27NOV 2015 09:30 - 10:30
School of Computing, National University of Singapore, Singapore
Dr. Shengdong Zhao is an Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science of the National University of Singapore where he founded the NUS-HCI research lab in 2009. He earned his Masters and PhD degrees at the University of California at Berkeley and the University of Toronto, respectively. Shengdong has a wealth of experience in developing new interface tools and applications. ACM Interaction Magazine mentioned him as one of the most prolific authors in Asia for the ACM SIGCHI conference. Shengdong frequently served on the program committees in top HCI conferences. He was the recipient of the ICACHI Outstanding Young Leaders in HCI award and the NUS Young Investigator Award. More information about Shengdong can be found at http://www.shengdongzhao.com
We live in an interesting time. Although we don’t know exactly what the future will be like, transformational change is a certainty. There are several noticeable trends: one is the change of the computing paradigm from reactive to pro-active. All major companies are working on this paradigm shift, investing heavily in AI and machine learning. This will redefine the role and responsibility of our personal devices and dramatically change our lifestyles over the next few years. Another interesting trend is the interaction shift from device-centric to human-and-environment-centric, which has the potential to allow humans to return to a more natural way of living. Inside this movement, a central enabling piece is AR technology, but this is not without significant challenges. It will be exciting to work on the problems to accelerate this paradigm transformation, to which I hope the VRST community can make a significant contribution.
29NOV 2015 13:30 - 14:30
Dirk van den Boom
University of Münster, Germany
Dirk van den Boom, born 1966, is a German Science-Fiction-author, consultant, journalist and extraordinary professor for political science at the University of Muenster. His areas of expertise include parties and elections, migration policy and international development. As a writer, he has published a number of novels, mostly Space Operas and Alternative History, and has recently been honored with the German Science Fiction Award for best novel. He lives with his family in Saarbruecken, close to the German-French border.
Earth is flat. And hollow. Chemtrails exist. Nazis live on the moon. Or in Antarctica. Climate change is a conspiracy devised by reptiloids hiding amongst us. Fringe politics, mostly dominated by homophobia, xenophobia and extreme nationalism, is on the rise, entering the political mainstream. Social media are full of prophets, both political as well as simply crazy, and their followership is growing. The Youtube-university has more graduates than any real one, and they are proud of their insights. Are we all turning into political, scientific and cultural morons - and if so, what influence has modern technology, concentrated into our portable electronic brains? Can we be saved - and do we really need saving at all?