Keynote Speakers

Prof. Rachel McDonnell Prof. Rachel McDonnell is an Associate Professor of Creative Technologies at Trinity College Dublin, Ireland. Her research combines cutting-edge computer graphics with investigating the perception of virtual characters to both deepen our understanding of how virtual humans are perceived, and directly provide new algorithms and guidelines for industry developers on where to focus their efforts. She has published over 100 papers in conferences and journals in her field, including many top-tier publications at venues such as SIGGRAPH, Eurographics, and IEEE TVCG, etc. She has served as both program and conference chair of the Symposium on Applied Perception, and is on the editorial board for the associated journal - Transactions on Applied Perception. She additionally serves as Associate Editor on Computer Graphics Forum and Computer & Graphics journals, and is a regular member of many international program committees (including ACM SIGGRAPH and Eurographics).

Motion Matters in the Metaverse

The ‘Metaverse’ is expected to be an immersive digital reality allowing users to interact virtually for both work and entertainment. This vision of the Metaverse cannot exist without avatars, which are virtual manifestations of the humans interacting in the space. Avatars require motion data to be tracked using VR headsets and controllers. However, research going back to the 1970s has shown that this motion data is rich in psychological information such as social categories, emotional state, intentions, and underlying dispositions. A worrying thought is how this personal data could be extracted, stored or even shared in the Metaverse. In this talk, I will discuss research that I have conducted over the years on the perception of virtual humans, with a focus on how congruent and incongruent motion and morphologies are perceived. I will also discuss the implications for avatar-based interactions in the 'Metaverse', as technology develops, and motion capture data becomes more accessible to all.

Dr. Shunichi Kasahara Dr. Shunichi Kasahara is a Researcher of Sony Computer Science Laboratories, Inc., where he is the Project leader of Superception Project. He received his Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Information Studies from the University of Tokyo in 2017. Joined Sony Corporation in 2008. Affiliate researcher at MIT media lab in 2012. Joined Sony CSL in 2014. He is leading “Superception” research: computational extension of human perception and investigation of the self in human-computer integration. His group conducts research activities in collaboration with diverse collaborators, including interdisciplinary researchers, creators, and artists. The result of his research has been presented at major international conferences in the fields of computer graphics, human-computer interaction, and perception. He also conducts interactive exhibitions and social implementation as a way of circulating research and society.

Superception: Exploring a new ‘Self’ in the integration of humans and computers

With the emergence of computer technologies, computers are no longer just tools of humans but are deeply intervening in our bodies and behavior. When humans integrate with computers and acquire abilities and different bodies beyond what we have, to what extent are we ourselves? Through my research framework, "Superception" for extending and transforming human perception and cognition using computer technology, I have worked on investigating how the "self" can be shaped when humans and computers integrate. In this talk, I would like to explore what the "self" will be like when computers and humans integrate through three research directions. First about 1) Self in Human-computer integration. For truly harmonized human augmentation to assist and extend human abilities, we should design systems as a user perceives actions as our own. I will present a series of investigations of the human and computer integrated action using electric muscle stimulation and human-robot system and how we attribute it to self. Then taking it a step further, I will introduce explorations about 2) Beyond one mind one body. Cybernetic avatars technology will make a significant paradigm shift in the relationship between mind and body. Mind and Body will no longer be just one-to-one, but one mind to many bodies, or many minds to one body. I will present our recent explorations for "N minds M bodies” by using robotic arms or virtual reality systems. And last and most importantly, I will highlight our projects to explore 3) the contours of self in the computer-mediated cross reality. Lastly, I would like to discuss the potential agenda of science in human-computer integration through circulating perceptual research and experience design.