ISPR Presence News

Monthly Archives: December 2020

Call: “The Phenomenology of Social Impairments” – Special issue of Phenomenology and Mind

Call for Papers

The Phenomenology of Social Impairments
Special Issue of Phenomenology and Mind
https://journals.fupress.net/call-for-paper/the-phenomenology-of-social-impairments-special-issue-of-phenomenology-and-mind/

Deadline for submissions: 30 January 2021

Social impairments impact the way the world and others appear to us and are a key feature of mental disorders. Disturbed sociality typically involves modifications in intercorporeality and interaffectivity. These changes influence the structure of the self-other relation and determine the way subjects interact and perceive other people. The close relationship between anomalies in interpersonal embodiment and affectivity and reduced sociality is reflected from a growing body of research on mental disorders. Ample evidence indicates that difficulties in establishing intersubjective engagements involve irregularities of social capacities and predispositions, such as empathy, joint attention, ‘we’-relationships and emotional sharing. These fundamental features of intersubjectivity that stem from intercorporeality and interaffectivity, are critical for establishing shared experiences, and attaining social affordances.

Phenomenology and Mind invites submissions for a special issue dedicated to “The Phenomenology of Social Impairments”.… read more. “Call: “The Phenomenology of Social Impairments” – Special issue of Phenomenology and Mind”

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How virtual reality can unlock an elusive dream state

[A new study explores the connections between two types of presence-related experience. Apparently opportunities or reasons to question the reality status of our experience, including those in VR, helps us initiate lucid dreaming in which we can control what happens. This story from Inverse describes the study and its interesting implications; see also “Scientists engineer dreams to understand the sleeping brain. Technologies such as noninvasive brain stimulation and virtual reality gaming offer insights into how dreams arise and what functions they might serve” in The Scientist. –Matthew]

HOW VIRTUAL REALITY CAN UNLOCK AN ELUSIVE DREAM STATE

Am I dreaming?

By Sarah Wells
December 14, 2020

On a nightly basis, we surrender to the whim of our minds as they weave fantastical (and sometimes, terrifying) dreams for us. Yet, despite logically knowing that ice cream cones are not self-multiplying, we often don’t realize the falseness of these dreamscapes until after we’ve left them.… read more. “How virtual reality can unlock an elusive dream state”

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Call: GoodIT 2021 – ACM International Conference on Information Technology for Social Good

Call for Papers

ACM International Conference on Information Technology for Social Good (GoodIT 2021)
9-11 September 2021
Rome, Italy
http://www.grc.upv.es/goodit2021/

Submission deadline: May 1, 2021

Accepted papers will be included in the ACM Digital Library. Special issues associated with the conference are being organized. Selected papers will be invited to submit an extended version to those journals.

MOTIVATION AND RATIONALE

The conference will focus on the application of IT technologies to social good. Social good is typically defined as an action that provides some sort of benefit to the general public. In this case, Internet connection, education, and healthcare are all good examples of social goods. However, new media innovations and the explosion of online communities have added new meaning to the term. Social good is now about global citizens uniting to unlock the potential of individuals, technology, and collaboration to create positive societal impact.… read more. “Call: GoodIT 2021 – ACM International Conference on Information Technology for Social Good”

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Finnair’s VR holiday flights point to future of travel

[As reported by Finnair’s Blue Wings magazine, the airline’s virtual flights to visit Santa are not only an entertaining holiday experience for children and families during a pandemic but suggest future widespread applications of the presence-evoking technology. See the original story for a second image; a 15 second trailer is available on YouTube, as is a 2:30 minute promotional video from Visit Rovaniemi titled “Santa Claus presents: Welcome to Rovaniemi, my official hometown in Lapland, Finland”; for more on the Finnish VR studio Zoan, see the company’s website. –Matthew]

FINNAIR’S PIONEERING VR HOLIDAY FLIGHTS POINT TO THE FUTURE OF TRAVEL

Finnair is taking to the skies virtually this holiday season, with eight special trips to Lapland to see Santa utilizing cutting edge virtual reality (VR) technology.

December 8, 2020

Finnair’s VR flights start on December 25th and are available for just €10 per person, with profits going to UNICEF’s fund to help children adversely impacted by the Covid–19 pandemic.… read more. “Finnair’s VR holiday flights point to future of travel”

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Call: “Philosophical Reflections on Media and Technology” issue of Athena: Philosophical Studies

Call for Papers

Athena: Philosophical Studies
Thematic issue: Philosophical Reflections on Media and Technology

Submission deadline: 30 June 2021

The journal Athena: Philosophical Studies (https://www.athena.lt/home) invites to submit the articles for the thematic issue Philosophical Reflections on Media and Technology.

Media and technology are important topics in contemporary philosophical reflections. They were discussed in the works of renowned thinkers, such as B. Latour, D. Harraway, B. Stiegler, F. Kittler – to name only a few – their insights have shaped the way we live and think in our highly technologized world.

However, recent technological developments and the rise of machine learning and artificial intelligence urge us to think further about the impact of media on culture and humans, and formulate bolder hypotheses concerning the modes of technological existence and agency. Moreover, the new media and the smart technologies invite us to reconceptualize the classical philosophical questions and define the new ontological, epistemological, and ethical aspects of media and technology.… read more. “Call: “Philosophical Reflections on Media and Technology” issue of Athena: Philosophical Studies”

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‘Her’ in 2020: The AI girlfriend seducing China’s lonely men

[This is a fascinating and disturbing story about the intense presence responses evoked by an AI designed not to serve humans but develop an emotional connection with them. The original version from Sixth Tone includes four more images and a 4:05 minute video. See also a 2016 ISPR Presence News post. –Matthew]

[Image: Left to right: The fourth, fifth, and sixth generations of Xiaoice, released in 2016, 2017, and 2018, respectively. From @小冰 on Weibo]

The AI Girlfriend Seducing China’s Lonely Men

In China, a sassy chat bot is stealing millions of men’s hearts. It’s also recording their most intimate desires and emotions

By Zhang Wanqing; Editor: Dominic Morgan
December 7, 2020

HEBEI, North China — On a frigid winter’s night, Ming Xuan stood on the roof of a high-rise apartment building near his home. He leaned over the ledge, peering down at the street below.… read more. “‘Her’ in 2020: The AI girlfriend seducing China’s lonely men”

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Call: “Playfulness across Media” issue of Eludamos: Journal for Computer Game Culture

Call for Papers

Playfulness across Media
2021 Issue of Eludamos: Journal for Computer Game Culture
https://www.academia.edu/44445590/Call_for_Papers_Eludamos_Special_Issue_on_Playfulness_across_Media

Deadline for submission of abstracts: 31 January 2021

“Playfulness” is a bona fide example of a travelling concept (Bal 2002), with a complex conceptual history that ranges from anthropology and psychology (e.g., Lieberman 1977; Sutton-Smith 1997) via literary theory (e.g., Stewart 1979; Hutchinson 1983) to the interdisciplinary field of game studies (e.g., Ensslin 2014; Sicart 2014). While there are thus evidently many different ways to approach the question what it means for humans or other animals to think, perceive, and/or behave “playfully,” even a brief look at our current media culture-with its increasing erosion of the border between work and play, its subversion of the notion of distinct media and established genre conventions, as well as its promises of new forms of creative and political participation-clearly demonstrates that this question is indeed still worth asking.… read more. “Call: “Playfulness across Media” issue of Eludamos: Journal for Computer Game Culture”

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Baobab Studios’ VR stories: Empathy of film, agency of games, motivated by real-life emotions

[In addition to the impressive production values, big names and now important messages in the virtual reality productions of Baobab Studios, two stories in Variety (here and here) highlight the ways the studio is designing increasingly rich presence experiences; note the description of the company’s vision in the last two paragraphs below. For more information see the Baobab Studios website. –Matthew]

Virtual Reality Studio Baobab’s Message of Climate Change Leads to U.N. Partnership

By Carole Horst
December 10, 2020

For Baobab Studios, partnering with the United Nations on VR short “Baba Yaga” was a natural step. The company, which has won awards for its diverse, engaging content, worked with the U.N. and the org’s ActNow app for action on climate change and sustainability to tell the tale of “Baba Yaga,” inspired by ancient legends of witches who protect nature.… read more. “Baobab Studios’ VR stories: Empathy of film, agency of games, motivated by real-life emotions”

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Call: Cultural heritage and social impact: Digital technologies for social inclusion and participation (Online Symposium)

Call for Participation/Call for Abstracts

One-Day Online Symposium:
“Cultural heritage and social impact: Digital technologies for social inclusion and participation”
24 February 2021
Online
https://culture-labs.eu/social-impact-online-symposium/

Organisers: Danilo Giglitto, Eleanor Lockley (Sheffield Hallam University); Eirini Kaldeli (ICCS, National Technical University of Athens); Luigina Ciolfi (University College Cork and Sheffield Hallam University)

Deadline for submissions: 8th January 2021

THEMES AND BACKGROUND

Cultural heritage is no longer seen solely as a safeguarding effort or an educational outlet but also as a form of civic and cultural representation and engagement that can contribute to social cohesion. The EU-funded collaborative project “CultureLabs” (https://culture-labs.eu/) investigates and proposes the use of novel methodologies and digital tools for facilitating the access to Cultural Heritage through tailor-made novel experiences, creative reuse, enrichment and co-creation. As part of CultureLabs, this one-day symposium will discuss how digital ecosystems shape the dynamics between institutions (including museums and academic institutions) and communities, leading to new models of collaboration and interaction around heritage and culture.… read more. “Call: Cultural heritage and social impact: Digital technologies for social inclusion and participation (Online Symposium)”

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New app Arthur: VR meetings are weird, but they beat our current reality

[Here’s a first-person report on a new virtual reality meeting app, along with some perspective on the potential of VR meetings during and after the pandemic. See the original version in Wired for three more images, and for more perspective see the Computerworld story “Cisco’s Webex vs. Arthur Digital and the future of collaboration and communication: Cisco looks to be moving toward video phones; Arthur is focusing on mixed reality. Somewhere in the mix is the future of communication.” –Matthew]

VR Meetings Are Weird, but They Beat Our Current Reality

A new VR app called Arthur allows you and your distant colleagues to collaborate within a 3D meeting space—as long as you all have headsets handy.

By Lauren Goode
December 8, 2020

The sun never sets in virtual reality. This occurred to me after an hour-long briefing in an Oculus Quest 2 headset.… read more. “New app Arthur: VR meetings are weird, but they beat our current reality”

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