Keynote Speakers

Dr Gabriel Brostow

Reader in Computer Science
University College London (UCL), UK

Gabriel Brostow is an Associate Professor (Reader) at University College London. His group specializes in Human-in-the-Loop computer vision, where the applications span different areas of vision applied for scientific exploration, and vision applied for computer graphics. He received his PhD from Georgia Tech, and has worked at Cambridge University and ETH Zurich, before starting his group at UCL. He is an Associate Editor for IEEE PAMI, co-program chair for the British Machine Vision Conference 2017, and Area Chair for IEEE CVPR.16/.17 and ECCV 2016.

Learning to Predict 3D Volume or Depth From a Single View

A single glimpse is hardly enough to triangulate the 3D shapes of a scene. However, training examples are readily available, so statistical models can be trained to map appearance to shape. The details matter, because 3D shapes have different representations and can have many degrees of freedom, and training data is rarely as clean as we'd wish.

I will present two separate learning based methods for shape reconstruction, developed by my team at UCL. In the first, we propose an algorithm that can complete the unobserved geometry of tabletop-sized objects from a single depth-image. This approach is based on a supervised model trained on already available volumetric elements. In the second, instead of a depth-image as input we have just an RGB image, from which we predict a depth image. This is a Convolutional Neural Network based method that exploits epipolar geometry constraints to learn depth-prediction from binocular pairs, to overcome the absence of good ground truth depth data. The two systems are not joined, because there is still more exciting work to be done!

Dr Sylvester Arnab

Reader in Game Science
Disruptive Media Learning Lab (DMLL), Coventry University, UK

Dr. Sylvester Arnab is a Reader in Game Science at Coventry University, co-leading research at the Disruptive Media Learning Lab (DMLL). With more than 10 years research experience in simulation, serious games and gamification combined, his research interests include gameful, playful and persuasive designs that transform ordinary tasks into extraordinary experiences. Sylvester is currently coordinating projects funded by the EU Commission, HEFCE and NEWTON, such as the Horizon 2020 BEACONING project, HEFCE GameChangers and NEWTON CreativeCulture. He is also leading DMLL’s contribution to the H2020 C4Rs project. He currently has over 80 publications and has a portfolio with a total value of in excess of £7 million research funding. He is consistently ranked in the top 10 of the Gamification Guru Power 100 (Rise.Global). He delivers regular keynotes at national and international events related to serious games, gamification and technology-enhanced learning.

Hybrid learning powered by play

There is a need to harness the potential of a hybrid space in teaching and learning as digital and physical experiences are merging and it is essential that the experience empowers the minds and practices, bridges formal and informal contexts and deepens the learning process. This talk will touch on the potential of playful and gameful approaches for extending engagement to formal methods as an important means for promoting anytime anywhere and lifelong learning and, subsequently, for reshaping learning to better match the needs of the 21st century knowledge economies and open societies. To support this extension, it is important for educational institutions to evaluate and possibly re-design how formal spaces are being used in teaching and learning and how digital platforms can help facilitate delivery, application and assessment of learning in informal context. The talk will also describe existing initiatives, such as the GameChangers programme ( and the EU funded Beaconing project (

Professor Paul Coulton

Professor of Speculative and Game Design
Lancaster University, UK

Paul Coulton a Chair of Speculative and Game Design within Lancaster University’s open and exploratory, design-led research lab, Imagination Lancaster. His research largely falls into what is known as Game Studies, an area of research that deals with the critical study of digital and non-digital games. More specifically, it focuses on game design, players and their role in society and culture. This activity is embodied as ‘research through design’ and, in particular, to the speculative design of novel, hybrid, physical/digital interactive games, playful experiences, and artefacts. Some of this research is conducted using techniques he helped pioneer and relates to an, 'situated' evaluation methodology utilising 'app stores' and social networks as an experimental platforms. This element of his work has led to international recognition by industry as well as academia in that he was selected as one of 50 most talented mobile developers worldwide from a community of over 2 million to be a founding Nokia Champion and the first academic invited to speak at the mobile section of the Game Developers Conference. Increasingly, his work encompasses the consideration of interaction design as rhetoric across a range of application areas and increasingly the use of Design Fiction as a way of exploring technological futures for areas such as the Internet of Things.

Using Games to Explore Futures

As games are inherently about exploring alternative worlds in this talk I proposes the utilisation of games as a medium for speculative design through which players can explore scenarios that represent plausible alternative presents and speculative futures I will discuss this in relation to futures orientated design practices such as Design Fiction, Speculative Design, and Critical Design alongside complimentary research areas in games studies such as Critical Play, Persuasive Games, and Procedural Rhetoric to create a frame for using games as speculative design practice. The aim of this design frame is to create games that foster debate and facilitate productive future practice through which designers can develop games that encourage user reflection by enabling players to reflect upon the complex challenges the world now faces.