Centre for Civil Society and Governance of The University of Hong Kong and Meta announced the winners of the AR/VR Policy Research in the Asia Pacific region, an initiative to help nurture solution-focused research on responsible development and application of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technologies. This includes identifying positive approaches to inform related policy, addressing technical challenges, ultimately giving people the power to build communities and bringing the world closer together. The Request for Proposals (RFP) reaffirms the Centre’s and Meta’s vision of building strong collaborations among policymakers, experts and industry partners to develop metaverse for the society’s well-being.
The RFP was launched in August 2022 and applicants were asked to submit proposals that look into a few key areas of AR and VR, such as Economic opportunity, Privacy, Safety and integrity, Equity and inclusion, and New Use Cases. More than 60 proposals were received from 15 countries and cities across the region, and shortlisted candidates were reviewed by a selection committee. The Committee, chaired by Professor Wai-fung Lam, Director of Centre for Civil Society and Governance, and comprising academics and professionals from diverse backgrounds, have exerted their best effort in selecting excellent proposals. The grants are awarded to six winners from six countries and cities.
“Overwhelming response was received for the RFP. We have received proposals from technological advancement, ethical application to implications on laws and regulations. This reflects the keen interest in the academia and research community in the region to pursue multi-disciplinary investigation on the wide range themes of AR/VR,” said Professor Wai-fung Lam, Director of Centre for Civil Society and Governance, The University of Hong Kong.
“While the metaverse promises to unlock a whole new range of economic and social opportunities and it’s only in the early stage of development. The metaverse is not going to be built by a single company; it requires collaboration amongst policymakers, experts and industry partners,” Raina Yeung, Head of Privacy and Data Policy, Engagement, APAC at Meta said. “At Meta, we want to ensure the technologies that we use to build the metaverse are safe, secure and accessible to everyone. We’re delighted to have received strong proposal ideas from researchers across Asia-Pacific who are keen to explore how we can build the metaverse responsibly. Congratulations to the award recipients, and thank you to the Centre for Civil Society and Governance of The University of Hong Kong for the partnership. We look forward to learning more from the research insights.”
Winners of the AR/VR Policy Research in the Asia Pacific Region*
- Elderly users’ speech perception and listening effort in virtual acoustics
Dr. Justine Hui (University of Auckland, New Zealand)
- Federated learning for privacy-preserving AI in Metaverse
Dr. Edith Ngai (The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong)
- Persuasive Communication of Safety in the Metaverse to Children and Youth
Dr. Dion Hoe Lian Goh (Nanyang Technological University, Singapore)
- Regulating Sexual VAWs in Metaverse: An Interdisciplinary Diagnosis
Dr. Dyah Pitaloka (Monash University Malaysia, Malaysia)
- Safety and boundary in a shared metaverse—a cross-cultural investigation
Dr. JihHsuan Tammy Lin (National ChengChi University, Taiwan)
- Virtual Presence Beyond the Visual: A Metaverse for the Visually Impaired
Dr. Panote Siriaraya (Kyoto Institute of Technology, Japan)
*Only the Principal investigators are listed
The full list of winners of the AR/VR Policy Research in the Asia Pacific Region is now available at research.fb.com and CCSG website. For more details about the research initiative, please visit the website: https://ccsg.hku.hk/meta-ar-vr-policy-research-request-for-proposals-for-the-asia-pacific-region/
There are 4 other research proposals that are funded separately by Meta and the Centre and will be implemented alongside with the winning projects. These include:
- Disability in the Metaverse
Dr. Marcus Carter (University of Sydney, Australia)
- The Metaverse: Vehicle for Aboriginal Digital Self-Determination & Wellness
Mr. Jasper Jerome Garay (University of Sydney, Australia)
- Nudging for sustainability behaviour through immersive technology
Dr. Jessica M. Williams (The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong)
- VR Ethics: Expert Evaluations and Behavioral Insights
Dr. Kwan Nok Chan (The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong)
A number of knowledge exchange events have been planned, including an online workshop to be organized by CCSG and the Metaverse Conference to be organized by SNU AIIS in 2023. These events aim to bring together members of interested stakeholders and the winners of this Research Initiative to discuss on the AR and VR technologies.
CCSG and Meta wish to thank all entities who submitted a proposal and congratulate the winners.
About Tech for Good Initiative (TGI)