'The blurring line between tangible and intangible raises questions about human condition'

We have had the pleasure of talking to Yoram Chisik (Madeira Interactive Technologies Institute), the General Chair of INTETAIN 2017, 9th International Conference on Intelligent Technologies for Interactive Entertainment, which will take place in Funchal, Portugal between June 20-22, 2017. As we usher in a new age of interactive interfaces, displays, and convergence of the real and the virtual, the conference is sure to intrigue and inspire.

What is the central topic of INTETAIN and why is it important? What is this event’s vision?

The central topic for INTETAIN is Intertwingularity.  As Ted Nelson once wrote, “everything is deeply intertwingled”, with the past distinction between private and public spaces, fact and fiction, tangible and intangible getting more and more blurry by the day.
This raises questions about the nature of the “human condition” in a fast-changing world that is being reshaped by the malleability and connectivity afforded by digital technologies and the connectivity of the internet and cellular networks.

Our vision for INTETAIN is that of a catalyst.  INTETAIN has always been a small gathering of curious minds and we intend to carry on in that tradition of focused discussions in which we will continue to examine the various physical and digital threads that make up the fabric of our lives and the assorted weaving patterns that currently exists and that are likely to appear in the future.

What are the recent development and challenges for interactive entertainment?

Advances in sensors, actuators and displays have enabled us to develop new interactive surfaces and new forms of display.  While in the past, certain objects or locales – be they cave walls, theater stages, cinema screens, statues or radio receivers acted as focal points with limited interactivity, now almost any surface can become an interactive device responding to direct and indirect interactions and/or environmental stimuli.

Furthermore, we are no longer just looking at screens, they are looking back at us, this has many opportunities but also dangers such as predatory media or predatory state agencies and one of the main challenges for us is to understand how to challenge this technology as a force for good and how to enable people to counter and control the potentially harmful and dangerous aspects of this technological evolution.

What are your expectations for INTETAIN 2017?

INTETAIN has always been a gathering of curious minds favoring a narrow selection of submissions and lively discussions to large multi-track flurry of ideas.  My expectation is for more lively discussions flamed by innovative and exciting ideas.  We are currently reviewing an interesting selection of papers that explore the far reaches of interactive media and we have a lineup of path-breaking keynote speakers so we have a ready-made stage for stimulating discussions and riveting demonstrations.

Learn more and register for INTETAIN 2017 here.