This is a popular science presentation of the project 285012 TekLab - An International Network for Academic Development of Immersive Media. TekLab was granted funds for activities in the period 01.09.2018 - 15.09.2019.
The primary objective of this project was to strengthen the existing research network TekLab with concerted academic discussions of qualities that should be implemented in prototypes of immersive media with artificial intelligence support, and ways to analyze the hermeneutical and technological implications of such powerful media for media cultures. The performance indicator "dissemination measures for users" shows that we are engaging our 20+ participants in three academic seminars, we are submitting at least four new applications for funding, and we are in the process of publishing several scholarly texts. We have also worked actively with "dissemination measures for the general public" by publishing a dozen news articles about our activities at the TekLab website during the period.
The secondary objective was to strengthen the regional academic expertise in new technology. TekLab is located in the regional cluster Media City Bergen and we collaborate closely with researchers in Volda University College, The Western Norway University of Applied Sciences, and the University of Stavanger. We have oriented our efforts towards local news media needs. The performance indicator "industry-oriented R&D results" show that we have supported the development and testing of two prototypes using AI and big data for news journalism in nynorsk in Western Norway. During the project period we have established collaboration with media companies Future Solutions, Hallingdølen, Sunnhordland and Hordaland, and contributed to successful outcomes of several SkatteFUNN applications. This industry-oriented initiative has also included student involvement, in that four bachelor students at UiB worked on the Ekko prototype with support from TekLab, and in that a master student at UiB/HVL developed the research prototype NewsInspector in collaboration with TekLab.
* For the academic focus of TekLab, please see the attached project description.*
Activities in the project will start in the third quarter of 2018 and end in the second quarter of 2019. The core team will gathering documentation and literature for research proposals, and organize the network collaboration, set up strategic meetings, and organize seminars and lectures.
We are planning to have a seminar in London in the fourth quarter of 2018, and a seminar in Bergen in the first quarter of 2019, where we will invite the partners of the TekLab Network. We want these seminars to foster two-way communication between younger and more experienced researchers. This means that in addition to lectures, we will have activities where ideas can be exchanged more easily, such as discussion groups and workshops.
The plan is to have a three-day seminar in London, in collaboration with Royal Holloway University, and a two-day seminar in Bergen, led by the University of Bergen and The Western Norway University of Applied Sciences. In Bergen, we would like to invite mainly Norwegian participants, but would also like to have a few international guests. We suggest Neil Maiden and Francesca Panetta as our keynote speakers. We will coordinate the seminar with master courses at UiB, HVO and HVL, and invite the students to attend selected sessions.
Funding sources to be targeted. We have three main applications planned. These are: An application to the organization Free Project Support for the Humanities and Social Sciences (FRIHUMSAM), where the deadline is April 25th. The second is an application to The Council of Applied Media Research (RAM), where the deadline is October 1st. The final one is a second submission to NFR, for the suggested February 14th deadline in the first quarter of 2019.
The project will be wrapped up in the third quarter of 2019. Hopefully, TekLab will be able to secure further funds before the end of this period, in order to continue exploring our topics.