Twitter’s AI crop has a bias. When given a large photo that contained the press photos of Mitch McConnell and Barack Obama, the AI picks Mitch. Swap the position of the two pictures, and the AI picks the white guy again. This behavior has led to a lot of random experimentation online. Still, it’s important to cover what we know, what Twitter’s response was, what caused the problem, and how to fix it.

The History

It’s a well-known fact that people like to click on stories with images. It’s also known that images that are uniform, consistent, and canonical get more clicks. For example, take this photo of the bent pyramid at Dahshur. …

Many people rely on captions every day. Unfortunately, not everything has captions; this often includes simple things, like that webinar you’re attending, or more advanced systems like Mozilla Hubs. Recently, I discovered, which offers AI-based live transcription. It’s not perfect, but it works about as well as most live TV broadcasts if you hook it up correctly. I’d still recommend pre-recorded videos should have human-corrected caption files, but not all live systems support captioning. Hopefully, this guide will help you hook up a bit of a stop-gap solution for those cases. Here we’ll look at captioning Mozilla Hubs in Firefox. First, you’ll need to do a loopback of your audio, and you’ll need a free …

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Group photo from the ACM CHI2020 SocialVR Workshop

Before there was a global pandemic, we were planning on running a workshop on SocialVR at ACM CHI2020 and were underway to have a half in real life and half virtual meeting. Of course, the pandemic took everything 100% virtual. As organizers, we quickly pivoted to run the whole SocialVR workshop in VR (which makes good sense). As researchers, we wondered how people would flock, cluster, break out, and use the VR tool (which was also a question of the workshop already). No turnkey system would let us run the workshop and collect data. However, there is the open-source Mozilla Hubs, which I wanted to turn into a research platform. I’ve never done any VR programming work in the past, so this is a quick guide to how Hubs kind of works, how you can instrument it, and what we can do next. …

A photo of a monitor with some code on it and a second monitor with a website and a phone playing a song.
A photo of a monitor with some code on it and a second monitor with a website and a phone playing a song.
Photo by Fotis Fotopoulos on Unsplash

In January of 2019, I stepped into the volunteer role of ACM SIGCHI VP of Operations. I must confess, I didn’t know what operations did exactly but I was told it was to run the technologies for the SIG and that my 15+ years of industry research experience would help transform the volunteer role. Ops has a sub-committee with some pretty clear roles: run the listserv, manage website content, design the conference schedule apps, and upload to the YouTube channel. Beyond these tactical roles, the vision and goal of what Operations should be was an open field.

SIGCHI is in an interesting position where we archive and consume knowledge and we don’t always consume where we archive. Beyond our papers, there are conference websites, session programs, 1000s of photos taken by SVs, membership surveys, and more. While we can rely on the ACM Digital Library for some of these things, we have to rely on other platforms too. As we set forth, I kept remembering to never trust a corporation to do a library’s job; we can’t just rely on a commercial platform alone. For operations overall, I wanted to scale our organizational archiving efforts, optimize the publication pipeline, and reduce the tech debt we carried. …

Mobile Screenshot of the PWA with the two new buttons for library and video in the middle.
Mobile Screenshot of the PWA with the two new buttons for library and video in the middle.

It’s been tough this social distancing and working from home. If you’re like me, it’s also tough not traveling, seeing friends, and attending events. Many of the talks, workshops, and conferences we’ve been planning to attend had cancellations. When HRI 2020 (Human Robot Interaction) was cancelled, we decided to spring into action to help connect everyone to all the great conference content using our Progressive Web App (PWA). We collected the DOIs from the ACM Digital Library and paper sessions from the chairs; but we wanted engaging videos for people to watch, share, and discuss. …

As remote participation grows at ACM SIGCHI, so does the need for remote presentations. This little guide presents a how to make a presentation video that can be used in case you can’t attend or for a virtual conference.

A video camera with a sunset in the background.
A video camera with a sunset in the background.
CC BY-NC 2.0 David Yu on Flickr

Quick Overview

  • Create an engaging video. For best results, include both the presentation-view and speaker-view.
  • Include subtitles to make the video accessible to all.
  • Transcode (convert) the video to a friendly format and manageable file size (< 100 MB) and a standard aspect and resolution like 1280x720 (720p), 1920x1080 (1080p), or 4K.
  • Rename or Upload the file according to conventions set by your conference. …

CSCW 2019 was the last of the annual cycles for submission. The Papers Chairs and the 121 Associate Chairs and the 786 Reviewers all worked hard to take the 658 papers through the process and really discuss contributions, deliver quality reviews, and deliver a program with 205 successful submissions (accepting at 31.2%). Along the way, we wanted to show how the scores and decisions shifted over the course of the review process. …

Earlier this year, the SIGCHI Ops team decided to sunset our native apps for conference programs. As an alternative, we put our efforts into making a progressive web application (PWA) which will allow for faster development time, greater accessibility, and easier maintenance. Being Papers Co-chair for CSCW2019, I convinced the rest of the organizing committee to let me run the beta test live at the conference.

A few things to note, we still had some people using the older buggy native apps (which aren’t fully turned off yet). …

This is reposted from my report in the ACM SIGMM Records.

There is no doubt that research in our field has become more data driven. And while the term data science might suggest there is some science without data, it is data the feeds our systems, trains our networks, and tests our results. Recently we have seen examples of a few conferences experimenting with their review process to gain new insights. For those of us in the Multimedia (MM) community, it is not an entirely new thing. In 2013, I led an effort along with my TPC Co-Chairs to look at the past several years of conferences and examine the reviewing system, the process, the scores, and the reviewer load. Additionally, we ran surveys to the authors (accepted and rejected) and the reviewers and ACs to gauge how we did. This was presented at the business meeting in Barcelona along with the suggestion that this practice continues. …

2 months, 5 string sets, 1 experiment

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2018 Kamaka Tenor Deluxe

I’ve owned a Ukulele for about 4 years. I’ve been playing (mostly) charity or community gigs for the past few months. Summertime means there’s quite a lot of performances at Parks, Fairgrounds, and Delis. Armed with a brand new Kamaka Tenor Deluxe and having several gigs in a row, I decided to go on a little tour of strings for each gig; presented here in the order I tried them. This is no ad and none of these companies know I exist. I’m just a person with a uke who can’t make up his mind.


david ayman shamma

scientist/research director: @FXPAL , @cwi_dis , @yahoo, @flickr , & @sigchi. instructions: place in direct sunlight, water daily.

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