ISPR Presence News

Monthly Archives: August 2020

Jobs: 2 Postdoc positions on “Ethical assessment and guidance of emerging technologies” at U. of Twente

The Department of Philosophy of the University of Twente is urgently looking for two postdoctoral researchers for six months (October 1st, 2020 – April 1st, 2021)

Position 1: Ethical assessment and guidance of emerging technologies, with particular attention to AI and robotics
Position 2: Ethical assessment and guidance of emerging technologies, with particular attention to human enhancement

Working from a distance is a possibility.

Application deadline: September 7th, 2020

Both positions are for the Horizon 2020 SIENNA project (https://www.sienna-project.eu/). The SIENNA project, carried by 12 international partners and coordinated by the University of Twente, aims to promote enhanced consideration of ethical and human rights issues in new and emerging technologies with major socio-economic impact and human rights relevance.

Tasks for position 1: You contribute to the development of a multi-stakeholder strategy and practical tools (like ethics by design methodologies, research ethics frameworks and policies) for ethical AI and robotics.… read more. “Jobs: 2 Postdoc positions on “Ethical assessment and guidance of emerging technologies” at U. of Twente”

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Emmy-nominated “The Messy Truth VR Experience” builds empathy on social and political issues

[As the first, short story below from UploadVR reports, four VR experiences are nominated for Emmy Awards (from the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences) this year. One is the particularly timely “The Messy Truth VR,” the focus of the second story, from Yahoo Entertainment. Note the comments of actor/producer Brie Larson about VR as “a step further” beyond film’s ability to create what sounds like presence. The original Yahoo story includes a 2:58 minute trailer and a 5:09 minute interview, and for more information see USA Today for a different short video and Deadline for another interview (which includes discussion of the need to be careful not to create a VR experience that is too intense and traumatizes the audience). For information about the ambitious plans for the virtual Emmy Award ceremony on September 20, see coverage in Variety.… read more. “Emmy-nominated “The Messy Truth VR Experience” builds empathy on social and political issues”

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Call: Journal of Sound and Music in Games

Call for Papers

Journal of Sound and Music
The Society for the Study for Sound and Music in Games
https://www.sssmg.org/wp/jsmg/

The Society for the Study for Sound and Music in Games has launched the “Journal of Sound and Music in Games” beginning this year in collaboration with University of California Press, and we are excited to present the first three issues for free:

Issue 1: https://online.ucpress.edu/jsmg/issue/1/1
Issue 2: https://online.ucpress.edu/jsmg/issue/1/2
Issue 3: https://online.ucpress.edu/jsmg/issue/1/3

JSMG is a peer-reviewed journal that presents high-quality research concerning all areas of music and/or sound in games. While the core audience is game music scholars (mostly with a background in ludomusicology and musicology), the interdisciplinary nature of the field means that the journal also highly encourages submissions from authors who identify primarily with other fields (such as game studies, computer science, educational science, performance studies, philosophy, psychology etc.), as well as practitioners (game music composers, sound designers etc.).… read more. “Call: Journal of Sound and Music in Games”

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The “experience economy” is dead, driving a boom in virtual reality

[This summary of how the pandemic has accelerated the “virtual experience economy,” which relies in great part on presence, comes from CNBC. Note: I’ve corrected a few typos and added some of the links. –Matthew]

Op-ed: The “Experience Economy” is dead, driving a boom in virtual reality

August 27, 2020
By Vikas Gupta, co-founder and CEO of the augmented reality company AVARA Media and a member of YPO

It wasn’t long ago that many companies were doubling down on the “Experience Economy.” There was plenty of money to be made helping people check off items on their bucket list. Seventy-six percent of consumers said they would rather spend their money on experiences than on material items in a 2019 survey by Momentum Worldwide.

But the coronavirus wiped out what we knew of the “Experience Economy” overnight. For obvious reasons, today’s consumers are staying closer to home and avoiding in-person contact with people they don’t know and trust.… read more. “The “experience economy” is dead, driving a boom in virtual reality”

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Call: “Conversational Agents for Healthcare and Wellbeing” issue of ACM TiiS

Call for Papers

ACM Transactions on Interactive Intelligent Systems
Special Issue on Conversational Agents for Healthcare and Wellbeing
https://dl.acm.org/journal/tiis/calls-for-papers

Full paper submission deadline: January 15th, 2021

Conversational agents (CAs) are systems that engage human users in one-to-one conversation through a natural language interface. Such systems may differ in terms of their conversational capabilities, ranging from simple question- answering to multi-turn dialogues, as well as in their interaction modalities, ranging from text- or voice-only to multimodal interaction. Technical advances in speech recognition, natural language processing, and machine learning have led to increasing adoption and use of CAs. While CAs are widely used in many applications, such as education and workplace productivity, one of their important applications is healthcare. In various healthcare settings, CAs play important roles, including assisting clinicians during consultations, supporting consumers in changing health behaviors, and assisting patients such as elderly individuals in their living environments.… read more. “Call: “Conversational Agents for Healthcare and Wellbeing” issue of ACM TiiS”

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NurtureVR launched for prenatal education, pain and stress management, and postpartum support

[A new program based on virtual reality (and presence) is being launched to help women during their third trimester and the first two months after their baby is born. This story about it is from MobiHealthNews; the press release (“statement”) it refers to is available from Business Wire, and more information including a 1:19 minute video (also available via Vimeo) is available from the BehaVR website. –Matthew]

Hoag Memorial Hospital and BehaVR launch VR program for expecting mothers

NurtureVR was designed to be used at home as future moms enter their third trimesters to receive prenatal education, pain and stress management, and postpartum support.

By Mallory Hackett
August 26, 2020

Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian and BehaVR have teamed up to offer moms-to-be NurtureVR, a virtual reality program that supplies prenatal education, pain management, mindfulness strategies and support after giving birth.… read more. “NurtureVR launched for prenatal education, pain and stress management, and postpartum support”

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Jobs: MA, PhD, Postdoc positions in Computer-Human Interaction at Queensland University of Technology

MA, PhD, Postdoc positions in Computer-Human Interaction
Queensland University of Technology
Brisbane, Australia

Expressions of interest due by 20th September 2020

We are seeking applicants for Masters, PhD and Postdoctoral positions for our Australian Research Council funded projects and for the annual QUT scholarship round. We are seeking excellent candidates to research in the following areas:

  • Augmented sociality – social interaction in augmented reality
  • Technologies for Inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities
  • Co-Designing activities and technologies to revitalise Australian Indigenous Languages
  • Human interaction with AI and machine learning
  • New technologies for engagement with nature.

(Interaction with children, new food systems and waste are also potential topics that could be supported, given our involvement in related research centres. Please enquire.)

The Computer-Human Interaction group in the School of Computer Science at QUT researches the design of innovative socio-technical systems. We research and teach in the nexus of Interaction Design, Data Science and Games.… read more. “Jobs: MA, PhD, Postdoc positions in Computer-Human Interaction at Queensland University of Technology”

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US Army robo-teammate can detect, share 3-D changes in real-time using AR

[The US Army is developing technology to create robot-soldier teams for the battlefield; this story from the Army describes research on how an autonomous robot can detect changes in the environment and communicate them to a soldier via augmented reality. SyFy’s coverage summarizes it this way:

“In a move that could’ve been cribbed straight from Hideo Kojima ‘s Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, the U.S. Army is exploring a human-robot buddy system that, like Snake’s setup in MGS4, will let soldiers voyeuristically spy from afar the more immediate dangers that lurk around their robot sidekick’s next corner.”

For a related project see the USC Institute for Creative Technologies (ICT) story “U.S. Army Research Enables Conversational AI Between Soldiers, Robot.”

–Matthew]

Army robo-teammate can detect, share 3-D changes in real-time

By U.S. Army CCDC Army Research Laboratory Public Affairs
August 24, 2020

ADELPHI, Md.… read more. “US Army robo-teammate can detect, share 3-D changes in real-time using AR”

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Call: “Smart Toys, Smart Tangibles, Robots and other Smart Things for Children” for International Journal of Child Computer Interaction

Call for Papers

Special Issue on Smart Toys, Smart Tangibles, Robots and other Smart Things for Children
International Journal of Child Computer Interaction
https://www.journals.elsevier.com/international-journal-of-child-computer-interaction/call-for-papers/special-issue-on-smart-toys-smart-tangibles-robots-and-other

Deadline for abstract submissions (optional but recommended): 10 October 2020
Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 October ~1 November 2020

The world of children’s toys has continued to evolve with advances in embedded electronics, digital capabilities, and wireless connectivity. Smart toys, and robots represent an increasingly vibrant range of play objects that combine different capabilities such as networking, processing and intelligent reasoning. These interactive objects posit a growing and promising form of technology capable of sensing and processing data in real-time during CCI.

The increasing uses of those interactive objects in CCI and the rise of data-driven methods and artificial intelligence (AI) techniques reinforce intelligent features and adaptivity, but also brings with it many important privacy issues and concerns.… read more. “Call: “Smart Toys, Smart Tangibles, Robots and other Smart Things for Children” for International Journal of Child Computer Interaction”

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Smartipresence: Pandemic-inspired inexpensive build-it-yourself telepresence robot

[This Global News story explains why designer and engineer Ross Atkin created a new, inexpensive, build-it-yourself telepresence robot; the original story includes a second image and a 2:17 minute news report. Tom’s Hardware adds these details about the robot:

“Smartipresence is a cardboard chassis robot that uses rubber bands and screws for a simple yet robust construction. Place your smartphone into the articulated holder and then connect it to the Smartibot NRF 52 series ARM Cortex-M4F control board via Bluetooth. Remote control is achieved by sending a ‘pilot link’ to another device and then we can stream video from the pilot device, to the Smartipresence. Control is achieved using on screen buttons, we can move the robot in any direction and control the angle of the arm.

Writing code for the robot is made possible thanks to a version of JavaScript for microcontrollers called Espruino.… read more. “Smartipresence: Pandemic-inspired inexpensive build-it-yourself telepresence robot”

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