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A Danceable CCI Research Update from VCU's Kate Sicchio

Kate Sicchio’s research assistants Taylor Colimore, VCU kinetic imaging major, and Tamara Denson, VCU dance major, are working on movement to capture for the CCI project. The research will also be used in a dance performance the research team is creating to premiere this fall. Photo courtesy of Kate Sicchio.

Kate Sicchio’s research assistants Taylor Colimore, VCU kinetic imaging major, and Tamara Denson, VCU dance major, are working on movement to capture for the CCI project. The research will also be used in a dance performance the research team is creating to premiere this fall.
Kate Sicchio’s research assistants Taylor Colimore, VCU kinetic imaging major, and Tamara Denson, VCU dance major, are working on movement to capture for the CCI project. The research will also be used in a dance performance the research team is creating to premiere this fall. Photo courtesy of Kate Sicchio.

Keeping up with Virginia Commonwealth University's Kate Sicchio

It's exciting to follow research in progress. The Commonwealth Cyber Initiative is checking in with Kate Sicchio, assistant professor of Dance and Media Technologies at Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts. She recently shared some photos and a video of the project.

Sicchio is the principal investigator for CCI-funded “Moving Choreography to a New Universe: an AI-Driven Privacy Automation Approach.” 

Sicchio’s research is part of the CCI Building Bridges Arts and Design Collaboration Program, which was created to engage the community of researchers in arts and design to reimagine and depict the results of cybersecurity research either for scientific or creative arts purposes. 

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The video shows Sicchio’s research assistant Tamara Denson, a VCU dance major, being motion tracked for the CCI project.  Sicchio’s team is collecting movement data to see how they can potentially train AI to be used to protect the identity of those being tracked. 

As explained in the abstract: when developing choreography using technology, a legacy is left beyond the ephemeral material of movement. There are libraries of data such as photos, motion capture data or even biofeedback from sensors. How can this data still be used and not breach privacy concerns of dancers and performers who may not realize the longevity of the data they have provided, or the implications of future uses of this data? This project aims to develop an AI algorithm-driven deep learning framework to detect, identify, extract the dancer bodies in specific dancing scenes, and use the generative adversarial network (GAN) model to cover-up and translate the image to protect the privacy of the dancer.

Sicchio is collecting movement data to see how the team can potentially train AI to protect the identity of those being tracked. The research will also be featured in a dance performance the research team plans to premiere this fall. Sicchio’s research assistants––Tamara Denson, VCU dance major, and Taylor Colimore, VCU kinetic imaging major––are helping to bring the project to life. 

The project’s co-principal investigators are Yan Lu, research assistant professor, Virginia, Modeling, Analysis and Simulation Center (VMASC), Old Dominion University; Sachin Shetty, executive director of the Center for Secure & Intelligent Critical Systems at the VMASC.

CCI worked in partnership with the Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology at VT and the Da Vinci Center at VCU to create the program. Ben Knapp, founding director of ICAT, and Allison Schumacher, director of academic alchemy at the da Vinci Center, have been instrumental.  

dancers on stage
Tamara Denson, VCU dance major, and Kate Sicchio, VCU dance and media technologies assistant professor, work with dancers to prepare for CCI project. Photo courtesy of Kate Sicchio.