ISPR Presence News

Monthly Archives: June 2021

Job: Postdoc – AI in Human Communication and Decision-Making at Michigan State University

Call for Applications

Postdoctoral Research Associate in Artificial Intelligence (Ai) In Human Communication and Decision-Making
Michigan State University
College of Communication Arts and Sciences

Applications are being accepted now and will continue until the position is filled.

POSITION:

Postdoctoral Research, starting Fall 2021.

SETTING:

Michigan State University (MSU), located in East Lansing, is the nation’s pioneer land-grant institution. This research team is housed within MSU’s world renowned College of Communication Arts and Sciences.

PRIMARY ACTIVITIES:

You will be joining a research team that is developing and testing a theoretical framework for the use and practice of trustworthy and compassionate Artificial Intelligence (AI) in human communication and decision-making. We seek to publish in Human Computer Interaction journals and computer science conferences. There are also opportunities for applicants to lead projects and be a member of an interdisciplinary team with researchers in the communication and computer science.… read more. “Job: Postdoc – AI in Human Communication and Decision-Making at Michigan State University”

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This nose-zapping wearable simulates smell using electricity

[This story from Digital Trends is an entertaining look at a new way to simulate smells to enhance presence for virtual reality users as well as in other contexts. See the original story for a second image and a video, and for more information about this and other presence-related work from the Human-Computer Integration Lab at the University of Chicago see the Lab’s website. –Matthew]

Smell-O-Vision: This nose-zapping wearable simulates smell using electricity

By Luke Dormehl
June 6, 2021

Jas Brooks, a long-haired engineer who looks as if they might moonlight as the roadie for a hair metal band, sat blindfolded in a room with electrodes up their nose and let people over the internet crank up the smells.

“It definitely looks … horrifying,” they told Digital Trends, likening the experimental setup to the Milgram experiment, a controversial series of 1960s experiments, conducted by a Yale psychologist, in which people were tested on their willingness to dish out electric shocks to participants.… read more. “This nose-zapping wearable simulates smell using electricity”

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Call: Panels for CHI 2022

Call for Panels

CHI 2022: ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
April 30 – May 6, 2022
New Orleans and online [see below]
https://chi2022.acm.org/for-authors/interacting-and-discussing/panels/

Submission deadline: December 16, 2021

Hello! We are soliciting Panels for the CHI 2022 (https://chi2022.acm.org/) conference, which will take place in early May 2022 in New Orleans. Please check out the Panels CFP here:

https://chi2022.acm.org/for-authors/interacting-and-discussing/panels/

The deadline is not until December 16, 2021, but we wanted to give you plenty of notice to be able to curate your best and most exciting panel submissions!

Panels will be held in their own 60-minute session at the conference. For CHI 2022, panels can be either hybrid (held in-person with ability for panelists and attendees to participate virtually) or fully virtual.

A key feature of Panels is to highlight and discuss important issues in our community.… read more. “Call: Panels for CHI 2022”

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Virtual reality boosts brain rhythms crucial for neuroplasticity, learning and memory

[This is an interesting press release from UCLA via MedicalXpress about new neurophysics research that compares responses to virtual reality and the real world; it raises many questions about how we can measure and manipulate presence and its impacts. For more information see Maynak Mehta‘s website. –Matthew]

Virtual reality boosts brain rhythms crucial for neuroplasticity, learning and memory

by University of California, Los Angeles
June 28, 2021

A new discovery in rats shows that the brain responds differently in immersive virtual reality environments versus the real world. The finding could help scientists understand how the brain brings together sensory information from different sources to create a cohesive picture of the world around us. It could also pave the way for “virtual reality therapy” for learning and memory-related disorders ranging including ADHD, Autism, Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy and depression.… read more. “Virtual reality boosts brain rhythms crucial for neuroplasticity, learning and memory”

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Call: ACM Interactive Surfaces and Spaces 2021

Call for Papers

ACM Interactive Surfaces and Spaces 2021
Łódź, Poland and online [see Note below]
November 14 to 17
http://iss.acm.org/2021/

NOTE: ISS 2021 will be a hybrid event: Accepted papers are invited to present at the conference, and authors can choose whether or not they wish to present. Because of the evolving situation with COVID-19 and the difficulties of running a physical in-person conference, ACM ISS will allow remote participation. While we do not know what the exact format of the conference will be, we will ensure everyone can present their papers at ISS.

ACM ISS 2021 has two separate reviewing rounds (winter and summer) with separate deadlines. The winter round for ISS 2021 has already passed. This is the call for the summer round of ISS 2021.

IMPORTANT DATES (AoE – Anywhere on Earth):
Submission due: July 2, 2021
Notifications to authors: August 13, 2021
Revisions due: September 13, 2021
Final decisions to authors: September 26, 2021
Camera-ready due: October 1, 2021
ISS 2021: November 14-17

ACM Interactive Surfaces and Spaces (ACM ISS) is the premier venue for research on the design, development and use of new and emerging interactive surface technologies and interactive spaces.… read more. “Call: ACM Interactive Surfaces and Spaces 2021”

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Hands-on: Varjo’s Reality Cloud platform captures and shares physical spaces in real-time

[This story from Road to VR evaluates a new presence-evoking technology announced by the company Varjo, which is promoting its Reality Cloud platform as “allowing the ultimate science fiction dream, photorealistic virtual teleportation, to come true.” Here’s a little of what Varjo says in a blog post announcement:

“With Varjo Reality Cloud and Varjo XR-3, anybody will be able to capture their surroundings in 3D and then invite somebody else to join that same exact reality, see and hear others, and share their experience in absolute immersion. Instead of jumping on a plane, you will be able to teleport to any location and back instantly, making your actual physical location completely irrelevant. It won’t just be a simple hologram of an object or a static reality capture; we’re talking about a fully immersive, photorealistic real-time 3D stream, all the way down to the last pixel.… read more. “Hands-on: Varjo’s Reality Cloud platform captures and shares physical spaces in real-time”

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Call: “Human-centered AI” Topical Collection for AI Perspectives

Call for Papers:

AI Perspectives
Ongoing Topical Collection: Human-centered AI
https://aiperspectives.springeropen.com/call-for-papers–human-centered-ai

AI technologies are defining our everyday lives in ways which few other technologies have been done before. In more and more contexts, these AI technologies directly interact with humans in various ways, from self-driving cars to surveillance systems to medical diagnosis systems and human-robot teams. It is apparent from these impacts already observed that Human-centered AI can potentially have a lot of positive but also negative social impacts.

To address and mitigate potential negative repercussions of AI, the international research community has started a variety of initiatives. For instance, the NeurIPS conference has introduced a requirement that all paper submissions include a statement of the “potential broader impact of their work, including its ethical aspects and future societal consequences.” Similarly, we see nations and even supra-national institutions like the EU starting to think about AI regulations as others move forward with technology development at an increasing speed.… read more. “Call: “Human-centered AI” Topical Collection for AI Perspectives”

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Readers reply: How do we know we’re not living in a simulation like the Matrix?

[The Guardian recently published a “Readers Reply” discussion about the ultimate form of presence, the idea that our entire universe is a sophisticated simulation. Here’s a slightly abridged version with a few of my favorite comments highlighted (with [*]). –Matthew]

Readers reply: how do we know we’re not living in a simulation like the Matrix?

The long-running series in which readers answer other readers’ questions on subjects ranging from trivial flights of fancy to profound scientific and philosophical concepts

13 June 2021

Isn’t this just the kind of article our biomechanical overlords would simulate in order to keep us compliant in our pods? kingsize

Not ruling it out, but if we were living in software, it is the most reliable software ever because there never seem to be any disruptive updates. Liam Collins

The idea that we may be living in a matrix-like universe is called the simulation theory, and was first proposed by Nick Bostrom.… read more. “Readers reply: How do we know we’re not living in a simulation like the Matrix?”

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Call: ACM Symposium on Virtual Reality Software and Technology (VRST 2021)

Call for Papers/Posters/Demos

VRST 2021
ACM Symposium on Virtual Reality Software and Technology
Osaka, Japan and online
December 8 – 10, 2021
https://vrst.acm.org/vrst2021/

Paper submission deadline: July 15, 2021
Posters and demos submission deadline: August 15, 2021

The ACM Symposium on Virtual Reality Software and Technology (VRST) is the premier international symposium for the presentation of new research results, systems, and techniques among researchers and developers on augmented, virtual and mixed reality (AR/VR/MR, XR for short) software and technology.

VRST brings together the premier international research groups working on XR, along with many of the world’s leading companies that provide or utilize XR systems. VRST 2021 will be held in Osaka, Japan, hosted by Osaka University, from Wednesday, Dec. 8th to Friday, Dec. 10th, 2021. The event is sponsored by ACM SIGCHI and SIGGRAPH.

All sessions will be hosted through an online platform.… read more. “Call: ACM Symposium on Virtual Reality Software and Technology (VRST 2021)”

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VR therapy: Why it works and is poised to address COVID-related mental health crisis

[Although it may seem surprising that reliving a person’s traumatic experience via virtual reality can help them recover from the event, this story from The New York Times explains how this positive application of presence works using personal examples. See the original story for three short videos, and for more about Chris Merkle’s experience see a 2017 Rolling Stone article. As the story below and a related Business Insider story note, VR is likely to also be helpful in addressing mental health issues caused by the pandemic. –Matthew]

Virtual Reality Therapy Plunges Patients Back Into Trauma. Here Is Why Some Swear by It.

An experimental treatment seems poised to address a dire mental health crisis.

By Dani Blum
June 3, 2021

When a Veterans Affairs therapist first suggested that Chris Merkle try a virtual reality simulation that would mimic his days in combat, he was horrified.… read more. “VR therapy: Why it works and is poised to address COVID-related mental health crisis”

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