbkqfmyqovrehzlodh

Closing Date: 31 March 2019

JOB PURPOSE

NOTE: This is the job description for the Lecturer grade 7/8. Job Description for the Senior Lecturer/Reader post is available as an attachment at the bottom of [the page at the url above]. Please specify which position(s) you wish to be considered for on your cover letter.

The School is creating a research theme in Understandable Autonomous Systems (UAS): Ethics, Transparency and Trust that will explore impending interaction challenges for computational services and algorithms. Whatever we interact with these days, there is a complex system behind it. This could be when making online purchases, in autonomous cars, or social robots. We believe that such systems must have the following characteristics: Explainability, Accountability, Human Learnability, Transparency, Verifiability, Trustworthiness, Privacy/Confidentiality, Fairness, Ethics/Morality.

We are looking for an outstanding researcher who can work with the Glasgow Interactive Systems research section (GIST) on human-computer interaction in areas such as explainable AI, open algorithms, ethics and system design. We are especially interested in academics with a practical research focus.

In this context the job purpose is to develop, lead and sustain research of international standard in the topics described above; to actively engage in teaching at undergraduate and/or postgraduate level and to play a role in developing and executing School strategy, management and organisation.

For appointment at Grade 8:
Develop, lead and sustain research of international standard in the human aspects of UAS particularly through vigorously pursuing opportunities to generate income and publish.

MAIN DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES Read more on Jobs: Faculty positions in HCI in Understandable Autonomous Systems: Ethics, Transparency and Trust at University of Glasgow…

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VR art show at London gallery seeks to repair our ‘broken connection with nature’

[The art collective Marshmallow Laser Feast has a new immersive installation in London, as described in this story from The National (see the original for more pictures and two videos). The creators provide some insights about how to design effective and impactful presence experiences as the available technology improves. The new installation We Live in an Ocean of Air extends the environmental themes of earlier MLF works covered in ISPR Presence News, Treehugger: Wawona and In the Eyes of the Animal. –Matthew]

The virtual-reality art show that seeks to repair our ‘broken connection with nature’

We Live in an Ocean of Air, now showing at Saatchi Gallery in London, fully immerses visitors in a multisensory experience that’s incredibly emotional

Seth Jacobson
December 12, 2018

In a cavernous, dark space beneath the Saatchi Gallery in west London, you can walk into a forest clearing where a giant sequoia tree grows.

For a magical 15 minutes, with the assistance of virtual reality headsets, headphones and wrist sensors, you can explore the largest living individual organism on the planet, eventually soaring up through the enormous structure and watching it breathe.

We Live in an Ocean of Air is an extraordinary multisensory installation by art collective Marshmallow Laser Feast, which runs until January 20. The work pushes VR technology to its limits. After you enter into the bowels of the gallery, you are hooked into a harness that contains the computer that will drive your experience. The headset and various sensors – including an ear clip that monitors your heart rate – are attached, and then you enter the experience.

Up to six people can engage with the installation at any one time, and you will see them as pulsing human forms contained within the same grid as you. When you look at your own hands, you will see oxygenated blood surge through them, and other sensors will pick up when you breathe and represent it digitally as clouds of sparkling particles.

Gradually, the ground beneath you becomes the grassy floor of a forest, and the majestic sequoia appears. You can circle it or even go inside it, and soon you become one with the tree, an organism that grows to almost 100 metres in the wild, and which can live for longer than 3,500 years.

Emotions run high

The experience is incredibly emotional: from your initial tentative steps, carefully waving your hands in front of you, there is a sense of caution as you become aware of the other bodies around you.

But then as the visual splendour kicks in, and you explore the space, there are gasps of wonder and peals of laughter as visitors explore the possibilities of the artwork. As the world around you begins to fade away at the end of an all-too-brief spell, there is a genuine feeling of loss.

For Barnaby Steel of Marshmallow Laser Feast, a design studio in London whose work focuses on “expanding perception and exploring our connection with the natural world”, the key to the installation is making it as immersive as possible. Read more on VR art show at London gallery seeks to repair our ‘broken connection with nature’…

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Jobs: Paid Summer Internships at the USC Institute for Creative Technologies (ICT)

Summer Internships at the University of Southern California (USC) Institute for Creative Technologies (ICT)
http://ict.usc.edu/academics/internships/

The official application process for 2019 ICT Summer Research Program is now open.

View the list of summer research program positions.
Apply now.

THE DEADLINE TO APPLY IS FEBRUARY 3, 2019

ICT offers select interdisciplinary paid internships for creative and technical students wishing to pursue careers in simulation, interactive media and virtual reality fields. ICT aims to create compelling immersive systems for effective learning for military, entertainment and educational purposes.

ICT will also be accepting applications for summer internships at the Army Research Lab West (ARL West), located in Playa Vista at the ICT facilities. ARL West positions will begin with “ARL” in the job title. The ARL West internships are paid through ICT/USC payroll.

PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS

Students interested in participating in ICT’s and ARL West‘s Interdisciplinary Summer Research Programs should meet the following requirements:

  • Must be enrolled as an undergraduate or graduate student for the summer 2019 or fall 2019 semester at an accredited college or university in the U.S. or abroad.
  • Be able to commit to a 12-week summer program, full-time, with start and end dates that comply with the applicant’s school session calendar

Students are required to work full-time (40 hours per week) Monday through Friday. If you are interested in applying for a summer research position with ICT, please fill out an application.

Click here for a PDF of frequently asked questions.

If you have any other questions or concerns please email us at internprogram@ict.usc.edu.

All forms of communication regarding the summer research program must be directed to the above email address.

ICT OVERVIEW Read more on Jobs: Paid Summer Internships at the USC Institute for Creative Technologies (ICT)…

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From stinky to cookies: Orlando firm creates scents for virtual reality games, military training

[We focus so much on sights and sounds in creating presence it’s easy to forget the importance of smells; this story from the Orlando Sentinel briefly describes the work of one company that creates this part of the illusion – see the original version for a 2:11 minute video featuring the company’s president. –Matthew]

[Image: Global Technology Integrators works with chemicals to make 2,000 scents in all. This bottle contains “Custom 5009” – 90% Raw Seafood B, 5% Fire Damage, and 5% Cordite. Credit: Ricardo Ramirez Buxeda / Orlando Sentinel]

From stinky to cookies: Orlando firm creates scents for virtual reality games, military training

By Marco Santana, Orlando Sentinel
December 11, 2018

In a tiny office in east Orange County, a company called Global Technology Integrators is creating thousands of smells meant to bring even more life to virtual reality.

And that means the hallway that leads to GTI’s office can smell like chocolate chip cookies — or something really, really foul.

The company’s products are helping amusement parks, military trainers and others bring scents into VR, a technology that mostly has focused on sight and sound so far.

“It’s all part of that world that we can simulate to a user,’’ said CEO Tony Oxford, who started the business about three years ago. “Smell is the particular sense your mind hones in on before any other sense.” Read more on From stinky to cookies: Orlando firm creates scents for virtual reality games, military training…

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Call: European Conference on the Impact of AI and Robotics (ECIAIR 2019)

Call for Papers

European Conference on the Impact of AI and Robotics (ECIAIR 2019)
31 October – 1 November
Oxford, UK
https://www.academic-conferences.org/conferences/eciair/eciair-call-for-papers/

Abstract submission deadline: 11 April 2019

This is a first call for papers for the European Conference on the Impact of AI and Robotics (ECIAIR 2019) being hosted by EM-Normandie Business School, Oxford, UK 31 October – 1 November.

The European Conference on the Impact of AI and Robotics (ECIAIR 2019) has come about as a result of the maturing of artificial intelligence and robotics, particularly of the cognitive computing kind, which is producing an unprecedented revolution in the role of work and professionals in society. This Conference aims to focus not so much on the technology itself, but rather its consequence on knowledge work and society. We are looking for research with a broad set of approaches including the future of the professions; knowledge networks enabled by cognitive computing and other technologies; education issues; collaborative robots; ever-more autonomous machines and their relationship with humans; whether we will need to demand ethical or at least acceptable social behaviours on the part of machines; considerations on assigning personhood to machines; to name a few topics.

Topics may include but are not limited to:

  • The consequences of AI and robotics on knowledge work and society
  • The future of the professions
  • Enabling knowledge networks with cognitive computing and other technologies
  • Collaborative robots
  • The impact of ever more autonomous machines and their relationship with humans
  • Ethical and acceptable social behaviours
  • Sectorial applications of AI including:
    • Fintech and the financial services industry
    • Life sciences and healthcare
    • Utilities and transport management services
    • In the development of Smart-cities
    • In government
    • In education

We would also welcome applications of AI to solving some of the World’s global challenges such as to improve the health and wellbeing of children and young people in growing urban environments around the world; to help civilisation migrate from hydrocarbons to non-fossil sources of energy and other activities to mitigate the climate crisis; to contribute to the continued eradication of extreme poverty in the World. Read more on Call: European Conference on the Impact of AI and Robotics (ECIAIR 2019)…

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France’s Molotov creates a VR coffee shop to watch TV together

[A company in France is launching a streaming TV service for virtual reality; this story from TechCrunch describes what it’s like to use it to create a social presence viewing experience. See the original version for two more images. –Matthew]

Molotov creates a VR coffee shop to watch TV together

Romain Dillet
December 11, 2018

French startup Molotov is slowly becoming the leading platform to stream TV in France. With a single account, you can watch TV on your phone, tablet, computer and set-top box. The company is about to release a VR app that lets you watch TV using a virtual reality headset — but there’s a twist.

The new service is called Molotov Together and is an interesting experience in many ways. I tried an early version of the service a couple of weeks ago. Read more on France’s Molotov creates a VR coffee shop to watch TV together…

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Call: ACM Intelligent Virtual Agents Conference – IVA 2019

Call for Papers

ACM Intelligent Virtual Agents Conference – IVA 2019
2-5 July 2019
Paris, France
https://iva2019.sciencesconf.org

Submission Deadline: March 1, 2019

The 19th ACM International Conference on Intelligent Virtual Agents (IVA) will be held on July 2-5 2019 in Paris, France. The conference is organized by CNRS, Sorbonne University and Paris-Saclay University (France), and sponsored by ACM-SIGAI.

The IVA conference started in 1998 as a workshop on Intelligent Virtual Environments at the European Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Brighton, UK, which was followed by a similar one in 1999 in Salford, Manchester, UK. Then dedicated stand-alone IVA conferences took place in Madrid, Spain, in 2001, Irsee, Germany, in 2003, and Kos, Greece, in 2005. Since 2006 IVA has become a full-fledged annual international event, which was first held in Marina del Rey, California, then Paris, France, in 2007, Tokyo, Japan, in 2008, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, in 2009, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, in 2010, Reykjavik, Iceland, in 2011, Santa Cruz, USA, in 2012, Edinburgh, UK, in 2013, Boston, USA, in 2014, Delft, The Netherlands, 2015, Los Angeles, USA, 2016, Stockholm, Sweden, 2017. IVA 2018 was held in Sydney, Australia.

PAPER SUBMISSION

We invite submissions of research full papers on a broad range of topics, including but not limited to: theoretical foundations of virtual agents, agent modeling and evaluation, agents in games and simulations, and applications of virtual agents. Extended abstracts presenting late breaking work are also welcome.

IVA 2019 is the 19th 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. In addition to presentations on theoretical issues, the conference encourages the showcasing of working applications.

IVA 2019’s special topic is “Social Learning”, that is learning while interaction socially; agents can learn from the humans and humans can learn from the agents. Agents can take different roles such as tutors, peers, motivators, coaches in training and in serious games. They can act as job recruiter, virtual patient, and nurse to name a few applications. With this topic in mind we are seeking closer engagement with industry and also with social psychologists.

For more information, please visit the IVA 2019 website:
https://iva2019.sciencesconf.org

The papers and extended abstracts will be published in the ACM digital library. All submissions will be reviewed via a double-blind review process. Read more on Call: ACM Intelligent Virtual Agents Conference – IVA 2019…

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Facebook wins patent for human-eye ‘retinal’ resolution VR headset

[Many factors interfere with effective presence illusions in virtual reality but image resolution is one of, if not the, most important. This story from UploadVR describes industry efforts to address the problem. The original story includes four more pictures, and read the comments section for some interesting insights. –Matthew]

Read more on Facebook wins patent for human-eye ‘retinal’ resolution VR headset…

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Call: Free online lecture: “The Appreciator’s Performance. Virtual Reality and The Ontology of Art”

University of Padova, Aesthetics Lecture Series 2018/2019

“The Appreciator’s Performance. Virtual Reality and The Ontology of Art”
Enrico Terrone (University of Barcelona)

Monday, December 10, 2018, 16.30-18.30 (CET)

The talk will be live-streamed and will remain available on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aOmB1kCTJ9c&feature=player_embedded

Read more on Call: Free online lecture: “The Appreciator’s Performance. Virtual Reality and The Ontology of Art”…

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The robot waiters in this Japanese cafe are controlled by people with paralysis

[Here’s a great example of how telepresence can make it possible for people to participate in activities they’d otherwise be excluded from. See the original story from Digital Trends for two videos. –Matthew]

Read more on The robot waiters in this Japanese cafe are controlled by people with paralysis…

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