Institute for Creative Technologies
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|Affiliated With The University of Southern California|
The Institute for Creative Technologies (ICT) is a research institute of the University of Southern California located in Playa Vista, California. ICT was established in 1999 with funding from the US Army.
Dr. Mike Andrews, chief scientist of the US Army is described as "founder of and inspiration behind" the ICT. He followed up on discussions between US Army leadership (four-star general Paul J. Kern) and Disney Imagineering president Bran Ferren, on how to gain access to Hollywood entertainment industry expertise in high-technology areas such as computer-based Modeling & Simulation, and Virtual Reality. The name was derived from Ferren's title at The Walt Disney Company.
It was created to combine the assets of a major research university with the creative resources of Hollywood and the game industry to advance the state-of-the-art in training and simulation. The institute's research has also led to applications for education, entertainment and rehabilitation, including virtual patients, virtual museum guides and Academy Award-winning visual effects technologies. Core areas include virtual humans, graphics, mixed-reality, learning sciences, games, storytelling and medical virtual reality.
Cheryl Birch, Director of Finance, Administration, and Human Resources
Clarke Lethin, Managing Director
William Swartout, Director of Technology
Andrew Gordon, Director of Interactive Narrative Research
Jonathan Gratch, Director of Virtual Humans Research
Benjamin Nye, Director of Learning Science Research
David Pynadath, Director of Social Simulation Research
Albert "Skip" Rizzo, Director of Medical Virtual Reality
Paul Rosenbloom, Director of Cognitive Architecture Research
David Traum, Director of Natural Language Research
Arno Hartholt, Director of Research and Development Integration
Richard DiNinni, Project Director
Stefan Scherer, Associate Director for Neural Information Processing
Faculty and Academics
About a dozen ICT researchers hold academic appointments at various schools and departments across USC. These include research professors, research associate professors and research assistant professors in Department of Computer Science at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering, the Interactive Media Division at the USC School of Cinematic Arts, the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences at the Keck School of Medicine and the USC Davis School of Gerontology.
ICT also has several post-docs and hosts university-level interns each summer.
Notable researchers include:
- Ron Artstein
- Paul Debevec
- Kallirroi Georgila
- Andrew Gordon
- Jonathan Gratch
- Anoton Leuski
- Hao Li
- Gale Lucas
- Albert 'Skip' Rizzo
- Paul Rosenbloom
- Mohammad Soleymani
- Bill Swartout
- David Traum
- Ning Wang
Notable engineers include:
- Edward Fast
- Chirag Merchant
- Kelly Christoffersen
- Nicolai Kalisch
- Mark Core
Sample honors and awards
- Defense Modeling and Simulation Office (DMSO)/National Training Systems Association (NTSA) Outstanding Achievement in Modeling and Simulation Training Award given to the ICT (2000).
- 2001, Paul Debevec receives the SIGGRAPH Significant New Researcher Award
- Army Modeling and Simulation Awards FY08. Distribution Management Cognitive Trainer(DMCT) and Bi-lateral Negotiation (BiLAT) Simulation.
- 2008, Louis-Philippe Morency is named one of "AI's 10 to Watch" by IEEE Intelligent Systems,.
- The Interactive 360 degree Light Field Display (3D Display) was demonstrated at Siggraph 2007, and won the award for "Best Emerging Technology.
- ICT's virtual reality exposure therapy treatment for PTSD was honored with the Best Medical Application award at the 10th Virtual Reality International Conference in Laval, France.
- Bill Swartout - 2009 Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence Robert S. Engelmore Memorial Lecture Award for seminal contributions to knowledge-based systems and explanation, groundbreaking research on virtual human technologies and their applications, and outstanding service to the artificial intelligence community."
- Paul Debevec and collaborators Tim Hawkins, John Monos, and Mark Sagar - 2009 Scientific and Engineering Academy Award®, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts for the design and engineering of the Light Stage capture devices and the image-based facial rendering system developed for character relighting in motion pictures.
- Jon Gratch and Stacy Marsella - 2010 Autonomous Agents Research Award, ACM/SIGART for significant and sustained contributions to autonomous agents and multiagent systems in the area of virtual agents, in particular in emotion modeling and social simulation.
- Albert "Skip" Rizzo and collaborators Barbara Rothbaum, JoAnn Difede and Greg M.Reger - 2010 Award for Outstanding Contributions to Practice in Trauma Psychology, American Psychological Association, Division 56 for their contributions in Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy for PTSD.
- Albert "Skip" Rizzo - 2011 Help Group Summit Professional Achievement Award for "outstanding contribution in the field of VR technology".
- Paul Rosenbloom - Kurzweil Prize for Best Paper at Artificial General Intelligence Conference 2012 for his paper, Deconstructing Reinforcement Learning in Sigma.
- Hao Li - Top 35 innovator under 35 by MIT Technology Review.
- 2018, Hao Li receives Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award.
- Stefan Scherer and Iota Stratou, along with Jill Boberg, Jonathan Gratch, Skip Rizzo and Louis-Phillipe Morency - 2013 Best Paper at IEEE Conference on Automatic Face and Gesture Recognition.
- Ari Shapiro, Evan Suma Rosenberg and collaborators - 2014 Best Research Demo, Honorable Mention at the IEEE Virtual Reality Conference for their research demo Automatic Acquisition and Animation of Virtual Avatars, also known as Fast Avatar Capture.
- USC's Standard Patient - 2015 Serious Play Conference Winner of Gold Medal in Healthcare
- ELITE SHARP CTT - 2016 Office of Personnel Management Federal Executive Board (FEB) Innovation of the Year Award.
Established in 1999, ICT is a DoD-sponsored University Affiliated Research Center (UARC) working in collaboration with the U.S. Army Research Laboratory to further advance research and development efforts for societal benefit in areas including veterans issues, mental health support, rehabilitation and job training.
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- "Shall We Play a Game?: The Rise of the Military-Entertainment Complex". TRANSCEND Media Service. Retrieved 2018-12-31.
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