Calendar – University of Houston

Worlds Created By and Covered in Data – Emerging Areas for Data Research in Augmented and Virtual Reality

Thursday, May 5, 2022

11:00 am – 12:00 pm

About the event

While the development of Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) technologies was originally a computer science topic, in the past decade their public availability and adoption is beginning to raise issues that intersect with data science, human computer interaction, psychology, media studies, artificial intelligence, communication, data ethics, and others.Mark Zuckerberg recently demonstrated a tool called ‘Builder Bot,’ where a whole VR environment could be generated using AI through simple voice commands. Other projects Meta recently announced are about real-time universal language translation in virtual worlds, as well as autonomous virtual reality agents that interact with people in these spaces.In terms of AR, there are several public data sets and locational metadata tags that can layer the world several times over with AR content. Two recent examples that we have explored are augmented crime information and augmented social media feeds (eg, Twitter) overlaying physical space. The rise of AR locational games/worlds such as Pokémon GO, and others is also contributing to the world of AR data as well as behavioral data around AR applications.This talk will cover some recent academic and commercial work being done in the AR/VR domain and identify places where those questions will touch on several interrelated computing and data fields. Through these examples, the talk will highlight important research and data questions that still need to be answered and hopefully open up areas for collaboration.

About the Speaker

ony Liao (Ph.D., Cornell University) is an Associate Professor in the Department of Information Logistics and Technology and the Founding Director of the CougAR lab, which explores how augmented and virtual reality technologies could affect society now and in the future.His research has been published in academic outlets such as Journal of Computer Mediated Communication, New Media & Society, Information, Communication, & Society, Social Media & Society, Science, Technology, & Human Values, Mobile Media & Communication, Information and Organization, Journal of Virtual Worlds Research, Communication Studies, the International Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality, the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (SIGCHI), Ethics and Information Technology, Journal of Communication Pedagogy, and First Monday. His work has been funded by the National Science Foundation, Cornell’s Institute for the Social Sciences, and the Taft Foundation at the University of Cincinnati.


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