University hosts international Cyber conference

Posted on 15th October 2017

Internationally renowned experts in all things cyber: data intelligence; cyber worlds; motion capture; augmented and virtual reality – recently gathered at the University of Chester’s Thornton Science Park for the international Cyberworlds Conference 2017.

•	Participants of the Cyberworlds Conference 2017 which took place at Thornton Science Park.
• Participants of the Cyberworlds Conference 2017 which took place at Thornton Science Park.

Participants were treated to a packed programme, which featured over 40 presentations on a range of topics including: brain-computer interfaces; welfare and data visualisations in cyberworlds; applications of virtual, mixed and augmented reality; and cyber security.

The keynote speakers were Professor Min Chen from the University of Oxford, and Dr Rafal Mantiuk from the University of Cambridge, who are both world renowned experts in their field.

Professor Chen explored the ‘Myths and Promises of Data Intelligence’ – including his examination of some of the following ‘myths’: the problem of ‘Big Data’ (ie large volumes of data that cannot be analysed by traditional methods) is due to too much data; the ‘Big Data’ problem is a recent phenomenon; and Machine intelligence (also known as Artificial Intelligence) is the only hope. Professor Chen drew evidence from a number of research projects, in which he was involved, to explain why Visual Analytics (the science of analytical reasoning supported by interactive visual interfaces) may offer promise. He also discussed the potential role of cyberspace in supporting data intelligence.

Dr Mantiuk’s presentation considered a move towards a more realistic visual experience. He discussed the challenge of creating artificial imagery that would be hard to distinguish from reality. Today's computer graphics techniques make it possible to create imagery that is hardly distinguishable from photographs. However, a photograph is clearly no match to an actual real-world scene. Dr Mantiuk argued that the next big challenge is to achieve perceptual realism by creating artificial imagery that would be hard to separate from reality. This requires profound changes in the entire imaging pipeline, from acquisition and rendering to display, with a strong focus on visual perception. Dr Mantiuk presented an example of modelling night vision, in which it can be simulated or compensated for its limitations. The method can be used in games, driving simulators, or as a compensation for displays used under varying ambient light levels.

The Conference organiser was Dr Serban Pop from the Department of Computer Science at the University of Chester, and Professor Nigel John, from the same Department, was Chair of the programme, and hosted one of the sessions. Nigel said: “It was a pleasure to host such an international audience in Chester, and also to have many colleagues from the Department presenting work, and helping with the organisation. We are developing our research activities in the cyber space and this event has certainly raised our profile.”