ISPR Presence News

Monthly Archives: August 2020

Job: “The Ethics of Humanoid Robots” PhD position at Utrecht University

Job Opening

The Ethics Institute of Utrecht University’s Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies seeks a researcher for a 4-year, full-time PhD project “The Ethics of Humanoid Robots,” as part of the inter-university Gravitation consortium “Ethics of Socially Disruptive Technology”.

Full details: Job listing on the website of Utrecht University

Deadline for application: August 29, 2020
Intended starting date: January 1, 2021

AIMS OF THE PHD PROJECT

Robots that look and act like humans are currently being created for a variety of purposes: care robots for children with autism and as companions for the elderly; so-called sex robots; display model show robots like “Sophia” (who was awarded honorary citizenship in Saudi Arabia), and so on. Meanwhile, AI systems are also increasingly making decisions previously made by humans: for example, expert systems advise doctors about the resuscitation of coma patients, and autonomous vehicles make decisions about life and death.… read more. “Job: “The Ethics of Humanoid Robots” PhD position at Utrecht University”

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Xiaomi just showed off a mind-boggling HDTV with a transparent display

[All things being equal, presence responses are more likely when technology is unobtrusive or hidden; a new transparent TV display accomplishes this and is said to offer an “ultra-immersive viewing experience.” This story is from BGR, where it includes the mentioned videos and two more images. A longer (1:25 minute) HD video from Argus World is available on YouTube. CNET points out that “Comparable technology has been around since at least 2015, when Samsung showed a transparent OLED display panel for commercial use. LG also showed one at CES 2016” and as noted by BGR and in a 2016 ISPR Presence News post, Panasonic demonstrated a prototype (recently updated according to designboom), but this is the first transparent TV available to the consumer. –Matthew]

Xiaomi just showed off a mind-boggling HDTV with a transparent display

By Yoni Heisler
August 11, 2020

While smartphone technology has improved by leaps and bounds over the past few years, the same can’t be said for TVs.… read more. “Xiaomi just showed off a mind-boggling HDTV with a transparent display”

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Call: 13th ACM conference on Creativity & Cognition (C&C 2021)

Call for Participation

ACM Creativity & Cognition 2021
The 13th ACM conference on Creativity & Cognition
Venice, Italy on the Isola San Servolo [and/or online; see Note below]
https://cc.acm.org/2021/submit/

Earliest submission deadline: February 1st, 2021

Note: The current COVID-19 pandemic might raise questions for authors interested in submitting their work to C&C 2021. The event is expected to take place face-to-face, and/or through virtual participation if needed. The conference chairs are in ongoing discussions with ACM and SigCHI to explore contingency plans in the event that C&C 2021 is cancelled or held with restrictions. If no such restrictions occur, we require as usual, that at least one author of an accepted submission will register and attend the conference to present.

ACM Creativity & Cognition 2021 invites papers, pictorials, artworks, workshops and tutorials, as well as posters, demonstrations and graduate student symposium submissions investigating how interactive computing systems and socio-technical processes affect creativity.… read more. “Call: 13th ACM conference on Creativity & Cognition (C&C 2021)”

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Apple files patent for VR system for vehicles that prevents motion sickness

[This story from MacRumors describes intriguing presence-evoking technology in a new patent filing from Apple. As the author notes, “[g]iven the complexity and outlandish nature of this filing, it is very unlikely that any of the features outlined in it will come to market any time soon. Nonetheless, it offers insight into Apple’s current areas of research and development.” The original version of the story includes two different images. For more details see coverage from Patently Apple, and for information about a related patent, see “Apple wants to bring Zoom-like background replacement to ‘Apple Glass’” from Apple Insider. –Matthew]

[Image: Source: Businessblog]

Apple Still Pursuing VR-Based Vehicle Motion Sickness Solution With Contributions From Mark Rober

By Hartley Charlton
August 13, 2020

Back in 2018, it was revealed that noted YouTuber and former NASA engineer Mark Rober had been quietly working in Apple’s special projects group on several projects related to virtual reality.… read more. “Apple files patent for VR system for vehicles that prevents motion sickness”

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Call: 5th Annual Frameless Symposium

Call for Participation

5th Annual Frameless Symposium
November 29-30, 2020
MAGIC Spell Studios, Rochester Institute of Technology
Rochester, New York
http://framelesslabs.rit.edu/symposium-2020/

Submission deadlines:
Papers, talks, workshops: August 31, 2020
Demos, Installations, Performances, WiP: September 30, 2020
Flash Talks: November 1, 2020

NOTE: We intend to hold this conference virtually with the possible addition of onsite participation. Therefore, we are exploring options for distance participation through VR and other digitally synchronous means to broaden the range of opportunities for presentation and attendance. Please stay tuned to the conference website where we will share information and updates.

The Frameless Symposium is an interdisciplinary symposium focused on research, innovation, and artistic creation in the fields of virtual and augmented reality. The Symposium Committee invites contributions from users and creators of immersive technologies and experiences involved in academia, non-profit and educational organizations, and industry.

PRESENTATION FORMATS:

Papers – 20-min oral presentation
Talks – 20-min oral presentation
Workshops – 50- or 75-min session
Demos & Works-In-Progress – hands-on demo session
Installations – large-scale art/experience
Performances – scheduled experience
Flash talks – 5 minute presentation

TOPICS OF INTEREST:

Almost anything involving XR and immersive technologies is within the scope of the symposium.… read more. “Call: 5th Annual Frameless Symposium”

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To digitize Burning Man, indie developers reimagine human online interaction

[TechCrunch reports on how teams of volunteers are working to take the Burning Man event online because of the pandemic and in the process, participate in some “avant garde imagineering for what the future of human online interaction looks like.” In addition to the links to the separate projects, the original story includes six more images and links to related content. –Matthew]

Digitizing Burning Man

How indie developers are re-imagining social apps to save the iconic off-the-grid event

Lucas Matney
August 12, 2020

For decades, Burning Man has represented an escape from the current reality. An event for free-er spirits to rethink new age ideals inside a stateless entity where art, music and partying reign supreme on the desert plains.

Over the years, the Bay Area-founded event has dealt with an internal clash as the gathering has grown larger and attracted a heavy presence from Silicon Valley’s wealthy tech class, with tales of turnkey experiences, air-conditioned camps, helicopters and lobster dinners.… read more. “To digitize Burning Man, indie developers reimagine human online interaction”

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Call: Empowering Children’s Critical Reflections on AI, Robotics and Other Intelligent Technologies – NordiCHI 2020 workshop

Call for Papers

“Empowering Children’s Critical Reflections on AI, Robotics and Other Intelligent Technologies”
NordiCHI 2020 workshop
25 October 2020
Tallinn, Estonia and online (see NordiCHI 2020 website for updates)
https://sites.google.com/view/nordichi2020wsai/

Paper submission deadline: September 1st, 2020

Robotics, automated systems and AI are gradually shaping novel techno-social realities especially in educational contexts. However not enough space is being given to a critical reflection on the emerging ethical and social implications for designers/developers and the users, especially children. This workshop aims at creating a space to discuss the current practices and the near future opportunities for the support of children’s reflections related to robotics, automated systems, and AI implied in educational environments.

After our fantastic experience at IDC 2020, we decided to expand our discussions on children’s reflections on AI to other conferences. Our next workshop will take place at NordiCHI 2020.… read more. “Call: Empowering Children’s Critical Reflections on AI, Robotics and Other Intelligent Technologies – NordiCHI 2020 workshop”

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Dangerous teleoperation: Robot takes straight razor to face of brave roboticist

[This IEEE Spectrum story describes how roboticist John Peter Whitney takes some personal risks to develop technology that permits precise teleoperation (and potentially autonomous operation) of robots. The original version includes two more images and the mentioned video; follow the link at the end for more information. –Matthew]

Remotely Operated Robot Takes Straight Razor to Face of Brave Roboticist

You should really probably definitely not ever try this at home or anywhere else

By Evan Ackerman
July 28, 2020

Roboticists love hard problems. Challenges like the DRC and SubT have helped (and are still helping) to catalyze major advances in robotics, but not all hard problems require a massive amount of DARPA funding—sometimes, a hard problem can just be something very specific that’s really hard for a robot to do, especially relative to the ease with which a moderately trained human might be able to do it.… read more. “Dangerous teleoperation: Robot takes straight razor to face of brave roboticist”

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Call: “Lockdown: Mental Illness, Wellness, and COVID-19” – Free online conference

Call for Abstracts

Lockdown: Mental Illness, Wellness, and COVID-19
November 16th-18th, 2020 via Zoom
There are no registration fees for this conference.
https://forms.gle/7UWvZKshQncbojsF7

Deadline for submissions: September 13 2020

In the wake of the global COVID-19 lockdown, digitally mediated and online forms of mental health therapy and wellness practices have proliferated. Such therapies and practices have been necessitated by the COVID-19 lockdown and its unique demands. Nevertheless, the necessity of social distancing has the potential to fuel calls for digitising treatment of mental illnesses, calls that emerge from institutions and entrepreneurs who see tele-therapies as cost effective, and as pushing a technocratic model of social-organisation, in line with the neoliberal discourse of ‘self-care’ in the service of ‘resilience’. Although there is much discussion of whether these technologies are effective or not, we argue it is important to ask beyond questions of efficacy and towards the implications of how these technologies will shape understandings of mental health and wellness.… read more. “Call: “Lockdown: Mental Illness, Wellness, and COVID-19” – Free online conference”

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VR Quest engages and provides deep learning as kids build and play in immersive worlds

[This review of VR Quest educational software explores the potential of virtual learning experiences, and the spatial and social presence they produce. It comes from Parentology, where the original version includes two more images and a 1:54 “Introduction” video (also available via YouTube). A new 1:57 minute news report from Fox 12 in Oregon, and a 2013 CBS News report include brief interviews with students and the creator, and more information is available on the VR Quest website. For more context, “hear from researchers, educators, and developers from MIT, Stanford, and Seattle Public Schools as they share their experiences, benefits and challenges with VR in the classroom, and talk about their visions for the future” in a 45-minute Oculus-sponsored “Classrooms and Case Studies: VR in Education” panel discussion from October 2019 available via YouTube. –Matthew]

[Image: After creating their own game world, players can enter it through VR.read more. “VR Quest engages and provides deep learning as kids build and play in immersive worlds”

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