Affective Computing (AC) is an emerging technology that is being exploited to identify, record, interpet, process, and simulate various shades of human emotion. It consists an interdisciplinary field that pertains to the wider research field of human-computer interaction, and spans the fields of computer science, psychology and cognitive science
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
Artificial Intelligence after failing to fulfill the high hopes of developing sentient systems during its early period of evolution, has experienced a recent boost successfully dealing with problems such as Computer Vision and NLP. Machine Learning, the core of AI, fueled by enormous data produced daily by social media and other digital sources, has shifted towards Deep Learning techniques that exploit this unprecedented wealth of data to train models that can perform functions such as sentiment analysis, image classification and speech recognition.
Semantic Web and Linked Open Data in Culture heritage
Preservation and promotion of Cultural Heritage (CH) requires the collection, storage and processing of diverse information which are related to different disciplines and activities included in the domain. Furthermore, the combination of heterogeneous cultural data and the interconnection of different sources are considered indispensable, though not trivial, to accomplish. In this direction, semantic web technologies could benefit the management and reuse of CH information. Services such as unified management, search and retrieval of cultural content, data integration, data mining and knowledge extraction, as well as Linked Open Data production and use are in our spectrum of interest and research activities. Our current research work is particularly focused on the study and use of semantic web tools -such as ontologies and thesaurus- for the production of semantic cultural data, as well as their use in cultural applications for specialized users and the general public.
Internet of things and ubiquitous computing
As smart objects are continuously added around us, the emerging paradigm of the Internet of things is shaping a new area where every action performed by the devices will be consistent towards the user’s needs, expectations and limitations. Until that fulfillment, Ubiquitous Computing promises a similar functionality on more restricted ecosystems. Our research focuses on Context Awareness that as an integral part of any smart environment, defines the behavior of the system towards a personalized interactive user experience. CA applications include among others the semantic preservation of Cultural Heritage Institutions, delivery of personalized content, interactive cultural spaces and context aware recommender systems. A fully interactive context aware cultural space is currently under construction that will enable the functionality and adaptability promised by the IoT paradigm.
Mixed Reality applications in the Culture Heritage domain aims on creating modern and natural interfaces that attract visitors and promote new methodologies of combining education and entertainment. Our research focuses on integration of Mixed Reality techniques with other state-of-the-art technologies (Semantic Web, Linked Open Data, Ubiquitous Computing, Serious Games etc) to enhance Cultural User eXperience (CUX). Furthermore, our work aims in designing and evaluating new ideas for 3D User Interfaces through state of the art devices such as Leap Motion, Microsoft Hololens and Vuzix Blade.
SGs, games designed for an explicit educational purpose and not intended to be played predominantly for amusement, are gaining an increasing interest for Cultural Heritage sector. The fact that they combine aspects of learning with the playfulness of video creates engaging game experience (GX) and maximizes user’s motivation. Their ability to attract even users that may not be familiar with the arts and culture to discover the mystique of cultural heritage makes them a promising tool in the cultural heritage field that contribute to the widespread diffusion of SGs.
Cultural user experience - cux
Cultural User eXperience (CUX) has gained momentum in recent years, while the immense interest in academia and cultural industry has been to augment user’s participation during his interaction with cultural objects by making him actor of his own cultural experience. CUX is an essential consideration that should be acknowledged and implemented when initiating CH domain. It is because CUX is beyond the usability of a cultural product or system. It includes both pragmatic (function and features) and hedonic (user expectation, motivation and feelings) factors. These attributes could influence user’s positive experience when interacting with the system or product and this will lead to effectiveness of CH activities. Another factor that affects UX besides the wide range and diversity of the cultural objects, is the cultural background and profile of the individual user. Each user has its own cultural characteristics, learns and interacts differently with a certain artefact and finally obtains a unique cultural experience. The interaction between different cultural objects and user’s cultural backgrounds defines the CUX as “The unique produced knowledge and experience from different cultural identities” (de Souza, 2016; Konstantakis, 2017). The first vital gist of CUX is understanding and consequently meeting the cultural heritage users need. Secondly, it will lead to the simplicity and elegant attributes of a cultural product or system that creates positive experience such as joy to own and to use (Zahidi, 2013).