ISPR Presence News

Monthly Archives: April 2019

Call: International Conference for Interactive Digital Storytelling (ICIDS) 2019

Call for Papers

International Conference for Interactive Digital Storytelling (ICIDS) 2019
November 19-23, 2019
Snowbird, Utah, USA

Conference website: https://icids.eae.utah.edu

Paper & Poster submission deadline: July 12th, 2019

ICIDS is the premier conference for researchers and practitioners concerned with studying digital interactive forms of narrative from a variety of perspectives, including theoretical, technological, and applied design lenses. The annual conference is an interdisciplinary gathering that combines technology-focused approaches with humanities-inspired theoretical inquiry, empirical research and artistic expression.

With this 12th edition of the conference, ICIDS continues into its second decade. The field of interactive narrative has now coalesced into a recognizable entity. This year’s organizers take this editionyear as an opportunity to expand on previously identified topics, related to this year’s special theme:

DESIGN FOUNDATIONS, INNOVATIONS, AND PRACTICES

This year’s conference features a special theme of “Design Foundations, Innovations, and Practices.” In addition to topics covered by previous iterations of ICIDS, the conference program will feature topic areas that focus on principles of design, advancements in the design lifecycle, and design process case studies for interactive storytelling.… read more. “Call: International Conference for Interactive Digital Storytelling (ICIDS) 2019”

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Treating anhedonia: Using VR and presence to boost positive feelings in patients with depression

[In addition to describing new research on the use of presence to treat a specific symptom of depression, this story from STAT provides a link-rich summary of its use in other aspects of mental health care. –Matthew]

Can virtual reality boost positive feelings in patients with depression?

By Megan Thielking
April 22, 2019

Michelle Craske is asking patients to dive into coral reefs, ride on bullet trains rushing past pine trees, and cheer on soccer teams from the stands — at least virtually — in a bid to tackle a symptom long sidelined in depression treatment.

The University of California, Los Angeles, psychiatry researcher and her colleagues are testing whether virtual reality can curb anhedonia, a symptom of depression and other serious mental health conditions that’s marked by a lack of interest or ability to feel pleasure. They’re putting patients into pleasant scenarios — like a stroll through a sun-soaked forest while piano music plays — and coaching them to pay close attention to the positive parts.… read more. “Treating anhedonia: Using VR and presence to boost positive feelings in patients with depression”

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Call/Job: Nominations sought for founding editor of Technology, Mind, and Behavior

Call for Nominations

Founding Editor of Technology, Mind, and Behavior
https://www.apa.org/pubs/journals/resources/call-for-nominations

Deadline for nominations:  May 15, 2019

The American Psychological Association (APA) is seeking a founding editor for its new interdisciplinary journal Technology, Mind, and Behavior. The term of the editorship is 2020–2025, with a start-up period in the fall of 2019.

ABOUT THE JOURNAL

Technology, Mind, and Behavior is a peer-reviewed, interdisciplinary journal that will publish original work on human-technology interaction, with a focus on human behavior at the individual or group level.

The journal will showcase basic and applied empirical research on the psychology and dynamics of the interactions between humans and technology. Meta-analyses and literature reviews that summarize the current state of science on a topic will also be accepted.

The scope of the journal will include:

  • BASIC RESEARCH: How humans understand and use technology, impacts of technology on human experience and behavior, human-technology interactions as mutually adaptive systems, role of technology in advancing other areas of scientific research, and related topics
  • APPLICATIONS: Development, use, and impact of technologies in domains such as aging, education, mental and physical health, recreation, and the workplace
  • BROADER IMPLICATIONS: Evidence-based analyses of ethical, legal, social, and policy questions concerning the opportunities and challenges arising from human-technology interactions

Research featured in Technology, Mind, and Behavior may address the full range of contemporary and emerging technologies.… read more. “Call/Job: Nominations sought for founding editor of Technology, Mind, and Behavior”

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Robert Rodriguez’ “The Limit” captures the push and pull between VR’s past and future

[This story from The A.V. Club nicely captures some of the challenges of creating compelling presence experiences using virtual reality. The original story includes the trailer video for “Spheres: Songs Of Spacetime”; for more information about “Spheres” see UniFrance and for more on “Dinner Party” see that film’s website.  –Matthew]

[Image: Robert Rodriguez’s The Limit. Credit: STX Financing, LLC.]

A Robert Rodriguez virtual-reality film captures the push and pull between VR’s past and future

Alex McLevy
April 18, 2019

Unless your name is James Cameron, you’re probably a little skeptical of the recent surge in virtual reality as a medium for storytelling. (And even he wants you to know that what we tend to call “VR” isn’t true VR to Hollywood’s biggest devotee of technological advancements.) For most people, it’s still a limited platform, both cost- and access-wise; the forms of available VR platforms (Oculus, Steam, Vive, Google Play, PS4, etc.) are growing, but the amount of content waiting to greet those who pony up the hundreds of dollars for the necessary equipment isn’t yet commensurate with the investment.… read more. “Robert Rodriguez’ “The Limit” captures the push and pull between VR’s past and future”

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Call: “Uses and Effects of Smart Media: How AI Impacts User Experience” issue of Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media

Call for Papers

Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media
Special Issue: Uses and Effects of Smart Media: How AI Impacts User Experience

Submission Deadline: November 15, 2019

The increasing integration of artificial intelligence (AI) into digital media technologies has provided additional affordances and altered the nature of user experience, providing new audience engagement and gratification opportunities that meet human needs for information, communication and entertainment in a variety of innovative ways.

These AI-driven smart media have helped usher in a new media environment where social bots are used to spread false information, a 360-degree view provides a panoramic look of a natural disaster event – and augmented reality is used to aid strategic communication objectives – including both commercial and prosocial campaigns. Likewise, from personalized movie offerings on Amazon and Netflix to digital virtual assistants such as Siri and Alexa, a number of new AI-based tools, mobile apps and devices have changed the nature of our media consumption and habits.… read more. “Call: “Uses and Effects of Smart Media: How AI Impacts User Experience” issue of Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media”

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Butterfly World: Gaming and VR for insect and ecosystem conservation

[A computer scientist and a biologist are using presence to teach users about insects and environmental conservation; some of the details are in this press release from EurekAlert!. More information is in their article in Rethinking Ecology, and see the project’s Patreon page for a 2:21 minute video (also available via YouTube; an earlier 1:30 minute YouTube video is also available). –Matthew]

Living room conservation: Gaming & virtual reality for insect and ecosystem conservation

Players explore and search for butterflies using knowledge gained through gameplay

News Release 18-Apr-2019
Pensoft Publishers

Gaming and virtual reality (VR) could bridge the gap between urban societies and nature, thereby paving the way to insect conservation by the means of education, curiosity and life-like participation.

This is what Florida International University‘s team of computer scientist Alban Delamarre and biologist Dr Jaeson Clayborn strive to achieve by developing a VR game (desktop version also available) dedicated to insect and plant species.… read more. “Butterfly World: Gaming and VR for insect and ecosystem conservation”

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Call: Designing Speech Synthesis for Intelligent Virtual Agents – IVA 2019 Workshop

Call for Papers

Workshop: Designing Speech Synthesis for Intelligent Virtual Agents
At ACM IVA 2019 (https://iva2019.sciencesconf.org)
2nd July 2019
Paris, France
http://homepages.inf.ed.ac.uk/matthewa/speechIVA2019wshop

Extended submission deadline: April 26, 2019

OVERVIEW

In this workshop we will look at the elements in an artificial voice that support an embodied (either digital or tangible) and dis-embodied form of an intelligent virtual agent (IVA). In this context the agent can be seen to perform, or act a role, where naturalness of the voice may be subservient to appropriateness, and communicating the character of the agent can be as important as the information it presents. We will introduce the current ways a voice can be made to have character, how this can be designed to fit a specific agent, and how such a voice can be effectively deployed.

The intended audience is academics and industry researchers who are tired of seeing their carefully created conversational agents spoilt by inappropriate speech synthesis voices, and who want to lead the way in which speech synthesis takes into account the design requirements of IVAs.… read more. “Call: Designing Speech Synthesis for Intelligent Virtual Agents – IVA 2019 Workshop”

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Vulcan Holodome at TED2019: An immersive 360-degree world… without a headset?

[As this report from the TED2019 blog makes clear, immersive platforms that don’t rely on isolating headsets have important advantages in the creation of (social) presence experiences. The original story includes more images and  for more information Axios has a concise summary, GeekWire has a detailed story about a new interactive, haptic-enhanced game for the Holodome as well as an earlier report on the platform’s debut in Seattle, and a 1:00 minute video that includes viewer reactions is available via YouTube. –Matthew]

[Image: Step up close to, and almost into, the work of Monet, a favorite artist of Vulcan founder Paul Allen. Vulcan brought their new Holodome environment to TED2019: Bigger Than Us, in Vancouver, BC, Canada. Credit: Bret Hartman / TED.]

Vulcan Holodome at TED2019: An immersive 360-degree world… without a headset?

Posted by: TED Staff
April 17, 2019

Have you ever loved a painting so much you wanted to step inside it?… read more. “Vulcan Holodome at TED2019: An immersive 360-degree world… without a headset?”

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Call: University College Dublin Workshop on Implementing Machine Ethics

Call for Abstracts

UCD Workshop on Implementing Machine Ethics
School of Computer Science, University College Dublin
2-3 July, 2019
https://aristotle.ucd.ie/

Confirmed keynote: Prof. Alan Winfield, Bristol Robotics Lab, University of West of England

Deadline for abstract submission: 12 May 2019

The School of Computer Science at UCD would like to invite you to submit abstracts for the first UCD Workshop on Implementing Machine Ethics.

The contemplation of intelligence and/or agency among machines, in popular discourse, seems to settle on a future technological dystopia or conversely, a machine-led utopia. While the media creates these dichotomous futures, there needs to be deeper discussion on how intelligence, agency, and ethics in machines will affect society. Is the expectation of ethical behaviour an all-or-nothing proposition? What are the legal consequences of unethical behaviour by a machine-augmented human being? Does it make sense to talk about ethically-limited machines?… read more. “Call: University College Dublin Workshop on Implementing Machine Ethics”

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Baylor virtual reality project puts viewers in Victorian poets’ living room

[Here’s another example of the potential of presence to enrich and expand education. The story is from the Waco Tribune-Herald, where it includes two more images. For more information see an earlier story in Baylor’s Instant Impact and Amanda Gardner’s website. –Matthew]

[Image: Baylor graduate student Amanda Gardner puts on the virtual reality goggles to experience a film shot in the Armstrong Browning Library’s salon room, a recreation of the living room of poets Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning. Credit: Rod Aydelotte.]

Baylor virtual reality project puts viewers in Victorian poets’ living room

By Carl Hoover
April 11, 2019

Baylor graduate student Amanda Gardner always treated English and literature as immersive subjects for her high school students to plunge into and find shared experiences that could be transformative.

Her latest educational project also immerses participants, but in a virtual way: a short virtual reality film that puts viewers in the living room of British poet Robert Browning, where Browning, his son Pen, their friends and family recall the life and poetry of Browning’s wife Elizabeth Barrett Browning.… read more. “Baylor virtual reality project puts viewers in Victorian poets’ living room”

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