The international research workshop “Migrating in times of mobility: flexible and rigid structures in digital Europe”, held in Barcelona, 7th and 8th November 2013, gathered a diverse and engaged group of experts, academics, activists, members of public institutions and NGOs.
The workshop focused particularly on the flow of people migrating from Spain to Britain, and the challenges and opportunities this phenomenon implies for the people on the move but also for the social sciences and the implementation of public policies. In this context, and as part of the FP7 project MASELTOV, the researchers of the Migration and Network Society program presented preliminary results of their fieldwork in London during July and September 2013. This fieldwork focused on Spanish-speaking young adults recently arrived in the British capital, analysing their motivations, needs and mobilization of resources in contemporary digital contexts.
The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Community’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement n° 288587 MASELTOV, a project on mobile phones and immigrants in Europe.
The usability study took place in London, UK at the Migrants Resource Centre (MRC) on the 25th and the 26th of September 2013, as well as in Graz, Austria, at DANAIDA (DAN) on the 1st of October 2013
Within a user-based usability evaluation study the user interface concepts of selected MASELTOV services were tested. The aim was to detect usability issues by observing the participants’ interaction with the services. The nineteen participants were mainly immigrants with an Arabic, Latin-American or Turkish background. Immigrants from Arabic speaking countries (Sudan, Eritrea, Bahrain) had good English skills, Participants from Latin American countries (Urugay, Colombia, Ecuador) had partly good English skills, partly they spoke only Spanish. Turkish participants spoke only Turkish. For the planned field trials which aim to evaluate functional prototypes in a real world setting, participants matching the defined criteria will be approached to learn more in which situations they use the services and if they are really helpful for these immigrants.
The concept of playful learning realized in the Serious Game application was also very much appreciated. Among the evaluated service prototypes the Serious Game application was evaluated with participants from Arabic speaking countries. Usability problems and recommendations were elaborated to minimize major issues in the final user interfaces.
The purpose of the Geo-Social Radar service is to connect an immigrant who needs assistance, with a volunteer nearby by allowing user-to-user communications in several ways (video, call, chat, messaging, etc.). The application will search and display potential volunteers nearby the user according to different search criteria. The participation of locals will be on a voluntary basis and every participant will be able to allow or deny his/her localization. The idea of the Geo-Social Radar was of high interest. Especially the more educated participants (i.e. Arabic, Latin American) mentioned their concerns regarding their privacy potentially being abused by others.
The objective of Text Lens service is real-time text detection, recognition and annotation using the mobile phone camera. By this means, the user has the possibility to translate unknown text immediately by taking a photo. Furthermore, users can browse the history of captured texts and translations as well as make use of the text-to-speech functionality. The mock-up of the Text Lens service was especially treasured since the simple UI concept was understood immediately and no severe usability issues occurred.
Based on the presented recommendations the user interface concepts were further improved in form of functional prototypes.
5 August, 2013: 6th International Symposium on ATTENTION IN COGNITIVE SYSTEMS
The capacity to attend to the relevant has been part of Artificial Intelligence (AI) systems since the early days of the discipline. Currently, with respect to the design and computational modeling of artificial cognitive systems, selective attention has again become a focus of research, and one sees it important for the organization of behaviors, for control and interfacing between sensory and cognitive information processing, and for the understanding of individual and social cognition in humanoid artifacts. While visual cognition obviously plays a central role in human perception, findings from neuroscience and cognitive psychology have informed us on the perception-action nature of cognition. In particular, the embodiment in sensory-motor intelligence requires a continuous spatio-temporal interplay between interpretations from various perceptual modalities and the corresponding control of motor activities. In addition, the process of selecting information from the incoming sensory stream, in tune with contextual processing on a current task and global goals, becomes a challenging control issue within the viewpoint of focused attention. Seemingly attention systems must operate at many levels and not only at interfaces between a bottom-up driven world interpretation and top-down driven information selection. One may consider selective attention as part of the core of artificial cognitive systems. These insights have already produced paradigmatic changes in several AI-related disciplines, such as, in the design of behavior based robotics and the computational modeling of animats. Within the context of the engineering domain, the development of enabling technologies such as autonomous robotic systems, miniaturized mobile – even wearable – sensors, and ambient intelligence systems involves the real-time analysis of enormous quantities of data. These data have to be processed in an intelligent way to provide “on time delivery” of the required relevant information. Knowledge has to be applied about what needs to be attended to, and when, and what to do in a meaningful sequence, in correspondence with visual feedback.
14 May, 2013: 1st International Workshop on Intelligent Digital Games for Empowerment and Inclusion
Digital Games for Empowerment and Inclusion possess the potential to change our society in a most positive way by preparing selected groups in a playful and fun way for their everyday life’s social and special situations. Exemplary domains span as far as from children with Autism Spectrum Condition to young adults preparing for their first job interviews or migrants familiarizing with their new environment. The current generation of such games thereby increasingly demands for computational intelligence algorithms to help analyze players’ behavior and monitor their motivation and interest to adapt game progress. The development of such games usually thus requires expertise from the general gaming domain, but in particular also from a game’s target domain, besides technological savoir-faire to provide intelligent analysis and reaction solutions. IDGEI 2013 aims at bridging across these communities and disciplines by inviting respective researchers and experts to discuss their latest perspectives and findings in the field of Intelligent Digital Games for Empowerment and Inclusion.
20 people from 12 organizations attended the fourth plenary meeting in Rome (13-14 December, 2012) organized by the partner Telecom Italia (TI). In addition members of the MASELTOV Advisory Board (MAB) were invited to get a closer insight to the status of the project and to give valuable feedback about the most appropriate development directions from the potential user point. For a detailed content of the project discussions see Agenda 4th Plenary.
The day before (12 December, 2012) a stakeholder day was organized in order to involve industry, NGOs, and political stakeholders to discuss in detail a feasible and economically promising exploitation plan for the distribution of MASELTOV mobile services for immigrants. The idea was to check for realistic implementation opportunities (reality check) based on the response to the project idea (see also Agenda Stakeholder Day) .
Presentations given by members of the MAB can be accessed at the Publications and Downloads section.
Björn Schuller, coordinator of ASC-INCLUSION – a related project in the DGEI initiative – invited the MASELTOV coordinator, Lucas Paletta, to participate in the first Advisory Board Meeting of ASC-INCLUSION. The meeting was organised by Simon Bar-Cohen, Director of the Autism Research Centre at the University of Cambridge. From the meeting, the participants could draw important conclusions for cooperation between the project cluster DGEI.
This workshop brought together invited contributors from private, public, third sectors, and policy (Participant List). It addressed the opportunities and challenges in making DGEI happen, focusing on identifying key actions that need to be taken by stakeholders and policy makers in the coming years (Agenda).
19 people attended the meeting in Athens organized by the Partner AIT. The two days were used to present and discuss the progress of the individual workpackages (Agenda). Furthermore next steps and corresponding timelines were specified. Besides the achievements on the technical issues a social event contributed to the succes if the event.
Adela Ros and Stefano Kluzer from the IN3 Migration and Network Society Programme are organising the “Mobile Services for Immigrant People: Learning, Information and Community Building for Employment and Integration” workshop on April 26th and 27th. This seminar is part of the MASELTOV project. The conference will be attended by experts in technology and IT, experts in mobile technologies, professionals and civil society representatives. The aim of the project is to research and develop new mobile services to facilitate and promote the employment and integration of immigrant people. (Programme)