Welcome to the October 2022 SIGCHI edition of ACM TechNews.

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Chess pieces on a chess board. How Do You Even Cheat in Chess? AI Can Help
Ben Morse
September 28, 2022

Cheating accusations made by five-time world chess champion Magnus Carlsen against fellow grandmaster and rival Hans Niemann has pushed the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in chess to the forefront. The accusation comes weeks after Carlsen withdrew from a tournament following his defeat by Niemann. Chess engines, programs that analyze chess positions and calculate the best move options, have enabled players to improve their game but also have made it easier to cheat; they have become much stronger than humans in recent years. As a result, online chess sites, like Chess.com, have developed anti-cheating technology to detect when players are using outside computer software during games. Niemann, while denying the present cheating accusations, has been banned in the past by Chess.com for cheating.

Full Article
Bionic Pancreas Manages Blood-Sugar Levels for Type 1 Diabetics
The Wall Street Journal
Dominique Mosbergen
September 28, 2022

A study of the iLet bionic pancreas developed by researchers at Massachusetts public benefit corporation Beta Bionics found that the device is more effective than similar devices in helping people with Type 1 diabetes lower their average blood-sugar levels. Its automated insulin-delivery system continuously monitors glucose levels and injects insulin into the bloodstream as necessary. The device eliminates the need for users to count carbohydrates or manually adjust insulin doses. Beta Bionics' Ed Damiano compared the device to a driverless car, saying, "Some people really need to hold the wheel and it would make them really nervous. But we hope to lift the anxiety in many people who would benefit from it."

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Monitoring a Pregnancy at Home with a Smartphone
IEEE Spectrum
Michelle Hampson
September 22, 2022

University of California, Irvine (UC Irvine) researchers have developed a system that could monitor a fetus's cardiac health using a smartphone or watch. The system is comprised of a patch equipped with electrodes that monitor electrocardiogram (ECG) signals from the fetus, that is worn on a pregnant woman’s abdomen; a microcontroller that processes the signals and sends them to the mobile device via Bluetooth; and an algorithm, called Lullaby, that allows for real-time processing of high-resolution ECG data. The researchers found Lullaby was up to 1,000 times faster than existing ECG-processing algorithms. Said UC Irvine's Daniel Jilani, "In terms of power, we believe that the algorithm is efficient enough to run continuously [on a smartphone] for days or weeks."

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Personalized Prediction of Depression Treatment Outcomes with Wearables
The Source (Washington University in St. Louis)
Beth Miller
September 13, 2022

A team of scientists at Washington University in St. Louis (WashU) and the University of Illinois Chicago used data from wearable devices to make personalized predictions of depression therapy outcomes in a randomized clinical trial. The researchers developed a unified multitask machine learning model that analyzes data from patients randomly selected to receive treatment, compared to non-recipients. They provided patients with Fitbit wristbands and psychological testing, and about 66% of participants underwent behavioral therapy. The multitask framework forecast depression treatment outcomes better than a model that analyzed each cohort separately.

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Walmart’s Universe of Play. Walmart Makes First Moves into the Metaverse with Virtual Worlds on Roblox
Brendan Case
September 26, 2022

Walmart is entering the metaverse with two immersive experiences on the Roblox virtual platform. In Walmart Land, Roblox users can access a virtual store to purchase merchandise for their avatars, view the virtual world using a "physics-defying Ferris wheel," and win unlockable tokens and badges through games and competitions. Meanwhile, users can explore toy worlds and earn coins for virtual merchandise in Walmart’s University of Play. Said Walmart's William White, "It will be a great opportunity for us to build relevance, build cultural conversation, and to develop a community with Gen Z and our younger audiences. All these things lend themselves to more brand equity."

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Emojis are used increasingly in everyday communications. Emo-jional Rescue: Researchers Create Tool to Measure the Emotion in Emojis
University of British Columbia (Canada)
September 22, 2022

Researchers at Canada's University of British Columbia, Okanagan campus (UBCO) have developed a multidimensional lexicon of emojis (MLE) to measure how emojis are used and the emotions they convey. The MLE is based on an analysis of 3 million Twitter posts and the emotion ratings of emojis by 2,230 people. It features the ratings of 359 common emojis based on positivity and negativity, as well as on the basis of eight specific emotions: anger, anticipation, disgust, fear, joy, sadness, surprise, and trust. Said UBCO's Susan Holtzman, "A substantial amount of online communication now includes emojis. From market to mental health research, we hope this new tool will help everyone better understand the emotions of people communicating online."

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Line Judges Out, Automated Calls in at U.S. Open
Melissa Block
September 10, 2022

Optical technology replaced human line judges at the 2022 U.S. Open tennis tournament. Hawk-Eye Innovations' Hawk-Eye Live system used 12 cameras to follow the ball's path through space via optical tracking, and employed pre-recorded voices for call announcements. The U.S. Tennis Association's Sean Cary said that in the past, when a player challenged a line judge's call and it was reviewed through the Hawk-Eye tracking system, the human turned out to be correct about 75% of the time. Now, "the automated line calling system is right pretty much 100% of the time." Some players say Hawk-Eye does occasionally make erroneous calls, but "It's pretty tough to argue with a computer," said professional tennis player Noah Rubin.

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San Francisco State University faculty and students pose with the prosthetic arm. Student Researchers' Bionic Arm Wins Grand Prize at Sony Competition
San Francisco State University
Kanaga Rajan
September 28, 2022

A deep learning-based bionic arm developed by students at San Francisco State University (SF State) won a grand prize in a virtual competition sponsored by Sony. The prototype prosthetic, which could be used by patients following a stroke or amputation, collects and feeds electromyography signals (the electrical activity generated by the muscle) into a Sony microcontroller, which predicts the desired arm movement in real time using deep learning. In addition to using less power, the device, which can produce arm gestures in under two seconds, can be manufactured economically using a three-dimensional printer.

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App for Pre-K Set Promotes Healthy Eating, Exercise
Cornell Chronicle
Sharon Tregaskis
September 21, 2022

Researchers at Cornell University, the University of Colorado, and New Mexico State University have developed applications for preschool-aged children to encourage healthy eating and exercise. The four Foods and Moves apps let children direct cartoon monsters and animated human preschoolers to try new foods and perform more indoor activity, like hopping and skipping. The apps also support adults who wish to apply these lessons in the real world, and most parents said they helped their children try new foods and engage in more physical activity. "We intentionally developed the apps to help parents engage their preschoolers in food and movement activities," said Cornell's Laura Bellows.

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Immersive Claude Monet Exhibit Planned for NYC This Fall
Associated Press
Mark Kennedy
September 19, 2022

A digital, immersive exhibition of artwork by the French impressionist Claude Monet will open Nov. 1 at the Seamen's Bank Building in New York City. The multisensory experience will allow visitors to view Monet's paintings across the walls and floors, accompanied by music, the aroma of lavender and water lilies, and narration about Monet in multiple languages. "Monet's Garden: The Immersive Experience," which will run through Jan. 8, was developed by Swiss creative lab Immersive Art AG and Alegria Konzert GmbH and uses high tech LCD laser projectors to create a 360-degree experience. Nepomuk Schessl, the exhibition's producer, said, "To be able to address more than just two senses I think will immerse people a bit more. We certainly hope it's going to be the next big thing."

Full Article
Meta AI Can Tell Which Words You Hear by Reading Your Brainwaves
New Scientist
Matthew Sparkes
September 1, 2022

Meta has developed artificial intelligence (AI) software that can understand what a person is hearing by scanning their brainwaves. The AI was trained and tested using the brainwaves of 169 individuals as they listened to recordings of people speaking. The AI predicted a list of 10 words that the person was listening to for each recording, with the correct word included in the list 73% of the time. The researchers said the next step would be attempting to interpret a person's thoughts to enable them to communicate. However, Thomas Knopfel at the U.K.'s Imperial College London said the system would need to be refined to improve its accuracy. Said Knopfel, "Even in ideal conditions, with someone sitting in a dark room with headphones on, just listening, there are other things going on in the brain. In the real world it becomes totally impossible."

Full Article
Cloudflare Takes a Stab at a Captcha That Doesn't Suck
Lily Hay Newman
September 28, 2022

Internet infrastructure company Cloudflare has released its free Turnstile captcha as a less-frustrating alternative to having to pick out obscure pictures in boxes. Turnstile is based on Cloudflare's Managed Challenge, which runs quick and silent checks of the user's browser behavior and other telemetry to confirm their humanity without requiring them to perform tasks. The tool only gives users a "harder challenge" or puzzle if it lacks confidence, and it also tests different types of puzzles continuously to find less-aggravating options. Cloudflare said users previously spent an average of 32 seconds doing captchas on its sites, but since implementing Managed Challenge, the average wait time to enter the site is just one second.

Full Article
Did My Computer Say It Best?
University of Georgia
J. Merritt Melancon
September 20, 2022

Researchers at the University of Georgia (UGA), Pennsylvania State University, and Northeastern University found that performance did not improve for people who depend on computer algorithms to help with language-related, creative tasks. The study involved giving 154 online participants portions of the Remote Associates Test, a word association test that rates the user's creativity by determining a word that connects three sample words. The participants were offered algorithmic- and human-based hints and permitted to change their answers. The study found participants were 92.3% more likely to use algorithmic advice than human-based advice, but those taking the algorithm's advice were 13% less likely to choose the correct answer than those opting for human-based advice. Said UGA's Aaron Schecter, "Their confidence went up, so they're likely to use algorithmic advice and feel good about it, but they won't necessarily be right."

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Calendar of Events

UIST ’22: The 35th Annual ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology
Oct. 29 – Nov. 2
Bend, OR

CHI PLAY ’22: The Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play
Nov. 2-5
Bremen, Germany

ICMI ’22: International Conference on Multimodal Interaction
Nov. 7-11
Bangalore, India

CSCW ’22: Computer Supported Cooperative Work
Nov. 8-22

ISS ’22: International Conference on Interactive Surfaces and Spaces
Nov. 20-23
Wellington, New Zealand


SIGCHI is the premier international society for professionals, academics and students who are interested in human-technology and human-computer interaction (HCI). We provide a forum for the discussion of all aspects of HCI through our conferences, publications, web sites, email discussion groups, and other services. We advance education in HCI through tutorials, workshops and outreach, and we promote informal access to a wide range of individuals and organizations involved in HCI. Members can be involved in HCI-related activities with others in their region through Local SIGCHI chapters. SIGCHI is also involved in public policy.

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