Dr. Anthony Brooks is Associate Professor and senior researcher at Aalborg University, Denmark. He is referred to as a third culture thinker and a world leading pioneer in applying digital media towards improving the lives of people of determination aimed at offering an unlocking of hidden potentials. His research has been referred to as unique in (re)habilitation and has been awarded international and national awards and honours.
Brooks’ over three decades body of work titled SoundScapes has been presented globally and he has been responsible for approximately 240 publications including a three-volume book series focused on Technologies for Inclusive Well-Being. His other books, articles, papers, and chapters cover topics related to contemporary (re)habilitation including:- design, interactivity, sensor technologies, games, computer-generated environments, learning, creative expression, play, innovation, human-computer-interaction, alternative realities, artificial intelligence, art and technology and more. Amongst the aims of Brooks’ research is to impact life quality, dignity, wellbeing, independence, and sense of self-efficacy. A focus is on designing and personalising interactive environments that support afferent-efferent neural feedback loop closure that achieve ‘aesthetic resonance’ from empowering individuals to create, play, and enjoy. Novel digital technology act as means to create music, create images, play games, control robots, and more towards increased happiness. Such experiences are targeted from the designs that enable healthcare staff/medical professionals, family and friends to identify nuances of wellbeing progression from within the interactive environments that differ from traditional intervention strategies. Tailoring of each environment is aligned with Health 4.0 and Health 5.0 and according to each individual’s abilities.
Specific to Down Syndrome, at the turn of the century, Brooks presented at the United Nations headquarters in New York for representatives of UN Down Syndrome organizations. His research work and artistic endeavours around the world has involved individuals with Down Syndrome and these exchanges will be briefly presented in his talk at the World Congress.
Under Aalborg University, since 2004, Brooks has been director/founder of the ‘SensoramaLab” Complex (including Virtual Reality, HCI, Interactive Games, and Playful Learning). Since 2003 he has been a founding team-member of the ‘Medialogy education’ (Bsc, Msc, PhD) within which he has been section leader, lecturer, coordinator, supervisor, and study board member. Aligned, he has also been lecturer, supervisor, coordinator and study board member for the ‘Art and Technology education’ (BA). His volunteering has involved visiting numerous eastern European countries recruiting international students, leading to the Medialogy education growing to be the largest number of student intake numbers across three campuses.
Amongst Brooks’ numerous credits are that he has been a coordination board member of the European Network for Intelligent Information Interfaces (i3net) since 1996 and has been active working for the European Commission and other international funding organizations as evaluator, rapporteur, and expert reviewer. He was also a member of the Global Education Team (GET) presenting around the world.
His research within (re)habilitation has been catalyst responsible for numerous externally funded international and national projects as well as an industry start-up company, and a family of patents. An emergent model under a unique hybrid synthesis methodology has also resulted toward supporting therapists, facilitators, families and each individual.
Originating from Wales, born into a family with disabled members, at an early age he ‘invented’ alternative solutions for adaptive accessibility and creative ‘control’ of stimuli. In the 1980s he created bespoke instruments and volumetric invisible sensing systems for unencumbered gesture-control of digital media to stimulate meaningful causal interactions that could typically be tailored to individuals, their needs, preferences and desires alongside the outcome goals of facilitators, therapists, educators etc.
Brooks’ art was first featured at the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) in 1979. More recently, he was first artist in residence at the Centre for Advanced Visualisation and Interactivity (CAVI) at Aarhus University, Denmark at the end of 1990s. Brooks has been featured at major events around the world, including the cultural events at two Olympic/Paralympics (Atlanta 1996; Sydney 2000), numerous European Cultural capital showcases, COEX Seoul, Korea in 2004, and also at underground events such as the Danish NeWave in New York city 1999. His interactive art installations have been exhibited at numerous renown Museums of Modern Art (MoMAs) where he insisted on special closed events for specific communities of people of determination when the venue was usually closed.
Brooks has been plenary keynote speaker at over twenty international events and he is Danish representative for UNESCO’s International Federation for Information Processing (IFIP) Technical committee (WG14) on “Entertainment Computing” – specifically under work groups WG14.7 “Art and Entertainment”; WG14.8 “Serious Games”, and WG 14.9 “Game Accessibility”. He has been active internationally as a PhD viva examiner over many years. Under the European Alliance for Innovation (EAI) he has steered the International Conference ArtsIT [Arts & Technology, Interactivity and Game Creation] since 2009 (see http://artsit.org ). Brooks’ university profile is at – https://vbn.aau.dk/da/persons/103302
Brooks has a vision of what he refers to as “Probably the best (re)habilitation complex in the world” posited being located at networked future smart cities where secured learning and sharing of experiences can emerge across cultures and languges and where advanced technologies are implemented toward improving wellbeing and quality-of-life potentials for people of determination and others. This vision will be presented to close Brooks’ talk at the Congress.