The GuestXR project joins the SECTG cluster to enhance social harmony in VR spaces
- The SECTG cluster gathers five projects funded under the FET PROACT-EIC-07-2020 call from the Horizon 2020 program of the European Union, focusing on social interaction in AI environments.
- The collaboration plan includes the examination of relevant synergies, the development of innovative ideas or the creation of a strategic expert group, among others.
The GuestXR project has officially joined the SECTG cluster, an alliance of five European sister projects funded under the Horizon 2020 FET PROACT-EIC-07-2020 aiming at using Artificial Intelligence for extended social interaction.
The five projects adhered to the cluster – SONICOM, EXPERIENCE, CAROUSEL, TOUCHLESS and GuestXR – leverage human-centric and responsible Artificial Intelligence technologies to address issues such as mistrust, belief formation, the permeation of private and public spheres, social exclusion and divides that hamper the adoption of immersive Virtual or Extended Reality social media platforms and environments.
“To that end, through our participation in the SECTG Cluster we aim to find common ways and establish synergies to bring more positive and constructive social interactions in XR environments, which could be applied in many fields,” says Aurora Sesé, GuestXR project coordinator and Programme Manager at Eurecat.
Specifically, GuestXR is developing “a socially interactive multisensory platform system using extended reality, virtual reality, and augmented reality with a machine learning agent addressing social conflict and, thus, fostering a more effective and positive experience in synchronous face-to-face interaction”, details Mel Slater, GuestXR Scientific Leader and Investigator and Co-director of the Event Lab of the University of Barcelona.
The SECTG cluster has set up a cross-collaboration plan that expands on the interdisciplinary and ambitious goals of the individual projects to establish synergies and execute joint dissemination activities amongst the sister projects, and the creation of a strategic working group on “Artificial Intelligence for extended social interaction” that can influence and support the development of future legislation and funding opportunities aligned with this field. In addition, cluster activities will identify and support stakeholder engagement for the research outputs of all cluster projects.
As part of cluster activities, projects are organising an event titled Emerging Technologies for Social Interaction. Taking place on January 26th, the event will include a panel discussion on novel technologies at the intersection of AI and social interaction counting with the participation of representatives of the 5 projects conforming the SECTG Cluster. From GuestXR Doron Friedman will participate in the panel discussion, while Mel Slater will be delivering talk on ‘VR and Social Interaction’ at this meeting.
With this alliance, GuestXR strengthens its commitment to expand its impact beyond the project level, while contributing to the dissemination of state-of-the-art research and developments to increase trust and acceptance of XR technologies in different sectors through the introduction of an agent in the environment engaging each participant in positive interaction.
The GuestXR consortium is coordinated by the Eurecat technology centre together with the University of Barcelona and it is made up of eight organisations from six countries featuring a multidisciplinary team with backgrounds in extended reality, machine learning, artificial intelligence, social psychology, neuroscience, multisensory integration, research ethics and technology transfer.
Alongside Eurecat, four universities (the University of Maastricht, the University of Warsaw, the University of Barcelona and the Reichman University), a research institute (Inria) and two businesses (Virtual Bodyworks and g.tec medical engineering GMBH) are also taking part in the project.
Project key facts
Full Project Title: A Machine Learning Agent for Social Harmony in eXtended Reality
Project Acronym: GuestXR
Start date: 1 January 2022
End date: 31 December 2025
Budget: € 4,499,519.76
Coordinator: Eurecat Technology Centre