i-com 1/2023 released – Special Issue on Conversational Agents

Dear reader!

This first issue in the 23nd year of i-com comes with some news regarding the publication process of the journal.

First, we changed the publication of the journal from color print to online only. Published articles will be available when they have been processed by production in the publishers digital library. 

This change is closely linked to changing the journal to (Golden) Open Access. From 2023 all articles in i-com will be open access. This should greatly extend the visibility of the content published in i-com. Parallel to publishing new material in i-com Open Access only, the publisher has decided to make all articles in i-com before 2023 publicly available. In contrast to putting articles under an Open Access license this does not change anything in the license, but makes the PDFs of all articles from 2001 to 2012 available free of charge. So, not only work published in i-com from 2023 will gain from a higher accessibility, but all work published in i-com from its start. Thanks a lot to the representatives of the publisher for making this possible!

In the first Open Access only issue our guest editors Thomas Ludwig, Philip Weber, Alexander Maedche, Andreas Riener have collected a selection of papers on Conversational Agents. We started planning this special issue before the hype about ChatGPT and similar models started – but could not resist to include references to these recent developments. So, for example the editorial for the special issue was (partly) generated by ChatGPT. Thanks a lot to our guest editors for making the special issue real!

Part of the special issue again is a contribution from the practitioners in our field by Melina Busch, Tim Lindermayer, Klara Schuster, Jonas Zhang and Pia von Terzi. In „Addressing loneliness in the workplace through human-robot interaction” the authors address the topic of social robots in the office context to address loneliness (in the workplace). The article contributes a cultural probes study, an exploration of design possibilities and finally a concept creation and evaluation. The work contributes to Human Robot Interaction research and practice, e.g., by providing design recommendations for the implementation of a social office robot.

I hope you enjoy reading the contributions in this first issue of Volume 22 of i-com – Journal of Interactive Media. 

Michael Koch (Editor-in-Chief)