October 2015
Thessaloniki, Greece (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki)

Sound, Semantics and Social Interaction

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Sound, Semantics and Social Interaction

Sound prevails in most aspects of contemporary human communication, interaction, experience and expressiveness. Nowadays, audio is a basic ingredient of multimodal content that is massively interchanged through interacting producers and users within the Web2.0 environment and beyond.

This explosion in the use of audio has been mainly motivated and fueled by the exponential growth of the social media, the vast expansion of user-generated content, and the domination of smartphones, tablets and other mobile and wearable technologies. Sound can engage, inform, narrate, dramatize, shape the atmosphere, stimulate emotions, attract attention and create adventure. Audio modalities are part of infotainment services, interactive documentaries and non-linear stories, e-learning environments, TV-series, movies, games and all kinds of multimedia projects and installations. They are also encountered in more demanding pervasive and semantically enhanced computing services engaging context and location awareness, as well as in virtual and augmented reality human-machine interaction. While sound in all of its forms holds tremendous potential for interaction design and associated implementations, still, the interfacing abilities of contemporary audio have not been fully explored and deployed. Undoubtedly, audio holds a key role in the upcoming trends and services towards the transition to the semantic web i.e. Web3.0, validating once again an old saying deriving from the sound design and film industry: ‘sound is more than half of the picture’.

Nonetheless, interdisciplinary studies of auditory experience open up new areas for scientific and artistic fields, crucial to our understanding of the world, ourselves and everyday life. The hegemony of vision has come to an end and our contemporary noisy life has changed irrevocably current auditory cultures. The development of sound, as an artistic medium beyond the traditional music frameworks, also illustrates new approaches to art, architecture and contemporary culture engaged with a plethora of new methodologies and practices.