ISPR Presence News

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Study: VR may be effective treatment for Chronic Nightmare Disorder

[A potentially valuable application of presence-evoking technology is described in this story from the Center for Mind and Culture (CMAC); see the original version for more images and a 2:41 minute video (also available via Vimeo). For more information see coverage in PsyPost and the published study via APA PsycNET. –Matthew]

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Call: Chapter proposals for “Humanizing Higher Education: International Perspectives”

[Note the potential connections to presence in topic area 1. below. –Matthew]

CALL FOR CHAPTER PROPOSALS

Book Title: HUMANIZING HIGHER EDUCATION: INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVES

Chapter Proposal Submission Deadline: 15th January, 2019
Final Full Chapters Due: April 1, 2019
Target Book Release: April 2, 2020

Submissions should be submitted electronically to: https://www.hetl.org/emerald-humanizing-education-submission-form/

Tentative Volume Titles (topic areas):

Note: The series editors expect to receive enough chapter proposals across the range of subtopics in Humanizing Higher Education in Higher Education to publish more than one volume. At present, the editors are looking at least three potential volumes under the subheadings of:

  1. Humanizing Higher Education: International Perspectives on Improving Classroom Engagement (e.g., learner/learning-centered pedagogies, designing effective online and physical learning spaces, personalized and flexible learning environments, etc.
  2. Humanizing Higher Education: International Perspectives on Integrating Community Service into the Curriculum (e.g., service learning, civic engagement, public service, campus-community partnerships, citizenship development, community engagement and outreach, community volunteer and social justice programs, internships, etc.
  3. Humanizing Higher Education: International Perspectives on International Development Programs (e.g., Peace Corps programs, Fulbright Scholar programs, Overseas Field Work, international Student and Faculty Exchanges, International Joint Research Partnerships, International Programs for Improving Health, Education, Economic, Environment, and Human Rights Governance and Policy Development, etc.

An edited volume by
Dr. Enakshi Sengupta, The American University of Kurdistan
Dr. Patrick Blessinger, St. John’s University and Higher Education Teaching and Learning Association
Mr. Shai Reshef, University of the People

This book series is entitled:
Innovations in Higher Education Teaching and Learning.
Series editor, Patrick Blessinger.
Associate Series Editor, Enakshi Sengupta.
Published by Emerald Group Publishing. https://www.emeraldinsight.com/series/ihetl Read more on Call: Chapter proposals for “Humanizing Higher Education: International Perspectives”…

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Holiday presence: Texas family freaks out passerby with dangling Clark Griswold Christmas display

[Stories about holiday displays realistic enough to “fool” people, i.e., create a presence illusion, are most common around Halloween, but this one is related to Christmas – actually a Christmas-themed film. See the original version of the story in USA Today, which includes three videos, and CNN’s coverage, which features the two images here. By the way, this has happened before: See a KDVR story from Boulder, Colorado from last year. –Matthew]

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Designing robots to account for intriguing ways humans interact with them

[This story from CNBC highlights the need for robot designers to carefully consider the range of responses, including medium-as-social-actor presence responses, their creations will evoke. For more on this topic see the recent story in Psychology Today’s blog “How do We Read Emotions in Robots? Of social robots, innovation spaces, and creatively trying things out.” –Matthew]

Next-gen robots: The latest victims of workplace abuse

  • Robots must contend not just with internal flaws and bugs but with humans.
  • Recent introductions of robots to everyday scenarios have led people to initiate some intriguing forms of interaction.
  • Knightscope’s security bot, for example, has been harassed by kids, painted in red lipstick and used as a canvas for graffiti artists.

Mike Juang
Published 9 Aug 2017 | Updated 11 Aug 2017

With jobs it’s oftentimes not the work that’s difficult, but the people.

Take STEVE, for instance. Throughout his career his brothers have been knocked over by drunkards, bullied by schoolkids and even sprayed with graffiti.

But STEVE is not a person. He is an autonomous security robot resembling a cross between a rocket ship and R2D2 and is officially called the K5 Security Technology Enhancement Vehicle — STEVE, for short.

Hiccups, bugs and public failures are an inevitable part of the deployment of any tool in the real world, but robots must also be designed to account for sometimes unpredictable human interactions.

“Social robots, if they’re engaged in a public sense — even in a limited public sense — the design has to include considerations for social interactions,” said David Harris Smith, associate professor at McMaster University’s Department of Communication Studies and Multimedia in Canada.

Smith knows this firsthand. Together with associate professor Frauke Zeller of Ryerson University in Canada — and a cadre of other scientists, artists and engineers — he developed HitchBOT, a robot designed to travel across a country by “hitching” a ride from friendly humans. Completely immobile, HitchBOT was designed with an LED “face,” a hitchhiking thumb and the ability to respond to simple voice questions. Creator Frauke Zeller said she wanted to create the impression that HitchBOT “is a helpless robot and challenge people to become active and engaged.”

The HitchBOT experiment came to an end after the bot was found dismembered and destroyed in a Philadelphia alley. With the dawn of the everyday robot age, destruction is a necessary part of creation.

“In terms of designing these robots, we have to take a step back and have people decide,” said Zeller. The key question is how — or if — we actually want to live with robots in our midst. Read more on Designing robots to account for intriguing ways humans interact with them…

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Tour the ‘Trump Presidential Twitter Library’ without leaving your home

[The debut of the 3D, interactive virtual tour of The Daily Show’s “Donald J. Trump Presidential Twitter Library” exhibit which was only open for a few days in New York City is notable on its own and also as an example of what may become an important trend: the creation of virtual versions of limited term, limited access, non-mediated experiences so that many more people over long periods of time can have (a version of) the experience. This short story is from CNN, where the original includes a photo gallery and the 0:31 minute exhibit welcome video. A similarly short video from The Daily Show from June 19 announcing the virtual tour and a press release about the exhibit are available from Comedy Central, and coverage of this and several other art projects about Trump’s tweets is available in The Washington Post. –Matthew]

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Enormous hands rise from a Venice canal to highlight climate change

[Today’s story is about the use of the technology of modern sculpture to create a presence illusion, this one with an important message. The original story in Mashable includes more images and two videos; more information is available via the project’s website and press release, My Modern Met, as well as Open Culture, where the author writes that “nobody who visits Venice during the Biennale could fail to pause before Support, a work whose visual drama demands a reaction that temperature charts or data-filled studies can’t hope to provoke by themselves. And even apart from the issue at hand, as it were, Quinn’s sculpture reminds us that art, even in as deeply historical a setting as Venice, can also keep us thinking about the future.” For more unusual examples of presence, join the ISPR Presence Community public Facebook group. –Matthew]

[Image: Source: Hyperbeast]

Enormous hands rise from a Venice canal to highlight climate change

By Maria Gallucci
May 16, 2017

Italy’s famed city of Venice has grappled with flooding and encroaching waters since the Middle Ages. But as global warming speeds up sea level rise, the charming destination is steadily slipping underwater.

Italian artist Lorenzo Quinn calls attention to this threat with his arresting, larger-than-life sculpture in the sinking city. Support features two 5,000-pound hands bursting out of the Grand Canal and grasping the walls of the historic Ca’ Sagredo Hotel.

“I have three children, and I’m thinking about their generation and what world we’re going to pass on to them,” Quinn said in an interview. “I’m worried, I’m very worried.”

Yet the sculpture, which was unveiled on May 13, is also a call for action — a plea to scientists, policymakers, and citizens alike to address human-caused climate change and its many impacts on communities and the environment.

“Something has to be done,” the 51-year-old artist said. Read more on Enormous hands rise from a Venice canal to highlight climate change…

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New technology lets you and doctors experience your eye in VR

[This short story from Quartz describes an intriguing use of virtual reality and presence: data from scans of a person’s eye are used to produce an interactive VR experience that doctors can experience together for collaborative diagnosis and treatment, and patients can use to better understand their condition. The scan data can also be used to print a 3D version of the eye. See the original Quartz story for a 1:32 minute video, and the Wellcome Image Awards website for more information including profiles of the team that developed the technique and a different 1:52 minute video (a 4:15 minute version of that video is available on YouTube). –Matthew]

Read more on New technology lets you and doctors experience your eye in VR…

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Marvin Minsky (1927-2016) and telepresence

[If you haven’t heard the sad news, Marvin Minsky passed away on January 24, 2016. His contribution to telepresence has rarely been mentioned in the coverage but it’s the focus of this post from IEEE Spectrum; follow the link to watch the 7:05 minute video mentioned at the end. –Matthew]

Marvin Minsky in 1980 Omni article

[Image: The June 1980 issue of Omni featured an essay by Marvin Minsky titled “Telepresence”. Photo: Erico Guizzo/IEEE Spectrum]

Video Friday: Marvin Minsky, Submersible Drone, and SLAM on a SnakeBot

By Evan Ackerman and Erico Guizzo
Posted 29 Jan 2016

Marvin Minsky, the AI pioneer and MIT professor, died on Sunday in Boston. He was 88. Dr. Minsky, an IEEE Life Fellow, made numerous seminal contributions to the fields of artificial intelligence and robotics, exploring, among other things, how a better understanding of human cognition could lead to advances in machine intelligence, and vice versa. He founded the MIT AI lab in 1959 with fellow AI pioneer John McCarthy, and among Dr. Minsky’s students is a long list of notable technologists. He’s a recipient of many honors, including the A.M. Turing Award from the Association for Computing Machinery and the Computer Pioneer Award from the IEEE Computer Society.

One of the countless topics that interested Dr. Minsky was teleoperated robots, and he wrote about it in the science and science fiction magazine Omni in 1980. It was a compelling and provocative essay in which Dr. Minsky envisioned a “remote-controlled economy” and coined the term “telepresence”. With Dr. Minsky’s permission, IEEE Spectrum reproduced that essay in 2010, as part of a special report on robotic telepresence. Read more on Marvin Minsky (1927-2016) and telepresence…

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Experience, create and control New Year fireworks in VR

[Happy New Year and best wishes for a safe, healthy, productive 2016 filled with wonderful (nonmediated and telepresence) experiences! The story below from VR Focus highlights one option for celebrating within VR (see the creator’s 3:16 minute descriptive demo video on YouTube), and this and other virtual fireworks options are featured in a story at UploadVR. –Matthew]

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CGI is not bad, you just don’t notice when it’s good

[The argument in the interesting 7:39 minute “Why CG Sucks (Except It Doesn’t)” video in this story from Co.Create is exactly the argument of presence: When computer effects are successful, we don’t notice them – we misperceive the role of technology in our experience; it’s only when poorly executed CG effects stand out that they ‘break’ the (presence) illusion. –Matthew]

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