Monday, May 18, 2009

Sethanne Howard's research on the history of women in science

Just become aware of astronomer Dr. Sethanne Howard's book Hidden Giants, "the story of over 4,000 years of women in science and technology with short bios of over 400 women from our technical past" (

Both men and women have been active in science for thousands of years: "the very first technical name was male - Imhotep - the architect of the first pyramid. The second technical name was female - En Hedu'Anna (c.2354 BCE). Certainly women were questioners and thinkers long before that", from Dr Howard's website 4000 Years of Women in Science.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Wolfram Alpha Computational Knowledge Engine

Just made a couple of tests with, what I call WAKE -Wolfram's Alpa Knowledge Engine. It's an expert system that school children will enjoy, because they'll be able to ask it for answers to assignments across a number of topics, including mathematics, statistics and analysis, physics, chemistry, engineering, earth and life sciences. It is very different from Google; it's challenging Wikipedia.

Of course WAKE is an ongoing project, the launch is part of a process. It will be interesting to test it regularly, to find what new knowledge becomes part of the knowledge system, and what remains excluded. I asked it 'Who is Alan Turing?' - the system presented minimum details of his birth/death dates, but nothing of his contribution to world knowledge. I also asked it 'Who is Imran Khan?' - WAKE is unacquainted with the legendary cricketer-wannabe-leader-of-troubled-Pakistan, it answered
Related inputs to try:
Chemistry:igran Countries:Who

The engine's currently stalled on 'city' Lahore, after detailing map, population, etc., for Buenos Aires.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Wolfram | Alpha Search/Knowledge Engine Launch

Wolfram | Alpha Knowledge Engine (WAKE) launches today, May 15, 2009.

Read how scientist and inventor, Stephen Wolfram's knowledge engine is designed to work here.

WAKE demonstration

Webcast Launch here.

Will Wolfram's new paradigm in Internet search aid learning, improve research, or assist plagiarism? Anyone use Preview Seek? Wasn't that engine touted to rival Google?

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Honda's Humanoid Robots Learning to Behave

Prof. Edgar Körner, President of Honda's Europe research institute presented the IET 2009 Tustin Lecture last Thursday, 7 May 2009

Apart from learning that Asimo robot's control includes use of joysticks, Professor Körner enlightened on his research team's approach at Honda to intelligence: as a "technology and strategy for robust and flexible problem-solving in short time" and treat the brain as a "dynamical control system for organising behaviour and predict outcome of more specific behaviours" with the essence of any intelligent system is the "control of learning".

More here.

Asimo image from November 2003 issue of JOM: Personification: The Materials Science and Engineering of Humanoid Robots.

Humanoid Robots: Learning to Behave: UKACC and IET Tustin Lecture 2009

By Prof. Dr. Edgar Korner, President, Honda Research Institute Europe GmbH

From: Tustin Lecture 2009

2009-05-07 05:20:44.0 Control & Automation Channel

>> go to webcast>> recommend to friend

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Inspiring Young Scientists

University of Reading's Professor Kevin Warwick inspires young scientists:

"University of Reading's Professor Kevin Warwick .... cited as being the inspiration of the National Young Scientist of the Year, Peter Hatfield"

From here.

Can a machine think? Report on the Turing tests in Loebner Prize 2008

How Loebner 2008 Prize judges determined that the artificial agents were not thinking (in the human sense) included:

1. ...the ACE did not make spelling mistakes in contrast to the hidden-humans ... this is a "fairly key signifier of human-ness"

2. ... 'speed of response' and 'length of utterance': If an entity replied very quickly with a long sentence, or asked a question in response to a question, it was more likely to be a machine; whereas if a discussion developed with a hidden entity answering ... questions, then they were likely to be human.

Another judge correctly identified the gender of hidden-humans, against whom the artificial conversational agents were compared:

.. male as "less conversational (short answers, to the point)" and female hidden-humans as "quite happy to tell me a lot about themselves and their life".

From the organisers' report on Loebner Prize 2008, with ACE finalist's average scores here.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Handbook of Research on Synthetic Emotions and Sociable Robotics

Now released, Handbook of Research on Synthetic Emotions and Sociable Robotics: New Applications in Affective Computing and Artificial Intelligence

Edited by:
Jordi Vallverdú, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain
David Casacuberta, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, Spain

Information below from here:

Topics Covered:
Affective computing
Agent based computational economics
Artificial intelligence
Automatic detection of emotions
Autonomous cognitive systems
Emotional modeling
Emotional memory and adaptive personalities
Facial expression analysis
Goal and task selection for social robots
Personality and emotions in robotics
Synthetic emotions

Section I: Recognizing Emotions
Section II: Emotional Social Robots
Section III: Philosophical Questions
Section IV: Modelling Emotions
Section V: Applied Artificial Emotions (Shah & Warwick, Chapter XVII - Emotion in the Turing Test)
Section VI: Ambient Emotion

Decades of scientific research on neurophysiology have proven emotions are not simply a minor aspect of human activity, but rather a fundamental one.
The Handbook of Research on Synthetic Emotions and Sociable Robotics: New Applications in Affective Computing and Artificial Intelligence focuses on the integration of emotions into artificial environments such as computers and robotics. Written by an international collaboration of experts within the field, this Handbook of Research covers topics such as emotion simulation and emotion synthetic development.

Key Features:
Over 20 authoritative contributions by the world’s leading experts in syntheic emotions and
Comprehensive coverage of each specific topic, highlighting recent trends and describing the latest advances in the field
Over 1,250 references to existing literature and research on syntheic emotions and robotics
A compendium of 145 key terms with detailed definitions
Organized by topic and indexed, making it a convenient method of reference for all IT/IS scholars and professionals
Cross-referencing of key terms, figures, and information pertinent to syntheic emotions and robotics

Publications to date

Book Chapters

Emotion in the Turing Test: A Downward Trend for Machines in Recent Loebner Prizes. In (Eds, Vallverdú. & D. Casacuberta): Handbook of Research on Synthetic Emotions and Sociable Robotics: New Applications in Affective Computing and Artificial Intelligence. Publisher: Information Science Reference, USA, ISBN: 978-1-60566-354-8, May 2009 (With K. Warwick)

Constraining Random Dialogue in a Modern Eliza in (Ed) SCHMIDT C.T.A. (forthcoming) Essays on Computers and Philosophy: From Man Through to Artefacts to Man AAAI / MIT (With K. Warwick)

Journal Papers

Testing Turing’s five-minutes, parallel-paired imitation game. Submitted to Kybernetes journal February 2009 (With K. Warwick)

ALICE.: an ACE in Digitaland. TRIPLEC: Cognition, Communication and Co-operation - Selected Papers from the 2005 European Computing and Philosophy Conference. Vol. 4 No. 2, pp 284-292, 2006

Conference Presentations

Is Understanding over-rated? Accepted for presentation at the 2009 European Conference for Computing and Philosophy (ECAP 2009), UAB Barcelona, July 2-4, 2009 (With K. Warwick)

Can a Machine Tell a Joke? presented at the 2008 European Computing and Philosophy conference, Montpellier, France, June 16 -18, 2008 (With K. Warwick and R. Carpenter)

Turing Test: Mindless Game? – A reflection on the Loebner Prize presented at the 2007 European Computing and Philosophy conference, University of Twente, Enschede, The Netherlands, June 21-23, 2007 (With K. Warwick)

Chatterbox Challenge 2005: Geography of a Modern Eliza Proceedings of 3rd International Workshop on Natural Language Understanding and Cognitive Science – NLUCS 2006 in conjunction with ICEIS 2006, Paphos, Cyprus, ISBN: 972-8865-50-3 pp 133-138, May 2006

Text-based Dialogical E-Query Systems: Gimmick or Convenience? Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on Speech and Computers (SPECOM), Patras, Greece ISBN: 5-7452-0110-X, Vol. II pp 425-428, October 17-19, 2005 (With V. Pavlika)

ALICE.: an ACE in Digitaland presented at the 2005 European Computing and Philosophy Conference Mälardalens, Sweden June 2 - 4, 2005

Confederate Effect in Human-Machine Textual Interaction Proceedings of 5th WSEAS Int. Conf. on Information Science, Communications and Applications (WSEAS ISCA), Cancun, Mexico, ISBN: 960-8457-22-X, pp 109-114, May 11– 14, 2005 (With O. Henry)