3rd International Workhop of Symbiotic Interaction

The 3rd International Workshop of Symbiotic Interaction was held in Helsinki on the 30th and 31st of October 2014, chaired by Prof. Giulio Jacucci (University of Helsinki), Prof. Luciano Gamberini and Anna Spagnolli (University of of Padova) and Prof. Jonathan Freeman (Goldsmiths University of London), all partners in the MindSee project.

The workshop  was co-located with NordiCHI (a high profile conference functioning as the main Nordic forum for human-computer interaction research) and gathered more than 50 participants from Europe as well as the US. 

The workshop was opened by the greetings of the Ambassador of Italy in Finalnd, His Excellency Giorgio Visetti on the 30th of October, and continued on the following day opened by a Keynote speech on "Contextual Robotics" by Prof. David Kirsh of University of California, San Diego,  and closed by the Keynote of Prof. Rod Murray Smith of University of Glasgow on "Models and Measures of Human–Computer Symbiosis". 

In line with the previous two events in 2012 and 2013, the workshop aimed at promoting the exchange of scientific experiences in designing symbiotic systems, studying the way in which they affect human behaviour and defining the principles for a functional interdependence of humans and machines. Compared to previous editions, the workshop had considerably grown in terms of length, effort, academic relevance and impact. A call was open for papers, posters and demos (all peer-reviewed) with proceedings published by Springer in Lecture Notes in Computer Science (to appear), while the program committee included internationally recognised experts from more than 20 institutions from various fields.

The event was also designed to be highly collaborative, engaging both speakers and attendees throughout the day via the live participation system Presemo.

Given the growing relevance and interest gathered, it has been announced that the Symbiotic Workshop series will continue in 2015...see you all in Berlin!

Human Interactive Conference

The Human Interactive Conference was held today, 6th of November 2014 at Goldsmiths, University of London with the aim to explore the current and future interfaces between human beings and the rapidly evolving landscape of novel technologies. 

Prof. Jonathan Freeman was one of the speakers, introducing the work that him and his team at i2 media research have been conducting, applying both conscious and subconscious objective measures of human behavior. His presentation highlighted ongoing research and development projects including the CEEDs project (ceeds-project.eu) as well as MindSee.

Find out more at  http://humaninteractive.org.uk/

Google makes us all dumber: the neuroscience of search engines and the need for a good symbiosis

A very interesting and thought provoking article by Ian Leslie, has recently appeared on the news site Salon.com. The author argues that as search engines get better, people become lazier and hooked on easy answers, undervaluing asking good questions with potentially dangerous consequences for human curiosity. People lose curiosity because they find information ready to use; they are rarely in an unknown situation making them in a condition of superficial knowledge that does not push to explore and go deeper in the discovery of information. Leslie explores the "power" of information seeking in learning, arguing that asking themselves questions is what “launches the journey of exploration”. For Leslie the gap between question and answer is “where creativity thrives and scientific progress is made”.


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Symbiotic workshop: Register now!

Symbiotic2014 will be held in Helsinki on the 30th (Poster and Demo reception) and 31st (main workshop) of October.

The workshop is co-located with NordiCHI2014. David Kirsch (UC San Diego) is Keynote speaker, and will open the event with a talk about "Contextual Robotics". See the full program here

Register for free by the 20th of October  https://www.eventbrite.com/e/symbiotic-2014-tickets-13628018771.


Brain-computer interface: everyday technology?

Major tech companies (Intel's RealSense, Philips and Emotiv) are more and more experiencing with brain-computer interface technology.

The last one to end on the spotlight is Dell which has recently announced to be working on a product to detect a person’s mood, for use in education, communications, cars and video games. Jai Menon,  head of Dell research gave a few examples of benefits coming from such systems: “If I can sense the user is working hard on a task, an intuitive computer system might then reduce distractions, such as allowing incoming phone calls to go directly to voicemail and not letting the user be disturbed.”

Dell researchers have also used brain activity headsets by companies like Neurosky to identify users' moods. This worked on about 50% of cases, so accouracy is still quite low but the use of multiple sensors such as EEG, ECG, pulse oximeter to adjust values are currently being tested and hope to increase. Despite such limitations, Dell plans to release an off the shelf system in 2017.

Sources: http://neurogadget.com/2014/09/14/dell-plans-release-mood-reading-product-2017/10543, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-28642935

Predicting abstract judgments from brain waves

An interesting article recently published by PLoS ONE has found that people make immediate judgments about images they are shown even before their brains have had time to consciously process the information. Dr. Bode (University of Melbourne) and the other authors' findings illustrate that there is more information encoded in our brain activity than previously assumed.

Mores specifically, the found that the stimulus dimension of arousal as well as the abstract dimension of time reference (the degree to which participants subjectively rated positive images to be related to the present or to the future after the experiment) could be predicted from brain activity recorded during passive visual stimulation. 

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The 3rd MindSee Consortium meeting was held in the beautiful city of Padova, Italy on the 24th and 25th of September. The meeting was organised by the HIT (Human Inspired Technology Research Centre) at The University of Padova. 

Thank you all for participating! 

Coming up event is Symbiotic2014: the International Workshop on Symbiotic Interaction co-located with NordiCHI in Helsinki Finland on the 30th and 31st of October. 

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The inaugural 'Human Interactive' conference brings together leading experts from industry and academia to present and discuss the challenges of achieving the next generation of human-machine interaction through advances in computer games, AI, neuroscience, AR/VR, psychology, big data analytics, robotics and creative computing.

Prof. Jonathan Freeman will present research conducted within the MindSee project investigating how novel generation of symbiotic relationships between humans and computers can be achieved. The associated economical, ethical, societal and environmental issues involved will also be explored and there will be plenty of opportunity for networking.

The conference will be followed by "Creative Machine", a major exhibition exploring the twilight world of human-machine creativity, including installations of video and computer art, AI, robotics and apps .

Both events  will take place at Goldsmiths University of London on the 6th of November. Registration is FREE https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/human-interactive-conference-creative-machine-exhibition-private-view-registration-11761855025. 


RE.WORK 2014 Technology Summit – LONDON

On September 18-19, 2014 the Mindesee and CEEDs projects were presented  at the RE.WORK Technology Summit by Professor Jonathan Freeman. The topics covered in the conference were various but mainly focused on Wearable technologies (Misfits, Studio XO, Institute for Scientific Interchange Foundation), Environmental technologies (Tado, University of Bath), Robotics (University of Bristol, Minibuilders, University of Oxford, University of Hertfordshire, Sheffield Centre of Robotics), Medicine (SENS, Sosafresh, QuantumMDx), Technologies for developing world (Buffalo Grid, Imperial College, Konto46) and New Generation technologies (Goldsmiths College, Ultrahaptics, i2 media research, Swiftkey, Create-net, Concirrus, IBM, Bleepbleeps, CHS, Microsoft).





Professor Jonathan Freeman was present at the conference to promote Mindsee and CEEDs and during his talk he explained aims, expectations, stages of development, possible applications and the innovation achievable by both projects.



Mindsee and CEEDs project were also showcased with demos and posters.

Both projects were explained in details by researches from UPF/SPECS and Goldsmiths/i2 media research, and received high interested and enthusiasm by the numerous attendees.





Information-seeking behaviors of academics - MindSee Survey

With the emergence of electronic literature resources, researchers have begun to adopt new, alternative information-seeking practices. Even though there have been studies investigating  the behavioral changes of academics with the electronic dissemination of scientific  information, there is a lack of understanding in many other aspects of bibliographic search.  

As part of the MindSee project, the University of Helsinki in collaboration with University of  Padova is currently conducting research in order to further investigate the topic and look into  the scientific information-seeking behaviors of academics.  Findings from this research will be used to propose guidelines on:

a) The most important information to be visualized for scientific searches

b) The need for different layers of information according to expertise of the searcher

c) How to support serendipitous bibliographic searches

d) New metric for calculating the academic value of a research article

If you are a researcher or student please take part to our survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/academic_search 

It only takes a few  minutes; your contribution would be invaluable for our research.

Thank you!