Virtual and augmented reality technologies offer people immersive experiences by exposing their senses to computer-generated imagery, sound, and haptic stimulations. Virtual reality temporarily isolates people from the real world and offers them a computer-generated environment. Augmented reality, on the other hand, blends the real world with computer-generated objects. In two days of workshops, key interaction concepts behind these technologies will be discussed, as well as their applications in the mental health domain.
Wednesday 8 November 2017
Within the framework of the 17th International conference on Intelligent Virtual Agents in Stockholm this year, we organized the first workshop on Persuasive Embodied Agents for Behavior Change, PEACH2017. Researchers were invited to submit position papers and projects at early stages. Topics ranged from visions on AI guidance in eHealth, agenda-setting in interventions targeting multiple behaviors, and intelligent topic-switching to personalization of instructions using reinforcement learning, induced cognitive dissonance in VR, and chatbot support for obese children. In breakout sessions of half an hour following each presentation, presenters were given the opportunity to ask the audience for feedback on specific aspects of their research or for input on problems they have been struggling with. With more than 20 participants from all over the world, vivid discussions ensued and presenters received diverse and extensive input. Particularly this interactivity was greatly appreciated by participants and authors alike. We therefore hope to host this workshop again at future IVA conferences.
In May, the 4TU.H&T PhD students self-organized a 3-day writing retreat by the beach in Makkum, Friesland, in the north of the Netherlands. Writing is critical to all PhD students, yet it is often a solitary activity. The main goals were to get peer feedback early on and to improve drafts in progress. Both are essential to healthy collaborative research, the greater aim of our 4TU Federation.
On the 7th of April, Dong Nguyen (The Alan Turing Institute, London) and Vincent Traag (Leiden University) gave a 4TU.H&T seminar on Computational Social Science. More than 20 people (researchers, phd students, masters' students) participated! In the first part of the seminar presented by Dong, students learned about computational sociolinguistics and how to apply natural language processing techniques to social data. Using NTLK, students explored methods for tokenization, part of speech tagging, sentiment analysis and topic modelling, and applied these to Reddit data.