ISPR Presence News

Monthly Archives: July 2021

Call: Third Workshop on Knowledge-aware and Conversational Recommender Systems (KaRS 2021)

Call for Papers

Third Workshop on Knowledge-aware and Conversational Recommender Systems (KaRS 2021)
September 27th – October 1st, 2021
Amsterdam, the Netherlands
https://kars-workshop.github.io/2021/
http://sisinflab.poliba.it/kars/2021/

Extended Submission deadline: August 12, 2021

SCOPE

We are pleased to invite you to contribute to the Third Workshop on Knowledge-aware and Conversational Recommender Systems held in conjunction with the ACM International Conference on Recommender Systems (RecSys 2021) Amsterdam, the Netherlands, from September the 27th to October the 1st, 2021.

In the last few years, a renewed interest of the research community on conversational recommender systems (CRSs) is emerging. This is probably due to the great diffusion of Digital Assistants (DAs) such as Amazon Alexa, Siri, or Google Assistant that are revolutionizing the way users interact with machines. DAs allow users to execute a wide range of actions through an interaction mostly based on natural language messages.… read more. “Call: Third Workshop on Knowledge-aware and Conversational Recommender Systems (KaRS 2021)”

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Lawn Mowing Simulator takes cutting the grass very seriously

[This short, funny story from Kotaku reports on the upcoming release of a game that simulates mowing British lawns and in the process highlights the impressive evolution of similar simulations and the benefits of ‘thinking outside the box’ when choosing activities to reproduce in presence-evoking virtual environments. See the original story for a second picture and a 1:05 minute trailer (also available via YouTube); more images and another video are on the product’s Steam store page. –Matthew]

[Image: A very exciting screenshot of Lawn Mower Simulator. Credit: Skyhook Games / Curve Digital]

Lawn Mowing Simulator Takes Cutting The Grass Very Seriously

Get ready for a turf war. No? Blade on blade action? Oh. Sorry.

By John Walker
July 15, 2021

If you’re an Xbox Series X/S owner, then it might well be time to consider buying an expansion SSD [Solid State Drive], just to ensure you’ve got space.… read more. “Lawn Mowing Simulator takes cutting the grass very seriously”

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Call: EvoMUSART 2022 – 11th International Conference on AI in Music, Sound, Art and Design

Call for Papers

EvoMUSART 2022 – 11th International Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Music, Sound, Art and Design
Part of the evo* event
20-22 April 2022
Venue: Somewhere On Earth! [according to WikiCFP]
www.evostar.org/2022/evomusart/

Submission deadline: 1 November 2021

The 11th International Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Music, Sound, Art and Design (EvoMUSART) 2022 is a multidisciplinary conference that brings together researchers who are working on the application of Artificial Intelligence techniques in creative and artist fields.

There is a growing interest in the application of Artificial Neural Networks, Evolutionary Computation, Swarm Intelligence, Cellular Automata, Alife, and other Artificial Intelligence techniques in fields such as: visual art and music generation, analysis, and interpretation; sound synthesis; architecture; video; poetry; design; and other creative tasks. Therefore, the use of Artificial Intelligence in such creative domains became a significant and exciting area of research.… read more. “Call: EvoMUSART 2022 – 11th International Conference on AI in Music, Sound, Art and Design”

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The ethics of a deepfake Anthony Bourdain voice

[The use of artificial intelligence technology in a new documentary to create the illusion of the late Anthony Bourdain’s voice has raised a controversy with important implications regarding the ethics of presence. This story from The New Yorker provides the facts and explores the reasons some are upset – including their previous presence experiences in the form of parasocial relationships with Bourdain – and the evolving standards and techniques for disclosing illusions to audiences. –Matthew]

[Image: The artificial voice may trouble people in large part because of the close connection they feel with Bourdain, shown here in 2011. Credit: Jose Sena Goulao / EPA-EFE / Shutterstock]

The Ethics of a Deepfake Anthony Bourdain Voice

The new documentary “Roadrunner” uses A.I.-generated audio without disclosing it to viewers. How should we feel about that?

By Helen Rosner
July 17, 2021

The documentary “Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain,” which opened in theatres on Friday, is an angry, elegant, often overwhelmingly emotional chronicle of the late television star’s life and his impact on the people close to him.… read more. “The ethics of a deepfake Anthony Bourdain voice”

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Call: 2021 Australasian Simulation Congress (ASC)

Call for Abstracts

Australasian Simulation Congress (ASC) 2021
November 9th – 11th, 2021
University of Technology Sydney and Online
http://www.simulationcongress.com/about/

Abstract submission deadline: July 30, 2021 (extended)

The Simulation Australasia Board and 2021 Australasian Simulation Congress Organising Committee warmly invite you to join us at the 2021 Australasian Simulation Congress (ASC 2021).

This year’s event will be hybrid, hosted both online and at the University of Technology Sydney from November 9th to 11th, 2021. ASC will be on line from 9th to 10th November with a live event hosted at UTS, Sydney on 11th November.

We will be exploring the theme of “Simulation – Navigating Uncertain Futures”. The 2021 Australasian Simulation Congress will once again bring together the SimHealth, SimTecT and Serious Games streams, along with opportunities for a number of joint sessions of mutual interest. The theme this year reflects that we live in uncertain times marked by massive global changes, rapidly moving us into unprecedented and unknown directions.… read more. “Call: 2021 Australasian Simulation Congress (ASC)”

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VW, OhmniLabs create CHAMP telepresence robot to provide matchday access for young soccer fans

[This short story from The News Wheel describes a new telepresence robot and its role in providing virtual access to U.S. soccer matches for children who otherwise can’t attend. See the original version for a second picture and a 0:47 minute video (also available on YouTube) and U.S. Soccer press releases here and here for more information. And see an OhmniLabs tweet for a photo of “Luna and CHAMP meeting with Megan Rapinoe at USWNT’s Send-Off Series game versus Mexico.” –Matthew]

[Image: Luna Perrone got to meet Alex Morgan through the use of the CHAMP robot. Credit: Volkswagen]

VW and OhmniLabs Create CHAMP Robot for Young Fans

By Morgan Pritchett
July 14, 2021

A tradition in the U.S. Soccer community is when children get an opportunity to walk onto the field with the players before a match begins. Sadly, some kids don’t get to participate in this exciting pre-game ceremony due to certain unfortunate circumstances.… read more. “VW, OhmniLabs create CHAMP telepresence robot to provide matchday access for young soccer fans”

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Call: ANIMATAS Symposium on “Human-Machine Interaction. Perception, Social Learning, Personalised Adaptation in Educational Settings”

Call for Papers

ANIMATAS Symposium on ‘Human-Machine Interaction. Perception, Social Learning, Personalised Adaptation in Educational Settings’
October 12-14, 2021
Virtual event

Symposium Website: https://sites.google.com/view/animatas-symposium
ANIMATAS Website: https://www.animatas.eu

Submission Deadline: 16th of August 2021

OVERVIEW:

As emerging technologies continue to grow in complexity and availability, the question of how to successfully integrate such technologies into our society is attracting growing research interest. Social robots, virtual agents, and (explainable) artificial intelligence models are increasingly being implemented in healthcare systems, in entertainment or retail, or in educational settings as a means to reduce burden on human workers and maximise user experience.

Education is a particularly relevant context for the implementation of advanced robotic, virtual, or AI systems. Teachers around the world suffer from overcrowded classrooms, limited resources, and diverse student needs. These challenges are being especially highlighted in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.… read more. “Call: ANIMATAS Symposium on “Human-Machine Interaction. Perception, Social Learning, Personalised Adaptation in Educational Settings””

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Study examines how grandparents use video chat to connect with grandchildren during pandemic

[The results so far aren’t particularly surprising and don’t explicitly involve presence, but the ambitious (inter-generational, cross-university, multi-method, longitudinal) study described in this story from Lafayette College, and especially in the linked now-published and free/accessible article in the journal Human Behavior and Emerging Technologies and other detailed reports, provide potentially valuable insights into ways that presence via video chat helps, and can best help, alleviate perceived isolation in family members.  –Matthew]

[Image: The young daughter of Prof. Lauren Myers reacts to her grandparents during a video chat.]

Video Chat Supports Family Connections

By Shannon Sigafoos
July 13, 2021

Throughout the past year, video chat has helped to mitigate the potential negative impacts of forced separation and reduced in-person contact between grandparents and grandchildren. In the future, it also may prove to be a supportive first step in children using and understanding technology, according to research by Lauren Myers, associate professor of psychology, and her field colleagues.… read more. “Study examines how grandparents use video chat to connect with grandchildren during pandemic”

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Call: “Life and Death Moral Dilemmas in VR” Study

Call for Participants

“Life and Death Moral Dilemmas in VR” Study

The Virginia Philosophy Reality Lab (VPRL) at Old Dominion University is asking for participants in a research study on moral decision-making in virtual reality settings. Prospective participants must be 18+ years of age and have access to an Oculus headset. Participants will fill out a brief informed consent form and questionnaire before downloading the virtual reality experience that tests responses to virtual life-and-death scenarios.

To participate in the study, please visit our website and follow the instructions:
http://www.vprl.org/VPRL_Life_Death_Dilemmas.html

Please consider sharing this link with non-philosopher students and colleagues, as we would like to get as diverse of a sample as possible. Data collected from responses to these scenarios will inform new behavioral and social models of moral decision making. These contributions can also help improve decision making modeling for diverse applications from self-driving cars to robotics and AI networks.… read more. “Call: “Life and Death Moral Dilemmas in VR” Study”

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Virtual waterfalls and environmental immersion as pain relief during cystoscopies

[A new study adds to the evidence for the potential of VR and presence to reduce perceived pain during medical procedures, in this case using a less interactive stimulus that’s designed for older adult patients who are laying down. All of the press coverage so far, including this story from News-Medical.Net, is based on a press release which unfortunately doesn’t include an image of the stimulus. For a related development see the new open access publication “Efficacy of Smartphone Active and Passive Virtual Reality Distraction vs Standard Care on Burn Pain Among Pediatric Patients” in JAMA Network Open. –Matthew]

[Image: Credit: Monika Wisniewska/Shutterstock.com]

Immersion in virtual reality can be used to alleviate the discomfort of medical procedures

By James Ducker, MRes; Reviewed by Emily Henderson, B.Sc.
July 12, 2021

Pain relief typically involves anesthetic but VR also provides a new technology to limit some of the pain experienced in medical procedures such as bladder cancer by immersing patients into pleasant environments.… read more. “Virtual waterfalls and environmental immersion as pain relief during cystoscopies”

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