ISPR Presence News

Monthly Archives: February 2021

Call: 6th International Workshop on Human Aspects in Adaptive and Personalized Interactive Environments (HAAPIE 2021)

In memory of Prof. George Samaras

Call for Papers
HAAPIE 2021: 6th International Workshop on Human Aspects in Adaptive and Personalized Interactive Environments
In conjunction with ACM UMAP 2021
21-25 June 2021
ONLINE from Utrecht, the Netherlands
http://haapie.cs.ucy.ac.cy/

Paper submission deadline: 26 March 2021

HAAPIE 2021 is the 6th International Workshop on Human Aspects in Adaptive and Personalized Interactive Environments that will be held ONLINE in conjunction with ACM UMAP 2021, 21-25 June 2021 from Utrecht, the Netherlands.

SCOPE AND OBJECTIVES

State-of-the-art approaches in adaptation and personalization research consider user models that mostly maintain information regarding the “traditional” user characteristics (i.e., experience, knowledge, interests, context), and related contextual or technology aspects (i.e., displays, connectivity, processing power). While modeling these factors has shown significant improvements and benefits to the end-users in terms of usability and user experience, there is an urgent need for a step change in user modeling and adaptation that acknowledge human aspects thoroughly, producing more holistic human-centered adaptation and personalization theories and practices.… read more. “Call: 6th International Workshop on Human Aspects in Adaptive and Personalized Interactive Environments (HAAPIE 2021)”

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How and why people are using VR during the pandemic

[This story from the New Statesman provides some interesting examples of how and why people have been using virtual reality during the pandemic and the role of (especially social) presence in their experiences. –Matthew]

[Image: Credit: Charley Gallay/Getty Images For Samsung]

How the pandemic made virtual reality mainstream

As lockdowns encourage people to turn to technology for social connection, distraction and exercise, VR no longer seems an overpriced or mystifying pastime.

By Sarah Manavis
25 February 2021

When I logged on to the fitness app Strava three weeks into the current lockdown, I was shocked to see that one of my friends had clearly been breaking stay-at-home rules. The map on her latest post showed that she was on an island in the Pacific Ocean, staying in a mountainous part of Teanu. She had recorded her ten-mile cycle that morning. I clicked on it to look at the pictures she’d posted.… read more. “How and why people are using VR during the pandemic”

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Call: AI-2021 – BCS SGAI International Conference on Innovative Techniques and Applications of Artificial Intelligence

CALL FOR CONTRIBUTIONS

AI-2021: 41st BCS SGAI International Conference on Innovative Techniques and Applications of Artificial Intelligence
Cambridge, UK [see note below]
December 14th-16th 2021
http://www.bcs-sgai.org/ai2021/

NOTE: The SGAI annual conference series returns to Cambridge. Subject to COVID-related problems our annual conference will return to its usual venue, Peterhouse College, Cambridge, this year. In the event of serious COVID issues still remaining in the UK as the date approaches, or significant international travel restrictions, special arrangements will be made.

Organised by BCS SGAI: The British Computer Society Specialist Group on Artificial Intelligence (a EurAi Member Society). The leading series of UK-based international conferences on Artificial Intelligence and one of the longest running AI conference series in Europe.

Deadline for submissions: 2nd July 2021

AI-2021 is the forty-first SGAI International Conference on Innovative Techniques and Applications of Artificial Intelligence.

The proceedings of the AI-20xx conference series are now published by Springer in Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence (LNAI), a sub-series of the distinguished Lecture Notes in Computer Science (LNCS) series of conference proceedings.… read more. “Call: AI-2021 – BCS SGAI International Conference on Innovative Techniques and Applications of Artificial Intelligence”

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AI can now turn you into a fully digital, realistic talking clone

[The technology that enables the creation and use of digital humans capable of evoking social presence is evolving quickly; as PetaPixel reports, one company has debuted a service that lets anyone “create a fully digital clone of themselves” which (who?) can then be made to appear “on “camera” saying anything in any language. The implications are both fascinating and, as the author notes, “daunting.” See the original story for the two short videos mentioned and see the Hour One website for examples and links to other press coverage. –Matthew]

AI Can Now Turn You Into a Fully Digital, Realistic Talking Clone

February 16, 2021
By Jaron Schneider

Hour One describes itself as a “video transformation company” that wants to replace cameras with code, and its latest creation is the ability for anyone to create a fully digital clone of themselves that can appear to speak “on camera” without a camera or audio inputs at all.… read more. “AI can now turn you into a fully digital, realistic talking clone”

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Call: 14th and 15th International Conferences on e-Learning and Innovative Pedagogies

Call for Abstracts/Proposals

Fourteenth International Conference on e-Learning & Innovative Pedagogies
Online Only
University of the Aegean – Rhodes Campus
Rhodes, Greece
5–6 May 2021
https://ubi-learn.com/2021-conference
Late proposal deadline: 5 April 2021

Fifteenth International Conference on e-Learning & Innovative Pedagogies
Blended (In-Person & Online; see note below)
Changhua City, Taiwan
15-16 April 2022
https://ubi-learn.com/2022-conference
Deadline for abstracts/proposals: 15th March 2022

NOTE: Reimagining the Scholarly Conference
To support the range of options, and flexibility needed in our current climate, we will offer a blended conference experience. You do not need to commit either to a place-based or virtual presentation at the time of submission. You can present both ways, or change your mode of the presentation if your preferences change. The choice to participate virtually could also be a moral decision – for the planet, for security, or when the financial burden of travel is too great.… read more. “Call: 14th and 15th International Conferences on e-Learning and Innovative Pedagogies”

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The soothing, digital rooms of YouTube ambience videos

[Even before entering academia I was intrigued with how non-interactive media including television and radio can evoke effective presence illusions, so I find this story from The New York Times particularly interesting. In his popular blog Kottke.org Jason Kottke notes that the videos described in the story are “related to slow TV and other meditative videos [he’s] posted over the years (e.g. the idling Arctic icebreaker & Tibetan singing bowl music.” See the original NYT story for five video examples and an additional image. –Matthew]

The Soothing, Digital Rooms of YouTube

Ambience videos pair relaxing soundscapes with animated scenery to make viewers feel immersed in specific spaces, like a cozy library. They’re big with “Harry Potter” fans.

By Eliza Brooke
February 16, 2021

Picture this: You’re in the Hogwarts library. Rain falls outside, a fire crackles across the room, and somewhere offscreen, quills scribble on parchment.… read more. “The soothing, digital rooms of YouTube ambience videos”

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Call: DesAIn – International Conference on the impact of AI on Contemporary Design

CALL FOR PAPERS

DesAIn – International Conference on the impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI) on Contemporary Design
25 May, 2021
Online
https://design.hit.ac.il/desaign/

Deadline for abstracts: 25 March 2021

In the new and complex techno-human reality in which designers function today, the clear distinction between humans and machines that has characterized modern Western thought in the past is becoming increasingly blurred: Computer systems and code logic are embedded in the most essential characteristics of human existence, while automated machines are acquiring traits typical of living systems. Thanks to new developments in the field of artificial intelligence (AI), these new algorithm-based machines are no longer classified only as computational apparatus of a significant logical nature, but they also take part in fields that were previously considered unique to human beings, especially in the creative field. Therefore, the binary distinction between a thinking human-being who learns and creates, and the executive machine that optimizes and improves human activity through embedded automation systems is being undermined.… read more. “Call: DesAIn – International Conference on the impact of AI on Contemporary Design”

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New virtual reality tool aims to reduce aviation crashes

[This story from NPR describes a new in-flight form of virtual reality training for pilots; the original story includes a 3-minute audio version, related links, and three more images, one of which has a caption that quotes pilot Jonathan Johnson saying “the VR technology was ‘like no other [training] flight I’ve flown’ and pilot Jerry Griffin saying ‘It doesn’t get any realer than that.’” –Matthew]

[Image: The virtual reality system uses a clear plastic film strapped to the pilot’s helmet. Seen here, Jonathan Johnson’s view is obscured by “clouds.” What the pilot “sees” is controlled by an iPad. Credit: Russell Lewis/NPR]

New Virtual Reality Tool Aims To Reduce Aviation Crashes

February 15, 2021
Heard on Morning Edition
By Russell Lewis

Aviation has a problem that has vexed the industry for decades: when pilots unintentionally fly into clouds, lose control and crash.… read more. “New virtual reality tool aims to reduce aviation crashes”

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Call: Research toolkits for Immersive Promotion Design Ltd.

IMMERSIVE PROMOTION DESIGN LTD.: CALL FOR RESEARCH TOOLKITS

Immersive Promotion Design Ltd. is a new marketing consultancy for the world of XR, supporting Virtual, Augmented & Mixed Reality creatives and businesses to better communicate with their audiences about the magic of immersive content. It builds on sector-development research funded by StoryFutures Academy and Bristol+Bath Creative R+D, and brings together expertise from the BBC VR Hub, Limina Immersive, StoryCentral, Raucous, Bath Spa University and beyond.

Central to our approach to working with industry is that it is underpinned by research, and so we are now looking to further build our network with academics and creative practitioners working in the area of immersive media and/or marketing. In particular, we wish to build up our Research Toolkits that can raise our profile and inform future consultancy work. In return, your Research Toolkit will be published on the immersive promotion website as an open access resource, and longer-term you will be invited to join our team of experts where you can play a role in supporting XR client work on a freelance or consultancy basis.… read more. “Call: Research toolkits for Immersive Promotion Design Ltd.”

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NICOBO, Panasonic’s new cat-like “weak robot,” is a purposely imperfect companion for these times

[The most widely-cited story about Panasonic’s new companion robot NICOBO, which is sure to evoke medium-as-social-actor presence, is from Gizmodo, where it begins with this:

“In a time when even basic human interactions are discouraged for safety reasons, there’s an even greater demand for alternate sources of companionship. But if you’re not ready for the responsibilities of a dog or a cat, Panasonic has introduced yet another companion robot that dutifully pays attention to you through bouts of flatulence—just like a real pet.”

Designboom’s coverage adds this:

“In order to realize the ‘new form of happiness,’ we have focused on the ‘weak robot’ advocated by Michio Okada Laboratory (ICD-LAB) of Toyohashi University of Technology and conducted joint research from the concept stage. It was born from the idea of a ‘weak robot’ that draws out the ‘kindness and compassion’ of the people around it by appropriately disclosing its weaknesses rather than hiding its weaknesses and imperfections.… read more. “NICOBO, Panasonic’s new cat-like “weak robot,” is a purposely imperfect companion for these times”

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