The intelligence of machines and the branch of computer science which aims to create it

Artificial Intelligence Journal

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MADRID, Spain, Jan. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- The Spanish National Organization for the Blind (ONCE) recently announced the winner of the Fourth International R & D Award in New Technologies for the Blind and Visually Impaired. Developed by the Spanish company Robotiker-Tecnalia, the winning entry is a software program that enables the blind and visually impaired to read information displayed on screens -- such as supermarket displays, microwaves, and digital clocks -- by means of a portable device. A pioneering and unique initiative, the R & D competition provides a $310,000 (euro 240,000) award to the top technological development that helps the blind and visually impaired function more effectively in a sighted world. According to Cesar Nombela, Professor of Microbiology at the Universidad Complutense of Madrid and President of the Experts' Committee -- the body that re... (more)

Exclusive Q&A with Mike Milinkovich, Eclipse Foundation

"We continue to struggle a bit with what developers think “Eclipse” means. They have heard of it, but they believe that we are entirely focused on Java tools when in fact we are doing so much more," says Mike Milinkovich, Executive Director of the Eclipse Foundation, in this exclusive Q&A with Jeremy Geelan. "Our goals at Eclipse are to create an industrial-strength open source development platform that spans extensible tools, frameworks and runtimes," adds Milinkovich - pictured here during a previous Webcast on SYS-CON.TV from our Times Square studio. Eclipse Developer's Journal: May 20th marked your 4th anniversary as the Executive Director of the Eclipse Foundation. What have been the biggest changes in the Eclipse ecosystem in that time? Mike Milinkovich: I believe the biggest change is the breadth of the projects that are happening at Eclipse today, and the eco... (more)

An Exclusive JDJ Interview With Sun's Jonathan Schwartz

Java developers will have noticed in the past few weeks that Sun has already begun to crank up a new "unified" approach to its software business. Sun gave JDJ an exclusive chance to ask questions, offering you the reader the opportunity to ask Jonathan Schwartz, the dynamic young executive VP of Sun's new Software Group, what's going on at Sun. : I've been working exclusively with Java since its birth. I'm a big fan, especially of Sun's Java. However, this past year I noticed that Sun's stock wasn't doing well. Many people, Microsoft folks included, have started to claim that Sun won't be around in five years. I'm really concerned; I know Java will be fine because of broad support from the industry, but I would like to see the creator of Java always be the leader of Java. : Sun has plenty of staying power. We are coming off a seasonal low per... (more)

iPhone Is Safe No "gPhone" Coming From Google

The on-again, off-again Google Phone or "gPhone" rumors are likely to come to halt for the forseeable future. That's because Google's Head of Research since 2006, Dr Peter Norvig, has told journalists in the UK that he doesn't think Google has any research ambition toward hardware, saying: "You know we want to work everywhere and be neutral. That neutrality is important." Norvig said in an interview that the biggest projects Google Research has right now are in machine translation and speech recognition, computer vision and face recognition, team recognition and so on. gPhone or not, Norvig confirmed the importance of the mobile aspect of computing to Google: "It’s clear mobile computing is going to become more important. We’re starting to see new platforms like the iPhone that are interesting, and it’s going to be an issue of infrastructure and har... (more)

Programming Neural Networks in Java

Computers can perform many operations a lot faster than humans. However, there are many tasks in which the computer falls considerably short. One such task is the interpretation of graphic information. A preschool child can easily tell the difference between a cat and a dog, but this simple problem confounds today's computers. In the field of computer science, artificial intelligence attempts to give computers human abilities. One of the primary means by which computers are endowed with humanlike abilities is through the use of a neural network, which the human brain is the ultimate example of. The human brain consists of a network of over a billion interconnected neurons. These are individual cells that can process small amounts of information and then activate other neurons to continue the process. However, the term neural network, as it's normally used, is actua... (more)

XML, Ontologies, and the Semantic Web

If [computer networking] were a traditional science, Berners-Lee would win a Nobel Prize," Eric Schmidt, CEO of Novell, once commented. Indeed, Tim Berners-Lee revolutionized the world when he created the Web in 1991. Now, he is talking about the second generation of the Web, and his talks are generating buzz...the W3C is establishing standards for it, and universities, companies, and industry consortiums are building the technologies necessary for it. He refers to it as the Semantic Web. The Semantic Web is envisaged as a place where data can be shared and processed by automated tools as well as by people. The key lies in the automation and integration of processes through machine-readable languages. In order to leverage and link the vast amounts of information available on the Web, software agents must be able to comprehend the information, i.e., the data must be... (more)

Behind the Scenes, SANta Claus Global Cloud Story

Cloud Expo New York There is a ton of discussion, stories, articles, videos, conferences and blogs about the benefits and value proposition of cloud computing. Not to mention, discussion or debates about what is or what is not a cloud or cloud product, service or architecture including some perspectives and polls from me. [Santa Photo Via ABC news] Now SANta does not really care about these and other similar debates I have learned. However he is concerned with who has been naughty and nice as well watching out for impersonators or members of his crew who misbehave. In the spirit of the holidays, how about a quick look at how SANta leverages cloud technologies to support his global operations. Many in IT think that SANta bases his operations out of the North Pole as it is convenient for him to cool all of his servers, storage, networks and telecom equipment (which ... (more)

A Profile of the Mad Prophet of Free Software

Free as in Freedom: Richard Stallman's Crusade for Free Software, by Sam Williams. Sebastopol, CA: O'Reilly & Associates, 2002. 225 pages. $22.95 Richard Stallman is easily the most controversial figure associated with Linux and the open source movement. And the controversy begins with this very terminology. Stallman, fairly or not, believes the operating system is and should be called GNU/Linux, and the movement that he is a part of is not favoring "open source" but "free software." For those of you just getting acquainted, Stallman is the founder of the Free Software Foundation and the GNU Project, the creator of the GNU C Compiler, and the emacs text editor. He is also the father of the GNU General Public License. He is firm in his belief that proprietary and restrictive software licenses, and the non-disclosure agreements that underpin them, are Evil and counter... (more)

Who Should Be America's First CTO?

Add Your Own Nomination Here... Eric Schmidt? Bill Joy? Steve Ballmer? Bruce Schneier? Ray Kurzweil? Richard Stallman? Vint Cerf? Mitch Kapor? Tom Perkins? As former IAC executive Julius Genachowski was appointed last week to President Elect Obama's transition team, speculation is growing as to the possibility that Genachowski or someone like him may one day soon become the country's first Chief Technology Officer. Barack Obama's transition team also includes Sonal Shah of Google.org and Donald Gips, VP of corporate strategy and development for Level 3 Communications. The notion of a CTO was first raised in Obama's Tech and Innovation Plan, produced by a group that was chaired by Genachowski. In his Presidential announcement speech in Springfield, IL, back in 2007, Obama said: "Let us be the generation that reshapes our economy to compete in the digital age. Let's se... (more)

BusinessWeek Piece on Cloud Computing Misses The Point

Steve Hamm (@stevehamm31) of BusinessWeek - pictured below -got a big article on #cloudcomputing into last week’s issue.  It rightly points out that cloud computing is the big thing and will keep us busy for the next 10 years.  Unfortunately, a lot of the article is misleading or missing key context. His first example cited is Avon’s use of a smartphone- and PC-accessible system for connecting Avon’s 150,000 “sales leaders” with their reps (sales leaders are the consultants who recruit and run other consultants/reps and get a cut of the “upline” commission).  Nothing in the article explains how this is a “cloud computing” solution.  Remote/mobile accessible applications have been around almost as long as the Internet.  The article doesn’t say, but I suspect that the system serving up all this info is a traditionally developed and deployed one sitting inside the Avo... (more)

Google Counter-Attacks AskJeeves With Emerging "Google Q&A" Service

If you type "Where is Brazzaville?" into your Google search box, the first entry it will return is an answer: "Location: Republic of the Congo" - followed, of course, by a hyperlink verifying that answer. AskJeeves.com had better look to its laurels, "Google Q&A" has emerged to one day beat it at its own game. Although not listed on its Google Labs page, "Google Q&A" is a functionality that Peter Norvig, the artificial intelligence guru who is Google's director of search quality, confirms has now been built in to Google. Currently the Google Q&A functionality works only on www.google.com but not on the international sites. Also, it is as yet sporadic, in that many questions do not spawn answers. "Does sex sell?" for example doesn't generate an answer, and nor does "Will hell freeze over?" - but Google cleverly returns instead a top-line plug for another of its servic... (more)