ISPR Presence News

Author Archives: Gabriella Gungon Lopez

Call: “Language Games: Conversations Between Human and Machine Languages” issue of Leonardo Electronic Almanac

Call for Papers:
Language Games issue of Leonardo Electronic Almanac
https://www.leoalmanac.org/language-games-call/

Abstract submission deadline: April 30, 2019

Language Games is the title of a forthcoming issue with LEA edited by Lanfranco Aceti, Sheena Calvert, and Hannah Lammin. We invite a range of submissions initially in the form of abstract. The description of the issue is below with all the related information for submission.

Language is a technology, as theorists including Martin Heidegger and Marshall McLuhan have argued, and yet its manifestation in both speech and writing is fundamentally human-centred: anthropological. However, speech and writing are rapidly becoming an interface not just between humans and the ‘out there’, as traditional philosophies of language assert, but between humans and machines, and machines and other machines. As a result, the usual presuppositions we might make about language as a technology which is predicated on human utterance and man-made material transcription is rapidly shifting, and in the process the line between human and machine is becoming less clear.

Current developments in computing, and the rise of artificial intelligence (AI), are bringing about a new perceptual transformation of the technology called language, and offer us an opportunity to reflect on what we value in language and how it continues to form (and inform) our life-world. The mass availability of intelligent personal assistants—such as Apple’s Siri, IBM’s Watson and Amazon’s Alexa, and Google’s Duplex—has brought (and promises to further introduce) speaking machines into everyday life for many people, and makes it clear that such interfaces will be increasingly indistinguishable from human voice. These emergent systems replicate the nuances, inflections, and vernacular qualities of speech to a degree that has made many commentators uncomfortable (invoking a linguistic/social version of Masahiro Mori’s “Uncanny Valley”). Previous barriers to acceptance of machine-produced language, such as lack of nuance, context, and the subtleties of timing associated with human language are beginning to be surpassed, such that the distinction between them dissolves.

This raises ethical questions about language, and its ongoing role in human (and machine) interaction. These technologies also threaten to replace large areas of voice-related employment, such as service industry call centre roles, and so involve the implications of automation more generally. In the fields of computer science and technology there is already well-developed research producing systems that are able to generate ever more “natural” linguistic fluency. Our aim is to add another dimension to this research, by asserting the importance of a dialogue between humanities/science/creative disciplines in addressing the implications of speaking machines. If (as many claim), language is of singular importance to the constitution of the human; the migration of language to machines provides an opportunity for us to interrogate the value of language at an ontological level.

Current research in the digital humanities and the philosophy of technology considers a range of questions, including the nature of human/machine intelligence, algorithmic agency, the narratives used to contextualize AI in the broader social context, and the ethics of using machines to mediate various aspects of our personal lives. Yet, the complex relationship between language and intelligence that has preoccupied philosophers since Aristotle has rarely been taken as a central research theme in critical discussions of AI. This journal aims to fill this gap by creating an interdisciplinary platform for reflection on the implications of AI as a linguistic technology.

The goal of this issue is to bring together a range of perspectives—including those from philosophy, linguistics, computer sciences, digital humanities and the creative arts—in order to examine in detail the particular role of language in creating the interface between humans and AI/machine learning technologies. It will address languages’ role in getting us to accept these technologies, investigating how the creation of believable/convincing linguistic parallels to human forms of language (via mimicry), invites us to engage with machines as social beings, and builds trust in machine utterances (written and spoken). By approaching computational technologies through a linguistic lens we hope to establish that language needs to become a central (not incidental) aspect of the discourses around the ethics of AI and machine learning.

We invite submissions addressing questions including, but not limited to:

  • What is the ontological status of language when it is no longer made by humans, but by machines?
  • How do the frameworks that ground our understanding of ethics need to be rethought to account for the social effects of linguistic machines?
  • What epistemological models do we need to understand the relationship between ‘natural’ language and computer language/code?
  • Do machinic languages require us to re-think the relationship between language and cognition?
  • Do computational systems have the agency for linguistic creativity, and what poetic forms might emerge from them and/or our interaction with them?
  • What new pragmatics of language arise from our interactions with non-human linguistic agents?
  • What methodologies—creative, philosophical, scientific—can we develop to address these questions, and to communicate between disciplines?

SUBMISSIONS: Read more on Call: “Language Games: Conversations Between Human and Machine Languages” issue of Leonardo Electronic Almanac…

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Job: Senior Research Lab Developer for VR developmental neuroimaging at Birkbeck, U of London

Permanent Senior Research Laboratory Developer
Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development,
Birkbeck, University of London
Location: London
Salary: £44,515 to £53,854
Hours: Full Time + Permanent
https://www.jobs.ac.uk/job/BQU941/senior-research-laboratory-developer

Application deadline: 23rd May 2019

The Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development (CBCD) is building a unique research facility within the new Wohl/Wolfson ToddlerLab. The Wellcome-funded Cave Automatic Virtual Environment (CAVE) will enable developmental changes in children’s brains, behaviours, and cognition to be studied in naturally contingent audiovisual virtual environments. The facility will incorporate cutting-edge wearable monitoring systems including psychophysiology, eye tracking, brain activity monitoring systems (EEG, fNIRS) and motion-capture synchronised to the VR environment.

You will be responsible for the effective development, management and operation of purpose built multi-method real and virtual (CAVE) developmental laboratory facilities within the CBCD (www.cbcd.bbk.ac.uk); providing a high quality technical service that proactively supports and contributes to research excellence; undertaking research for pilot projects leading to grant applications and project work leading to publications. You will be responsible for developing 3D content for the CAVE and coordinating different remote sensing technologies monitoring toddler behaviours and brain activity within the CAVE environment. You will work collaboratively as part of the research team to provide training support and cover across CBCD for research laboratory facilities for academics students and other service users.

Birkbeck’s CBCD incorporates a group of researchers studying brain and psychological development in typically and atypically developing babies toddlers and children using behavioural testing motion capture eye-tracking and brain imaging methods (eg. EEG fNIRS). The Centre currently involves some sixty people formed of several internationally recognised teams interacting in a friendly working environment. Read more on Job: Senior Research Lab Developer for VR developmental neuroimaging at Birkbeck, U of London…

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Call: “New Technological Applications for Foreign and Second Language Learning and Teaching” (Book chapters)

Call for Chapters

“New technological applications for foreign and second language learning and teaching”

Editors
Mariusz Kruk, University of Zielona Góra, Poland
Mark Peterson, Kyoto University, Japan

Proposals Submission Deadline: April 25, 2019
Full Chapters Due: August 23, 2019
Submission Date: December 16, 2019

Propose a chapter for this book:
https://www.igi-global.com/publish/call-for-papers/call-details/3903

INTRODUCTION

The book entitled “New technological applications for foreign and second language learning and teaching” will offer a wide-ranging exploration of the latest advances in technology-enhanced language learning. This publication combines theoretical and applied research from an interdisciplinary viewpoint. The volume will encompass contributions from international experts in the field who possess extensive experience in the use of the latest technologies to enhance the process of foreign/second language learning. The book differs from earlier publications in that it will offer insights into state-of-the-art technological and methodological innovations and also new practical applications. Topics examined will include outcomes of the use of contemporary digital technologies for learners and teachers, as well as the application of recent technological developments to language learning and teaching. Further areas of investigation include the description and discussion of practical exemplars of the above phenomena in a range of language learning settings. Drawing together theoretical and empirical studies relating to language learning, the book will represent an essential resource for academics, researchers, practitioners and postgraduate students in the areas of computer assisted language learning, languages, linguistics and language teaching.

OBJECTIVE

This book will explore how the latest technologies have the potential to engage foreign/second language learners both within and outside the language classroom and to facilitate language learning and teaching in the target language by means of them. This book will be geared toward language professionals, researchers and practitioners who wish to advance their understanding of how new technologies may be effectively applied in foreign and second language teaching and learning. Moreover, this book will appeal to those who wish to enhance language education by means of current technologies.

TARGET AUDIENCE

Because of the scope, the diversity of topics covered and the adoption of various theoretical perspectives, the book will be of interest not only to theorists and researchers but also to methodologists, practitioners and materials-developers and can be used in courses for undergraduate and graduate students.

RECOMMENDED TOPICS

Recommended topics include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • teaching and learning language systems and subsystems (e.g., speaking, vocabulary, pronunciation)
  • communication/interaction in the target language
  • learning analytics
  • immersive VR
  • learning in non-institutional environments
  • individual differences
  • affective variables (e.g., motivation, anxiety, willingness to communicate)
  • identity and CALL
  • individual variation in digital environments
  • learners with special educational needs and CALL
  • learner and teacher characteristics
  • testing/evaluation/assessment in CALL
  • learner autonomy and CALL
  • courseware design development
  • online learning and teaching
  • telecollaboration
  • digital games
  • virtual worlds
  • distance CALL
  • intelligent CALL
  • materials design
  • methodology of research

SUBMISSION PROCEDURE Read more on Call: “New Technological Applications for Foreign and Second Language Learning and Teaching” (Book chapters)…

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Call: Screen Tourism and Affective Landscapes (edited book)

CALL FOR PAPERS

Screen Tourism and Affective Landscapes (edited book)
Edited by Christina Lee and Erik Champion (Curtin University)

Proposals due by: April 5, 2019

We are soliciting contributions for an edited book that will explore the affective landscapes – both real and imaginary – in screen tourism.

Screen tourism is a burgeoning global industry whereby tourists visit locations that are featured in or are associated with film and television texts (e.g. filming locations, theme parks, the creator’s former abode). This simultaneously niche yet mainstream market has now extended the bucket list of travel destinations to include the likes of Westeros (Dubrovnik, Game of Thrones), Middle-earth (New Zealand, The Lord of the Rings), and Platform 9¾ (London, Harry Potter).

The book will explore how affective landscapes in screen tourism are sights/sites of transformation, play and possibility. It will broach a spectrum of topics, ranging from the tourist’s/fan’s affective response to place, to the strategic design of ventures to enhance the experiential through creating senses of place and narrative. The book will further advance discussions of the future potential of the industry (e.g. use of mixed/augmented reality).

Screen Tourism and Affective Landscapes will be a comprehensive collection of essays by international scholars and screen tourism practitioners, opening up a space for dialogue between the academy and industry. This interdisciplinary book will be informed by fields including cultural studies, tourism studies, media studies, cultural heritage and visualisation studies.

Possible areas of research include (but are not limited to):

  • narrative and affective landscapes
  • liminal spaces
  • embodied experiences
  • themed experiences and places
  • augmenting place through technology
  • modes of reality
  • (popular) cultural heritage and authenticity
  • the screen tourist’s gaze
  • fandom communities and engagement

Read more on Call: Screen Tourism and Affective Landscapes (edited book)…

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Call: Change, development and achievement in the L2 classroom: Thinking back and looking ahead – Konin Language Studies special issue

[Submitted to ISPR Presence News by the Konin Language Studies journal]

Call for Papers

Change, development and achievement in the L2 classroom: Thinking back and looking ahead
Special Issue of Konin Language Studies
http://www.ksj.pwsz.konin.edu.pl/?page_id=1085&lang=en

Read more on Call: Change, development and achievement in the L2 classroom: Thinking back and looking ahead – Konin Language Studies special issue…

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Job: PhD Position on “Design Fictions In VR” project at KU Leuven, Belgium

PhD Position: Design Fictions In Virtual Reality
KU Leuven, Belgium
(ref. BAP-2018-64)

Deadline: 1 April, 2018

The Artificial Realities and Interactive Ambients (ARIA – http://aria.cs.kuleuven.be) team is a new initiative within the Human-Computer Interaction research group at the Department of Computer Science of KU Leuven. Our goal is to start a new Virtual Reality research team in the heart of Europe. We are looking for a new PhD student.

Apply at: https://icts.kuleuven.be/apps/jobsite/#/vacatures/54534924?hl=en&lang=en

PROJECT

In the past decades, HCI researchers have been frequently inspired by portrayals of fictional technologies in media or literature to drive their design processes. Video-conferencing and multi-touch technologies first appeared in science-fiction media such as 2001: A Space Odyssey and Star Trek, before becoming mainstream products. HCI has also been instrumental in finding real usability issues connected to technologies portrayed in science-fiction, such as the “Gorilla-Arm” effect of the gestural interaction paradigm shown in Minority Report. This project will explore the evaluation of the technologies of tomorrow, today, through the enactment of design fictions (speculative assessments of hypothetical products or scenarios) in Virtual Reality. The candidate will contribute in exploring this direction through the development of interactive VR systems, and the validation of evaluation methodologies and research through design practices in the context of Virtual Reality.

PROFILE

Candidates should have a background in Computer Science or related fields, with a strong interest in Virtual Reality, Human-Computer Interaction, and/or design research. You will have demonstrable experience of programming 3D interactive systems and hardware prototyping. Knowledge of the main 3D Engines (e.g. Unity and Unreal) and hardware frameworks (e.g. Arduino) is preferable. Experience with 3D modelling will be an advantage but is not required. You will also have an excellent knowledge of both written and spoken English. Read more on Job: PhD Position on “Design Fictions In VR” project at KU Leuven, Belgium…

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Call: ACM Symposium on Spatial User Interaction (SUI) 2018

Call for Papers:
ACM Symposium on Spatial User Interaction (SUI 2018)
Berlin, 13-14 October 2018
https://sui.acm.org

Paper deadline: 30 June 2018

We invite you to participate in the ACM Symposium on Spatial User Interaction 2018 (SUI). SUI will be held on 13-14 October 2018, co-located with the ACM User Interface Software and Technology Symposium (UIST) in Berlin, Germany. We seek original, unpublished papers documenting original research contributions, practice and experience, or novel applications, from all areas of spatial user interaction. User interface evaluations are strongly encouraged for every publication in this venue. Specific topics of interest include:

  • Spatial interaction techniques
  • Spatial user interface metaphors
  • Spatial input devices and technology
  • Interaction on spatial, stereoscopic, and 3D displays
  • Evaluation methods for spatial user interaction
  • Collaborative interaction in 3D space
  • Design and user experience (UX) for spatial user interaction
  • Applications of human spatial perception to interaction
  • Adaptive and perceptual-inspired spatial user interaction
  • Applications of spatial UIs, such as games, entertainment, CAD, education
  • Gesture-based spatial interaction
  • Tangible spatial user interaction
  • Multi-touch technologies for spatial user interaction
  • Desktop interfaces for spatial interaction
  • Multisensory and other novel forms of spatial user interaction

The symposium invites full and short paper submissions. Papers are of variable length, with length based on the required detail for the contribution. Read more on Call: ACM Symposium on Spatial User Interaction (SUI) 2018…

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Job: MSc internship in collaborative virtual environments design at IBISC Lab, Paris area

MSc internship position in collaborative virtual environments design at the IBISC Lab, Paris area, France

Review of applications will begin immediately, until the position is filled.

Please feel free to forward the offer to interested candidates.

Our HCI/VR research group (IRA2) at the IBISC Lab, Univ Evry, University Paris Saclay is looking for an intern to work on designing collaborative interaction techniques during surgical group training in virtual environments.

Students may apply to this internship position:

  • As part of their MSc thesis, subject to evaluation of their current university and MSc program; or,
  • After successfully completing an HCI/VR related MSc and currently looking for a PhD position.

WORK DESCRIPTION

  1. Conducting a literature review of the research field,
  2. Describing a first surgical training scenario. This task will be carried out in collaboration with our clinical partners,
  3. Designing collaborative interaction techniques to support the described scenario. The developed prototype will serve as a proof of concept for our clinical partners,
  4. Performing at least one preliminary experimental study to evaluate the prototype. This will consist, for example, in evaluating the designed collaborative interaction techniques and/or the different technologies adopted,
  5. Publishing the results in a national or an international conference.

QUALIFICATIONS

Good experience in HCI, UI design and programming (Unity 3D/C#), knowledge in 3D interactions, collaborative systems and user-centered design, high interest in research, teamwork and multidisciplinary work. Read more on Job: MSc internship in collaborative virtual environments design at IBISC Lab, Paris area…

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Call: Fourth IEEE VR International Workshop on 3D Collaborative Virtual Environments at IEEE Virtual Reality 2018

Call for Papers

Fourth IEEE VR International Workshop on 3D Collaborative Virtual Environments
at IEEE Virtual Reality 2018
Reutlingen, Germany
Sunday March 18 or Monday March 19, 2018
https://sites.google.com/site/3dcveieeevr2018/

Submission deadline: January 22, 2018 (Abstract submission deadline: January 15, 2018)

Emerging technologies for multi-user 3D interaction in immersive virtual environments promise novel opportunities collocated and remote collaboration, but their development also implies new challenges. Collaborative 3D virtual environments must foster mutual awareness among participants and should support their coordinated cooperative action. This requires further research on suitable hardware setups, software architectures, and interaction techniques. Not least, the usability evaluation of collaborative systems is inherently more complex and can thus benefit from the development of novel appropriate methods.

We invite submissions that address theoretical, technical, and practical topics that are related to collaboration in 3D virtual environments, including but not limited to:

  • Immersive collaborative virtual reality
  • Multi-user 3D interaction techniques
  • Social behaviour in collaborative virtual reality
  • Interaction metaphors for collaborative virtual environments
  • Mutual awareness among users / workspace awareness
  • Asymmetric collaboration (e.g., 2D / 3D or immersive / non immersive)
  • Software architectures and frameworks for 3D CVE development and deployment

Read more on Call: Fourth IEEE VR International Workshop on 3D Collaborative Virtual Environments at IEEE Virtual Reality 2018…

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Call: Assessing the Effectiveness of Virtual Technologies in Foreign and Second Language Instruction (book chapters)

Call for Chapters: Assessing the Effectiveness of Virtual Technologies in Foreign and Second Language Instruction

Editor
Mariusz Kruk (University of Zielona Góra, Poland)

https://www.igi-global.com/publish/call-for-papers/call-details/3054

Proposals Submission Deadline: January 30, 2018
Full Chapters Due: April 30, 2018
Submission Date: August 30, 2018

INTRODUCTION

Over the last few years there has been a quite specific interest in using virtual technologies in education, including foreign/second language education. This is because virtual technologies, such as virtual worlds, are particularly relevant to language teaching/learning in view of the fact that, among other things, they present language learners with situations similar to these found in the real world; they can lower the affective filter by engaging students in situations where their fears are bypassed; they offer opportunities to communicate in a target language by means of text/voice about their features, problem solving, language, etc. Thus, language learners can develop metacognitive and metalinguistic skills and they can practice the language by interacting with virtual users or objects, a very important issue for language learners who have no or little contact with native or target language speakers. It should be noted, however, that numerous published research projects mostly focused on opinions on the pros and cons of virtual technologies (e.g. virtual worlds) or their affordances for teaching and learning foreign/second languages. Therefore, there is a great need for solid empirical research in this area – a fact that lends a certain air of adventure to this undertaking.

OBJECTIVE

This book will explore how virtual technologies have the potential to engage language learners both within and outside the classroom (or a combination of the two) and to encourage language learning and teaching in the target language there and/or by means of them. This book will be written for professionals who want to improve their understanding of virtual technologies in foreign/second language teaching and learning.

TARGET AUDIENCE

The target audience of this book will be composed of professionals, researchers and practitioners interested in the field of virtual technologies and their applications to foreign/second language teaching and learning. Read more on Call: Assessing the Effectiveness of Virtual Technologies in Foreign and Second Language Instruction (book chapters)…

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