Hold onto your headsets, folks!
From November 28th until December 1st, the VOXReality rockstars unleashed a tsunami of innovation at the mind-blowing Immersive Tech Week 2023 in Rotterdam. Imagine a tech utopia where the main stakeholders of VR, AR, AI, haptics, and Web4 gather to spread the magic on the latest tech wonders. Yeah, that’s the vibe!
Our team at VOXReality weren’t just attendees. First, In a strategic session during Immersive Tech Week 2023, VOXReality participated in the F6S Innovation led presentation titled “Connecting Founders to Horizon Europe Funding Opportunities,” spotlighting the integral role played by European funds in advancing XR innovation and fostering collaborative ventures.
These funding opportunities assume a critical role in bolstering startup endeavours, providing the requisite resources for the development of cutting-edge XR solutions. The overarching goal was to enhance learning experiences, cultivate novel opportunities, and establish immersive technology as a conduit for societal connectivity. VOXReality shared the with other XR projects: SERMAS, XR2Learn, XR4ED and CORTEX2.
But that’s not all! Picture this: a special discussion panel titled “Maximizing Efficiency in NLP Model Training and XR Environments: Real-Time Language Processing for Seamless Interactions.” A warp-speed journey into the heart of Natural Language Processing (NLP) within the universe of extended reality (XR).
In the realm where Natural Language Processing (NLP) intersects with immersive technology, a narrative unfolds. NLP, driving change in digital interactions, has reshaped our virtual landscape. However, the resource-intensive nature of NLP models raises concerns about environmental impact, energy consumption, and scalability.
Extended Reality (XR) environments are now integrated with NLP tools, influencing virtual meetings, training simulations, and immersive experiences. The demand is clear: efficiency, optimisation, and seamless fusion of language models to minimise latency and enhance the user experience.
The roundtable assembled a group of experts to explore strategies for optimising training pipelines, addressing environmental concerns, and developing sustainable approaches. The focus extended to improving efficiency, reducing latency, and maximising the user experience.
Speakers included (As pictured from left to right):
- Yusuf Can Semerci – Postdoctoral Researcher, Maastricht University
- Nour Fendri – Software Developer, Holo-Light
- Petros Drakoulis – Research Associate, Centre for Research and Technology Hellas – Information Technologies Institute – Visual Computing Lab
- Stavroula Bourou – Machine Learning Engineer, Synelixis Solutions S.A.
- Jiahuan Pei – Researcher, Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (DIS Group)
- Moderator: Natalia Cardona – Project Manager, F6S/VOXReality
This assembly of experts delved into challenges and solutions, navigating the delicate balance between cutting-edge advancements and environmental considerations. The discussion explored resource consumption challenges and sustainable approaches, with a focus on efficiency, reduced latency, and an enhanced user experience. The session provided insights into the future of NLP in XR, guided by the expertise of the speakers.
NLP in XR environments highlights
The VOXReality team of experts explored the intersection of Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Extended Reality (XR). Nour Fendri introduced XR, detailing its applications in both consumer and industrial contexts, emphasising AR’s role in manufacturing and VR’s efficacy in training.
Stavroula delved into NLP, defining it and highlighting impactful applications such as speech recognition, language translation, conversational agents, and integration with visual processing like image captioning and Visual Question Answering (VQA). Olga underscored the importance of natural language in XR for intuitive interactions, enhancing user immersion and presence.
Afterwards, it was discussed industry pain points, including user acceptance in manufacturing, focusing on the need for better XR interaction methods. complemented by Olga, whom highlighted challenges in interpersonal communication in multiuser XR environments, especially in AR and VR conferences, stressing the necessity for real-time translation.
Stavroula and Jiahuan explored challenges in integrating NLP into XR, focusing on resource-intensive models impacting system performance and causing latency. Petros explained latency thresholds and the need for real-time processing, crucial for user experience in XR environments. Jiahuan detailed the challenges of large language models, addressing their computational intensity.
Petros and Yusuf discussed the evolution of AI models, citing their exponential growth in scale over the past five years driven by increased data availability and improved hardware. Yusuf emphasised environmental concerns, revealing the significant CO2 emissions associated with large models like GPT-3 and GPT-4.
Yusuf proposed solutions to minimise environmental impact, including renewable energy for data centres, data efficiency, and efficient model design. Petros outlined optimisation techniques like pruning, quantisation, knowledge distillation, and transfer learning.
Yusuf, Petros, and Olga provided insights into VOXReality’s project, discussing optimisation efforts and the use of pre-trained models in their XR integration. The team discussed VOXReality’s real-world use cases, including AR theatre and VR conferences, showcasing the enhanced communication and human-to-machine interaction facilitated by NLP.
In concluding remarks, the panel discussed the present availability of open-source tools, pre-trained models, and cloud services. In conclusion, the session emphasised the importance of XR for industry innovation, promoting a natural way to interact with the digital world for increased efficiency and user adoption. The roundtable offered a comprehensive exploration of the challenges, solutions, and future prospects at the nexus of NLP and XR.
As we reflect on Immersive Tech Week 2023, we are truly grateful for the opportunity to connect with industry luminaries and pioneers. Interacting with thought leaders has provided invaluable insights into the dynamic landscape of immersive technologies. The exchange of ideas and networking opportunities at this event has opened up limitless possibilities, enhancing the overall experience for all participants.
Immersive Tech Week 2023 served as an outstanding platform for VOXReality to demonstrate our unwavering commitment to advancing XR and NLP. In the ever-evolving technological landscape, events like these play a vital role in fostering collaboration, learning, and idea exchange. Our team’s active contribution to the NLP discussion within XR environments reflects our dedication to pushing the boundaries of immersive technology.
The resounding success of Immersive Tech Week 2023 has left an indelible mark on both attendees and the VOXReality Team. This event not only showcased the current state of immersive technologies but also teased the exciting possibilities awaiting the industry. A heartfelt thank you to the entire VRDays team for orchestrating this monumental event and providing a space for innovation and collaboration.
As we bid farewell to the last event of the year, our excitement is already building for the adventures that Immersive Tech Week 2024 holds. Join us on this journey as we continue to push the boundaries of immersive technology and explore new frontiers in XR and NLP.
See you next year!