Stephen Hawking: Sentient Machines ‘Could End Human Race’


‘Humanoid’ robots are the future, pupils are told


by Andrew Robinson

17 Nov 2014, 16:17

scientists are creating lifelike robots which may one day help with the household chores or care for the sick, Yorkshire pupils were told.

Robots have long been touted as the solution to a lot of mankind’s problems and yesterday scientists were just as optimistic about what the future might hold.

Pupils aged 11 and 12 from Horizon Community College in Barnsley met world-renowned ‘roboticists’ at Sheffield University.

The practical event was hosted by Professor Hiroshi Ishiguro from Osaka University in Japan and Professor Adrian Cheok from City University in London.

Professor Ishiguro’s laboratory developed Geminoid, a robot with lifelike appearance including facial movements.

Pupils took part in a demonstration of ‘humanoid robots’ developed by Professor Ishiguro and had the opportunity to develop and programme their own Lego robot.

They also learned about the history of robots and how they can be programmed to learn and behave in a human-like way.

The workshop event was hosted by Sheffield Centre for Robotics as part of its outreach activities.

See full post with video on:

Adrian Cheok Keynote Speaker of Netgames 2014, Nagoya, Japan


NetGames 2014

Nagoya, Japan, December 4th-5th, 2014

Keynote: Everysense Everywhere Human Communication

Adrian D. Cheok (City University London, UK)

Date: Dec 4th, 9.30 – 10.30am

Abstract: This talk outlines new facilities that are arising in the hyperconnected internet era within human media spaces. This allows new embodied interaction between humans, species, and computation both socially and physically, with the aim of novel interactive communication and entertainment. Humans can develop new types of communication environments using all the senses, including touch, taste, and smell, which can increase support for multi-person multi-modal interaction and remote presence. In this talk, we present an alternative ubiquitous computing environment and space based on an integrated design of real and virtual worlds. We discuss some different research prototype systems for interactive communication, culture, and play.

Human-centered Design in the Large: Smart Cities and Smart Airports

Centre for HCI Design of City University London will host a talk by Dr. Dr. Norbert Streitz, the Scientific Director of Smart Future Initiative. He will give a talk about Human-centered Design in the Large: Smart Cities and Smart Airports. The details about the schedule and the venue are as follows:

Date: Thursday, 20/11/2014
Time: 16:00-18:00
Room C304, Tait Building, City University London
Northampton Square EC1V 0HB
London, United Kingdom

Below is the abstract of Dr. Dr. Norbet Streitz’s talk:

Entering the ‘Urban Age’ with more than half of the world population living in cities, economic prosperity and quality of life will largely depend on the ability of cities to exploit their full potential. With the deployment of ambient intelligence infrastructures, urban environments are transformed into interactive smart spaces. Combining information and experience spaces with ubiquitous computing in urban contexts results in what is being called ‘smart hybrid cities’.

Cities provide environments for different activities (e.g., living, working, shopping, entertainment, transportation, sojourning, communicating). At the same time, contemporary life styles become less focused and increasingly multidimensional. People’s lives are taking place betwixt and between multiple offers and options. People’s roles change within short time frames due to parallel activities in co-located situations. Airports are good examples of this blending of activities by providing a range of functions people are usually looking for in cities, but now for a limited time frame at this specific location. Airports serve as ‘transient spaces’ providing support for ‘polyphasic activities’. Translating this in an overall design rationale, one can state: “designing airports is designing transient smart cities”.

Against this background, the talk addresses issues and challenges for designing smart cities and their implications for transient spaces taking airports as one example. Contrasting the often technology­-driven approaches, this talk will present a human-environment-interaction perspective for the challenge of urban life management. This includes the shift from information design to experience design which means for airports to address the passenger experience. Furthermore, we are arguing for a people-oriented, empowering smartness where smart spaces make people smarter by keeping the human in the loop. It requires also discussing the implications of sensor-based smart environments, especially in public spaces, for privacy. It might become a commodity people have to pay for and thus a privilege. The talk will build on a perspective or vision for reconciling humans and technology by arguing for a human-centered design approach resulting in Humane Smart Hybrid Cities where people can exploit their creative potential and lead a self-determined life.

About the Speaker


Dr. Dr. Norbert Streitz (Ph.D. in physics, Ph.D. in psychology) is a Senior Scientist and Strategic Advisor with more than 30 years of experience in information and communication technology. He is the founder and scientific director of the Smart Future Initiative (SFI) launched in 2009. Before, Norbert held positions as deputy director and division manager at the Fraunhofer research institute IPSI in Darmstadt. His research is in the areas of human-computer-interaction, hypertext/hypermedia, CSCW, ubiquitous computing, ambient intelligence, disappearing computer, smart environments and smart cities. It was carried out in projects funded by the European Commission, partners in industry and different foundations. Norbert also taught at the Department of Computer Science of the Technical University Darmstadt for more than 15 years. Before joining IPSI in Darmstadt, he was an Assistant Professor at the Technical University RWTH Aachen with research and teaching in cognitive science and ergonomics. This was preceded by his work in theoretical physics at the University of Kiel. Furthermore, he was a post-doc research fellow at the University of California, Berkeley, a visiting scholar at Xerox PARC and at the Intelligent Systems Lab of MITI, Tsukuba Science City, Japan. Norbert published/edited 20 books and authored/ coauthored more than 130 scientific papers. He serves on editorial and advisory boards, steering and conference committees, and as a consultant. He is regularly asked to present keynote speeches and tutorials at scientific as well as commercial events in Europe, US, Brazil, Qatar, Malaysia, Singapore, Korea, Hong Kong, China, and Japan. You can find more about him from the following link: Dr. Dr. Norbert Streitz Biography


At our lab we mostly focus on researching novel technologies that change the way we interact digitally. While some of our technologies, such as the Electric Taste Machine have had more academic resonance, we aim to develop technologies that have real world impact and which has resulted in several startup companies such as the recent RingU.

We are now proud to announce that Mixed Reality Lab member Marius Braun has also taken on an entrepreneurial role with his startup nudge.

nudge front viewnudge is a wristband that helps you keep track of the important things in life, and nothing else. It connects with your phone and acts as a filter for the notifications you receive. Whether this is you when you receive a vital email or text messages. It can even let you know if a particular website has updated, or there is an important calendar event you’re about to miss. And most importantly, it does nothing else. You get no further distractions from your phone, giving you more quality time with friends and family, more time to be creative and more time to enjoy your life.nudge side viewMarius co-founded the company nudge in April, which since has come a long way in development, pivoting several times along the way. In the picture below, the team has just won City University’s CitySpark competition, earning a £3000 prize (Marius on right), which has greatly aided the prototyping process. Marius & co will be launching the product in mid November on the crowd funding platform Kickstarter.

CitySpark WinnersIf you would like to follow an exiting startup story and find out how they are getting on you can sign up here.