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Author Archives: Matthew Lombard

Call: CHI PLAY 2019, 6th ACM SIGCHI Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play

CALL FOR PARTICIPATION

CHI PLAY 2019
6th ACM SIGCHI Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play
Barcelona, Spain
October 22-25, 2019
https://chiplay.acm.org/2019/ | @acmchiplay | #chiplay19

Submission deadlines:

  • April 9, 2019:  Full papers (4-10 pages)
  • May 2, 2019:  Workshop and Course Proposals
  • July 5, 2019:  Rapid Communications Papers, Doctoral Consortium, Student Game Competition, Interactivity, Works-in-Progress, and Workshop Position Papers

CHI PLAY is the international and interdisciplinary conference, sponsored by ACM SIGCHI, for researchers and professionals across all areas of play, games, and human-computer interaction (HCI). We call this area ‘player-computer interaction’. The goal of the CHI PLAY conference is to highlight and foster discussion on high-quality research in games and HCI as a foundation for the future of digital play. To this end, the conference blends academic research papers, interactive play demos, and industry insights. Full paper acceptance rate is typically below 30%.

SUBMISSIONS

As a SIGCHI-sponsored conference, CHI PLAY welcomes contributions that further an understanding of the player experience, as well as contributions on novel designs or implementations of player-computer interactions, including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Playful interactions and new game mechanics
  • Innovative implementation techniques that affect player experiences
  • Studies of applied games and player experiences (e.g., games and play for health, wellbeing, and learning)
  • Accessible and inclusive design and play experience
  • Advances in game user research and game evaluation methods
  • Psychology of players and typologies of games and players
  • Gamification, persuasive games, and motivational design
  • Virtual and augmented reality in games and play
  • Novel controls, input or display technologies for games and play
  • Tools for game creation
  • Innovations to advance the work of game designers and developers
  • Game analytics and novel visualizations of player experiences
  • Developer experiences and studies of developers
  • Industry case studies

Although CHI PLAY welcomes contributions on the effects of various technologies, software, or algorithms on player experience, technical contributions without clear indications of the impact on players or developers are not within the scope of CHI PLAY. The conference invites submissions including full papers, workshop and course proposals, interactive demos, work-in-progress papers, and Rapid Communications papers. Additionally, students are invited to submit to the student game competition and the doctoral consortium. Read more on Call: CHI PLAY 2019, 6th ACM SIGCHI Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play…

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Friendly nurse or nightmare-inducing machine? How culture programs our taste in robots.

[This Washington Post story uses vivid examples to highlight cultural differences in how people experience medium-as-social-actor presence with robots that provide different sets of social cues. See the original story for two short videos. –Matthew]

[Image: Robots wearing nurse uniforms carry medical documents Wednesday at Mongkutwattana General Hospital in Bangkok. Credit: Athit Perawongmetha/Reuters).]

Friendly nurse or nightmare-inducing machine? How culture programs our taste in robots.

This is Thailand’s idea of an attractive robot. Americans might be terrified.

By Peter Holley
February 7, 2019

Slowly and silently, they glide across the floor wearing bright yellow dresses that look as though they were plucked from a haunted 1920s boarding school.

Beneath shoulder-length brown wigs, two blazing red eyes — each one massive and ghoulish — glare from behind a darkened pane of transparent plastic like a demonic predator lurking in the dark.

No, you haven’t encountered some Mothman-like terror entombed inside a department store mannequin, the byproduct of a twisted, futuristic fever dream. You’ve merely stepped inside Mongkutwattana General Hospital in Bangkok, where a team of robot nurses has been unleashed to make life easier.

Their job: ferrying documents between eight stations inside the health-care facility, a job that used to be carried out busy human nurses, hospital director Reintong Nanna told Newsflare last year.

“These robotic nurses help to improve the efficiency and performance of working in the hospital,” he said. “They are not being used to reduce the number of employees.”

The trio of unsmiling machines — which can be programmed to speak both Thai and English — have been named Nan, Nee and Nim, according to the news outlet. Nanna said they move by following a magnetic strip that winds across the hospital floor, and can travel several miles each day.

Because they reduce human error, he added, the hospital plans to increase their workload to include moving equipment and preparing drug dosages.

Humanoid robots are taking a more active role in caring for the sick and elderly in Asia, but don’t expect to see similar machines roaming the halls of U.S. hospitals any time soon. That’s because robot design is often culture-specific, with some countries excitedly deploying machines that would probably terrify sickly patients in other countries, according to Cory Kidd, founder and CEO of Catalia Health, which has designed its own smiling, doe-eyed “personal healthcare robot” named “Mabu.”

His reaction to the glowing red eyes currently staring down Thai patients: “They’re creepy.”

“Robot aesthetics are culturally dependent,” he said, noting that the Thai hospital bots were designed in China. “If we had these nurses in a U.S. hospital, that would not work. They wouldn’t survive a day. But they might be received completely differently in Thai hospitals.”

Online surveys have revealed contrasts in how robots are perceived by country as well. While both Europeans and Japanese respondents agree that robots should be used to assist with difficult and repetitive tasks, the nature of acceptable tasks — and the degree of intimacy involved — differs widely, according to a team of international researchers. Read more on Friendly nurse or nightmare-inducing machine? How culture programs our taste in robots….

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Job: Postdoctoral Research Associate on Multi-Agent Social Simulation project at University of Glasgow

Post-doctoral Research Associate
Multi-Agent Social Simulation Project
Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology (INP)
University of Glasgow

We are seeking to recruit a post-doctoral Research Associate to contribute to the project: Multi-Agent Social Simulation.

Read more on Job: Postdoctoral Research Associate on Multi-Agent Social Simulation project at University of Glasgow…

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Vicarious Surgical combines VR and miniature robots to put surgeons inside patient’s body

[The startup company described in this TechCrunch story is working to combine the interactive immersion of virtual reality with miniature robots that can move within a human body, providing surgeons with an expanded version of remote “presence in the body” that has great potential for improving medical care. See the original story for an additional image. –Matthew]

Bill Gates-backed Vicarious Surgical adds a virtual reality twist to robots in the operating room

Jonathan Shieber
February 13, 2019

In an operating room in rural Idaho, doctors prep a patient for surgery. They make a tiny, thumb-sized incision into the patient and insert a small robot while across the country a surgeon puts on a virtual reality headset, grabs their controllers and prepares to operate.

While this scene may seem like science fiction now, a Charlestown, Mass.-based startup called Vicarious Surgical is developing the technology to make that vision a reality.

The company’s co-founders, Adam Sachs and Sammy Khalifa, have been developing and refining the technology almost since they met at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as undergraduates.

The 27-year-old Sachs said that he and Khalifa formally launched the company roughly five years ago when they graduated from MIT, and have been working on it ever since.

“We’ve been working on ways to miniaturize robotics and put all of the motion of surgery into the abdominal cavity,” says Sachs. “If you put all of the motion inside the abdominal cavity you are not confined to motion around the incision sites.”

What really set the founders’ brains buzzing was the potential for combining their miniature robots with the ability to see inside the body using virtual reality headsets like the Oculus Rift.

“It wasn’t a ‘Eureka!’ moment, but more like two-or-three weeks as the vision came together,” says Sachs. “We can make robotics more human-like and virtual reality would give you that presence in the body.” Read more on Vicarious Surgical combines VR and miniature robots to put surgeons inside patient’s body…

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Call: “Designing Interactive Olfactory Experience in Real Context and Applications”- TEI 2019 Studio

Call for Participation

“Designing Interactive Olfactory Experience in Real Context and Applications”
TEI 2019 Studio
Arizona State University, USA
Sunday March 17th, 2019
https://www.interactive-olfaction.com/

Deadline for one page abstracts: March 5th 2019

Read more on Call: “Designing Interactive Olfactory Experience in Real Context and Applications”- TEI 2019 Studio…

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Presence after death: New TV show to deliver hologram messages from the dead

[The UK’s Channel 4 will air a program featuring the use of holograms to create the illusion of presence after death, as reported in this story from The Scotsman. Other coverage notes a comparison to the anthology series Black Mirror and the fact that “the series is based on the A+E Networks format Voices From the Grave that is in development for A&E by Simon Andreae’s Naked TV” (Deadline Hollywood). For commentary about the new show see The Telegraph (subscription required). –Matthew]

[Image: Credit: A+E Networks via Deadline Hollywood]

New Channel 4 show to deliver hologram messages from the dead

SCOTSMAN REPORTER
30 January 2019

A new TV show will deliver messages from terminally-ill people to their loved ones via their own hologram after they have died.

Channel 4 has announced Ghost (working title), which it describes as “a profoundly moving, revelatory and ultimately uplifting television first”.

Six terminally-ill people will “create incredible experiences to comfort the loved ones they are leaving behind, which will be delivered after their death”.

The contributors, of varied ages, will write and record messages for their closest relatives and loved ones.

“Using cutting-edge holographic technology”, the “deeply personal missives” will be “delivered post-mortem, by the subjects themselves in vivid, three-dimensional, holographic form, allowing them to appear as if from beyond the grave”. Read more on Presence after death: New TV show to deliver hologram messages from the dead…

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Call: 4th Games and Natural Language Processing Workshop (GAMNLP-19) at FDG 19

Call for Papers

4th Games and Natural Language Processing Workshop (GAMNLP-19)
To be held at the 14th Foundations of Digital Games Conference (FDG-19)
August 26 or 27, 2019
San Luis Obispo, California, USA

Submission deadline: April 5, 2019

The field of Natural Language Processing (NLP) ranges from theoretical studies (e.g., parsing algorithms, computational models of dialogue) to practical applications (e.g., information retrieval, conversational agents, machine translation). This workshop investigates computational and theoretical aspects of natural language research that would be beneficial for designing and building novel game experiences, or for processing texts to conduct formal game studies. NLP would benefit from games in obtaining language resources (e.g., construction of a thesaurus or a parser through a crowdsourcing game), or in learning the linguistic characteristics of game users as compared to those of other domains.

The workshop explores the overlap between the two fields and promotes interaction and collaboration among researchers and practitioners. Despite advances in both games and language research, language as a gameplay mechanism remains a largely unexplored area, often because of the lack of accessible and domain-specific NLP technologies. Language technologies must strike a balance between predictability, creativity, and authorial burden. This often results in a trade-off between using machine learning or neural network based NLP approaches, which cover a wide range of language processing but with limited explanability, and hand-crafted or structured language models, which guarantee finer language control but could limit the scope of the interactions or functionality of a system. This workshop invites both theoretical and applied contributions and we invite authors to reflect on these trade-offs.

Some examples of work that would be appropriate for GAMNLP include:

  • Game design, usability, and mechanics based on natural language interfaces
  • Novel uses of natural language processing or generation as a game mechanic
  • Player immersion in language-enabled mixed reality or physically embodied games
  • Narrative plot or text generation of text-based interactive narrative systems
  • Narrative or story-arc comprehension
  • Discourse planning and dialogue management in games
  • Natural language understanding and generation of character dialogue
  • Analysis of large-scale game-related corpora (e.g., game reviews, gameplay logs)
  • Real-time sentiment analysis of player discourse or chat
  • Summarization of gameplay or real-time commentary for games
  • Serious games for learning languages
  • Gamification of natural language processing tasks Lessons from historical applications of natural language processing in games, including post-mortems
  • Ethical and privacy concerns of ownership of text and audio chat in massively multiplayer online games
  • Natural language in games as an alternative method of input for people with disabilities

Read more on Call: 4th Games and Natural Language Processing Workshop (GAMNLP-19) at FDG 19…

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KLM launches ‘live hologram bars’ to connect travelling strangers in airports

[Here’s a clever idea for evoking social presence among travelling strangers; the story is from Standby Nordic; follow the link at the end for a 1:11 minute video. –Matthew]

KLM ‘hologram bars’ launch in Nordics

Read more on KLM launches ‘live hologram bars’ to connect travelling strangers in airports…

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Call: “Culture Games” issue of ACM Journal on Computing and Cultural Heritage

CALL FOR PAPERS

Special Issue on “Culture Games”
ACM Journal on Computing and Cultural Heritage
https://jocch.acm.org/culturegame.cfm

Deadline: 15th December 2019

Industries, stakeholders, and the general public approach culture (both tangible and intangible) for a variety of purposes, and digital games can channel each of these purposes in different ways. In the context of a cultural experience, people may want to learn (with serious games) but also to have fun (with simple entertainment games), spend some spare time (with casual games), socialize (with social or multiplayer games), or create (with collaborative creation games). Similarly, cultural institutions wish not only to teach, but also to attract more visitors (promotional games or advergames). In the last decade, there have been substantial developments in the gaming technologies applied to cultural heritage purposes. Technologies like crowdsourcing and human computation have become more sophisticated. New game-oriented (but not only) media such as mixed-reality, virtual reality and natural interaction (e.g. motion-based gameplay) have become more prevalent.

Our goal in this special issue is twofold: a) to broaden the scope and explore gaming in cultural heritage across multiple genres used in real-life and b) to include the latest developed gaming technologies in the field of culture. Read more on Call: “Culture Games” issue of ACM Journal on Computing and Cultural Heritage…

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Robot on the trolley car track: How valuable is robot life?

[Experts in medium-as-social-actor presence likely will find the results of the study reported in this story from Interesting Engineering interesting if not surprising. For more information including three videos see the press release via EurekAlert! –Matthew]

[Image: Pepper. Credit: Pixabay]

Robot on the Trolley Car Track: How Valuable is Robot Life?

A new study asks how much value do we put on robot life and leads to some surprising conclusions.

By John Loeffler
February, 09th 2019

Two professors of psychology reveal an interesting take of the classic trolley problem: would you sacrifice a robot to save a human life? The answer might surprise you. Read more on Robot on the trolley car track: How valuable is robot life?…

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