ISPR Presence News

Monthly Archives: October 2021

Call: Designing Enabling Technologies for Marginalised Groups issue of Journal of Enabling Technologies issue

Call for Papers

Designing Enabling Technologies for Marginalised Groups
Special Issue of
Journal of Enabling Technologies
https://www.emeraldgrouppublishing.com/journal/jet/designing-enabling-technologies-marginalised-groups

Guest Editors: Dr Marc Fabri and Dr Nigel Newbutt

Submission deadline: 1 December 2021

This special issue of the Journal of Enabling Technologies will focus on the design of technologies to remove barriers and improve outcomes for marginalised groups. By marginalised groups, we refer to people with disabilities, neurodivergent people, people with mental health difficulties, minorities, socially or economically disadvantaged people, and refugees, to name a few. This special issue spans a number of disciplines, notably inclusiveness, co-design and the use of innovative technologies therein.

As such, we are pleased to invite peer-reviewed article types, but also case studies, opinion pieces, and technology reviews that help us understand the role of enabling technology design with, and for, marginalised groups.

Marginalised groups often have little influence, little advocacy and minimal representation amongst the creators of technology.… read more. “Call: Designing Enabling Technologies for Marginalised Groups issue of Journal of Enabling Technologies issue”

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Exploring weird L.A.: The strange, immersive art of the Velaslavasay Panorama

[Based on this Los Angeles Times story the Velaslavasay Panorama has expanded and prospered since a July 2015 ISPR Presence News post during the 10th anniversary of the “strange and immersive” attraction, when the artic painting “Effulgence of the North” was on display. I hope to have the presence experiences it offers on my first post-pandemic trip home to L.A. this January. See the original version of the story below for seven more images. –Matthew]

[Image: Credit: Madeleine Hordinski / Los Angeles Times]

Exploring weird L.A.: The strange, immersive art of the Velaslavasay Panorama

By Deborah Netburn
October 4, 2021

On a modest residential street in L.A.’s University Park neighborhood sits an old silent movie theater painted an eye-popping shade of aquamarine.

The historic building has housed a storefront church and a drama school and for four decades served as headquarters for the tile layers union, Local 18.… read more. “Exploring weird L.A.: The strange, immersive art of the Velaslavasay Panorama”

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Call: Chatbots and Philosophy Workshop Symposium at Temple University

Call for Participation

Chatbots and Philosophy Workshop Symposium
Temple University
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Friday, October 29, 2021 at 9 am – 4 pm
https://library.temple.edu/events/1089

Saturday, October 30, 2021 at 9 am – 4 pm
https://library.temple.edu/events/1136

Free in person event; register at links above

Join us for this two-day workshop symposium introducing you to state-of-the-art chatbot technology and other NLP machines. The symposium is co-sponsored by the Center for Hybrid Intelligence in the College of Science and Technology and the Department of Religion in the College of Liberal Arts. Feel free to stop by for any or all of the sessions.

Ever since Turing proposed the imitation game in 1950, the idea of defining intelligence through natural language communication has inspired research and popular culture. By conjuring the illusion of human presence, chatbot algorithms can be applied to a wide range of uses.… read more. “Call: Chatbots and Philosophy Workshop Symposium at Temple University”

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Taking cues from gaming and the real-world to create proactive governance in the metaverse

[In this Wired story Lucy Sparrow, a PhD student in Computing and Information Systems at the University of Melbourne, Australia, suggests ways to use policies, practices and design techniques from gaming and the real (nonmediated) world to help make social interactions and experiences in virtual reality and other virtual environments more safe and accessible for everyone. –Matthew]

[Image: Credit: Photo-Illustration by Sam Whitney; Getty Images]

How to Govern the Metaverse

To build healthy communities in virtual reality, we must move beyond automated penalties toward proactive forms of governance. Games can show us how.

By Lucy Sparrow
October 19.2021

IT WAS 2016, and Jordan Belamire was excited to experience QuiVr, a new fantastical virtual reality game, for the first time. With her husband and brother-in-law looking on, she put on a VR headset and became immersed in a snowy landscape. Represented by a disembodied set of floating hands along with a quiver, bow, and hood, Belamire was now tasked with taking up her weapons to fight mesmerizing hordes of glowing monsters.… read more. “Taking cues from gaming and the real-world to create proactive governance in the metaverse”

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Call: AI and Moral Responsibility online workshop

Call for Participation

AI & Moral Responsibility
Responsibility Matters Workshop Series (RMWS)
October 21, 16.00-20.00hrs EET (Bucharest time)
Online via Zoom
http://comore.ccea.ro/responsibility-matters-workshop-series-ai-moral-responsibility/

We cordially invite you to the first edition of the Responsibility Matters Workshop Series (RMWS): AI & Moral Responsibility.

We are technically on the verge of deploying self-driving cars, autonomous weapon systems, robotic caregivers or artificial companions. But the perspective of scaling up such AI systems raises several ethical concerns. Who is morally responsible for the decisions taken by highly autonomous AI systems in these various domains? Whom do we blame for the effects generated by these artificial entities on the roads, in military conflicts, medical settings or even in our homes? How can our current ethical frameworks make sense of AI moral responsibility? These are the main questions that drive researchers into open debate on a timely and pressing topic of the decade: AI & moral responsibility.… read more. “Call: AI and Moral Responsibility online workshop”

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Pandemic effects on presence: Media services that add social component becoming permanent

[This short piece from Axios suggests that the pandemic motivated many media companies to offer new technology features designed to add a social component (and implicitly social presence) to what previously had been isolated media experiences, and that these changes are becoming permanent. –Matthew]

[Image: Credit: Sarah Grillo/Axios]

The living room is now a virtual hub

By Sara Fischer, author of Media Trends
October 18, 2021

Internet companies are leaning into new services that add a social component to the otherwise isolated experience of staying home in front of a screen.

Why it matters: These options for virtual watch parties, virtual concerts and communal gaming often rely on smart TVs — turning the living room back into a place to socialize with friends, even if they’re not actually there.

  • “The advent of the pandemic meant that pretty much everyone faced the same problem: How can I easily spend time with friends and family online without it becoming a technical ballache?,” PC Gamer Brand Director Tim Clark said.
read more. “Pandemic effects on presence: Media services that add social component becoming permanent”
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Call: “Machines of Change: Robots, AI and Value Change” Workshop

Call for Papers for Workshop

Machines of Change: Robots, AI and Value Change
1 to 3 February 2022
TU Delft
The Netherlands

Abstract submission deadline: 26 November 2021

CALL FOR CONTRIBUTIONS

We invite contributions to the workshop Machines of Change: Robots, AI and Value Change, to be held from 1 to 3 February, 2022, in Delft, the Netherlands. People interested in contributing to the workshop are requested to submit a 300-word abstract to aiworkshop@valuechange.eu before 26 November 2021. You will be notified before 15 December whether you are selected for inclusion in the workshop. We expect to be able to select around 15 papers. A limited number of travel stipends will be available for graduate students who face financial constraints, but who are willing to participate and whose abstracts are accepted. We especially encourage candidates from underrepresented groups to apply.… read more. “Call: “Machines of Change: Robots, AI and Value Change” Workshop”

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Beta software lets you explore the universe in ‘real-time,’ 3D, 360 degree VR

[Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne, or EPFL, reports on a new way for experts and the public to experience the known universe; see the original story (or a long read version) for videos and many more images. Coverage by the AP via the Chicago Sun-Times adds these details:

“Imagine it as a sort of Google Earth — only for the entire universe. […]

Strap on the VR goggles, and it’s a trippy feeling seeing the Moon — seemingly the size of a giant beach ball and floating close enough to hold — as the horizon rotates from the sunny side to the dark side of the lunar surface.

Speed out to beyond the solar system and swing by Saturn, then up above the Milky Way, swirling and flashing and heaving — with exoplanets highlighted in red.

Much farther out, imagine floating through small dots of light that represent galaxies as if the viewer were an unconscionably large giant floating in space.… read more. “Beta software lets you explore the universe in ‘real-time,’ 3D, 360 degree VR”

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Job: Assistant Professor of Health Communication and Persuasive Technology at University of California Davis

Call for Applications

Assistant Professor of Health Communication and Persuasive Technology
The Department of Communication
University of California Davis
https://recruit.ucdavis.edu/JPF04337

Next review date: Wednesday, Oct 20, 2021 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Apply by this date to ensure full consideration by the committee.

Final date: Thursday, Jun 30, 2022 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Applications will continue to be accepted until this date, but those received after the review date will only be considered if the position has not yet been filled.

The Department of Communication at the University of California Davis invites applications for a full-time, tenure-track, assistant professor in Health Communication and Persuasive Technologies:

The successful candidate must show promise of a strong, theoretically-driven research program in health communication primarily concerned with how health and behavior changes unfold in technology-mediated environments. Specific research interests can include but are not limited to, sensing technologies, chatbots, serious games, human-computer/artificial intelligence interactions, health informatics focusing on communication processes, virtual reality, augmented reality, or health campaigns/interventions deploying new technologies.… read more. “Job: Assistant Professor of Health Communication and Persuasive Technology at University of California Davis”

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Facebook introduces dataset and benchmarks to make AI more ‘egocentric’

[This detailed story from VentureBeat describes a new Facebook-led project with the potential to increase a wide variety of presence experiences; see the original story for four more images and a 5:26 minute video (also available via YouTube). –Matthew]

Facebook introduces dataset and benchmarks to make AI more ‘egocentric’

By Kyle Wiggers
October 14, 2021

Facebook today announced Ego4D, a long-term project aimed at solving AI research challenges in “egocentric perception,” or first-person views. The goal is to teach AI systems to comprehend and interact with the world like humans do as opposed to in the third-person, omniscient way that most AI currently does.

It’s Facebook’s assertion that AI that understands the world from first-person could enable previously impossible augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) experiences. But computer vision models, which would form the basis of this AI, have historically learned from millions of photos and videos captured in third-person.… read more. “Facebook introduces dataset and benchmarks to make AI more ‘egocentric’”

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