Over the last months, the global situation with regards to travel and health has changed due to COVID-19. The organization of any global event, such as Augmented Humans, needs to reflect such changes. To accommodate the changing requirements and restrictions in the ability of many of our colleagues to travel, we are happy to announce a number of changes in how people can engage with AHs2020.
In restructuring the participation models, we had two goals:
We do not require authors of accepted papers to be physically present at the conference. We will offer two models of remote participation – any author who chooses to, can take advantage of either remote participation or offline participation.
We do not require anyone to cancel their travel arrangements. Anyone who wishes to participate at the event is invited to join, as long as their host institution, their host government or the German government does not issue any instructions stating otherwise. This way, we intend to disrupt existing arrangements the least, while providing maximum flexibility to all participants in choosing how they wish to deal with the current situation.
How can people engage with AHs 2020?
We are now offering three models of participating at the conference:
Local attendance (238€ / 357€): Conference participants can attend all local and remote presentations, as well as participate in discussion of the off-line presentations. Authors who opt for local presentations will have their presentation live-streamed, for remote participants to attend to. Additionally these presentations will be recorded and made available to all offline participants.
Remote attendance (83€). Remotely presenting authors will have the option of either providing us with a pre-recorded presentation or presenting via live-stream. Remotely presenting authors will participate in a live Q & A session after their presentation. Authors of posters or demos will be invited to pitch their topic through a live stream.
Offline attendance (83€). Offline authors will be asked to provide a video of their presentation. These videos will be shown at the conference and streamed for remote attendees. Additionally, the videos will be shared with all conference participants via the conference website. All presenters are expected to monitor their online video presentation closely for a period of two weeks after the event, and respond to all questions within a reasonable time, for fostering additional discussion.
We primarily expect local attendance to be relevant to our German colleagues, or people from the close area. We assume that remote participation will primarily be of interest to authors from similar time-zone as the conference location who do not wish to travel. Finally, offline participation is intended for authors who live in time-zones which make remote attendance inconvenient but wish to engage a-synchronously.
How do I register for remote or offline attendance?
If you haven’t registered yet, simply purchase the remote or offline ticket.
If you have already registered but want to change to the remote/offline option , please send your request to Bo Zhou (ahs20 at easychair dot org) on March 8th. He will contact you for further actions.
If you decided to change after March 8th, also send your request to Bo Zhou, your original purchase will be refunded (but we will need to charge for any costs we have incurred). And you can then directly purchase the remote/offline price.
!!! Please note that this deadline is Midnight March 8th, CET !!!
Additional Requirements for Remote and Offline presenters
Papers: Please submit a < 5 minute video for short papers and a < 7 minute video for long papers. Consider that the typical presentation format is usually tedious to follow when watching a video. You are free to be creative with the format, as long as the video contains all the relevant information a talk would. Brevity is a virtue.
Posters and Demos: Please provide us with a poster (A0 – 841 mm x 1189 mm) and a two minute video. Your printed poster will be hung up during the poster and demo session, and we will present your video along with the poster. Please note, that we will have no audio during the poster sessions except if essential for explaining the concept.
These additional videos are required for all offline participants. Remote participants may opt to submit these also, as back-up for their live-streamed talk. Please provide us with videos in mp4 format, h264 encoding. Please provide posters as .pdf files. Please send a dropbox or google-drive link of your materials to AHs20 at easychair dot org. Please name your files (submission number)_(content).extension (so if you’re submission number is #42 and you are submitting a video, please call the file 42_video.mp4).
What about the Human Augmentation workshop?
The Human Augmentation workshop, in the form that it was announced, will change to a casual program since some of the speakers are not able to attend due to travel restrictions. However, the rooms which were booked for that time are still free for us to use. As many steering committee members and conference organizers will be present, we will use this time for an open Town-Hall meeting on the future of this conference. We also intend to have informal workshops with some of the keynote speakers. We will provide more information on this closer to the time of the event.
What other changes come with this?
Essentially, Augmented Humans will become a conference distributed through space and time. For all of us, this is a big experiment. We are looking forward to pulling this off, together with all of you.
There are various other aspects to this which we have been discussing, just some things to think about at this point:
Finances. We are doing everything we can to keep costs at a minimum. Anyone who has already payed the full registration may change to remote or offline participation up until March 8th and we will reimburse the difference between what was already paid and the reduced fee (83€). After March 8th we will need to charge for any costs we may have incurred in the meantime.
Discussion Culture. We wish for a vibrant conference, with discussion between all participants. We will provide simple discussion tools for this. Providing these tools however is just a small part – a strong discussion culture requires engagement on the side of the participants. We are still figuring out how to best facilitate this, but ask everyone to do their part by participating.
Local Meetups. We encourage local groups of researchers to organize informal or formal satellite events for either shared viewing of the live-stream or shared viewing and discussion of the offline presentations. If you organize such an event, let us know and we will document it on our website. We happily support initiatives such as also setting up video tunnels or similar methods of engaging.
Archiving. As we will have hiqh-quality video of all presentations, which will be available online, we are able to start building a comprehensive Augmented Humans archive. In addition to simply archiving the presentations, we will also be able to archive discussions and maintain a platform for future discussion of the work. However, archiving your contribution to the conference will not be mandatory. If you do not wish your presentation or other contributions to be archived, we will delete them one month after the event.
Overall, we are trying to make the best of a difficult situation. We hope that our multiple ways of engaging will keep this event alive and vibrant. We will be implementing many changes and finding both organizational and technological solutions in a very tight time-frame. To make this happen we also require full support of the AHs community. By engaging, testing, playing, experimenting, everyone can help make this a successful event – stretched out through space and time.
Should you have ideas, concerns, or suggestions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us (ahs20 at easychair dot org)
by Paul Strohmeier