February 2004

The February 2004 newsletter is really a companion piece for the January 2004 newsletter. January discussed fuzzy logic and its usefulness for control systems, and included discussions of some simple examples. This month鈥檚 newsletter has the code used for the experiments in January. It is a fuzzy logic laboratory intended for modification and experimentation. The full code for the system is included in the newsletter, but if you are interested in getting the files directly, send me an e-mail....

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Janaury 2004

Errata It appears for the past few months, my e-mail address has stopped working, so I apologize for ignoring any correspondence during that time. Seeing as it needs fixing, and our Internet guru advises using contact sheets. For those who asked for the prototype code for the disease interaction system described in the December 2004 newsletter, please ask again. As before, that鈥檚 a work in progress and I welcome all feedback and comments....

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December 2003

Errata A few newsletters back I promised to only cut and paste working code in newsletters. I messed up again, sigh. The prices are wrong in the rules in the newsletter. As one reader pointed out, the rule-based approach is just as error prone as other methods. (the error has been fixed in the archive version. ed) Actually, its my cut and pasting that鈥檚 flawed. I decided to change the prices midstream and failed to put the new prices in the rules in the newsletter, but ran the example from the updated rules on my machine....

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November 2003

Rules Business rules is the current term for a type of knowledge that is knotty to automate. The type of knowledge it refers to is logical knowledge, as distinct from factual knowledge or procedural knowledge. Factual knowledge is exactly that, and it can very naturally be stored in a computer because a computer鈥檚 basic architecture includes memory, both internal and external, that is ideally suited to storing factual information. Database tools and the constructs in programming languages that describe facts have evolved naturally from computer memory....

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October 2003

RoboCup News The RoboCup-2003 competitions were held in Padua Italy in July. There were a number of levels of competition, from simulation, with no real robots, up to humanoid. Humanoid robots just compete at penalty kicks and the like at this point. Each year the rules of the competitions are upgraded to reflect the improved capabilities of the robot competitors, so I suspect the rules for humanoid robots will gradually evolve to the stated RoboCup goal of fielding a robotic team that can beat a human one....

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September 2003

I鈥檝e been meaning to add code corners to the last few newsletters but hadn鈥檛 found the time. So this newsletter will be all about building the types of AI systems discussed in the last few issues. In other words, this is an issue for those who want to roll up their sleeves and create their own AI systems. The two types of AI application studied are chat bots (July 2003 newsletter) and ontologies (June 2003 newsletter)....

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August 2003

Semantic Web Clearly an interesting thing to do with the Internet is to create robots that can search out answers to questions. Suppose you wanted to find out who was the editor the Dr. Dobb鈥檚 AI Expert Newsletter. Any human could answer that question in a minute or less by finding the DDJ Web site, clicking on newsletters and scanning down for the AI Expert description. How would we write a program that could answer the same question?...

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July 2003

Can Machines Think? Turing Test In 1950 Alan Turing published Computing Machinary and Intelligence in the quarterly journal, Mind. Thanks to the Internet, its now easy to read this original article that is still to this day one of the defining works in AI. It is a great read. In it he asked the question 鈥淐an machines think?鈥. And he proposed a simple test. If a human conversed, via keyboard, with a machine and with a human, and could not tell which was which, then that machine could be called 鈥渋ntelligent鈥....

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June 2003

Feedback One reader asked if Prolog was psychic and could tell that Price and PriceCents were the same in this example. Unfortunately psychic versions are only available at advanced wizardry research institutions. Normal programmers have to spell all their variables the same. price(StartHour, DurationMinutes, PriceCents) :- StartHour < 7, StartHour > 16, Price is Duration * 10. (The error has been fixed in the archive version, plus the additional error that 8pm is 20:00 not 16:00....

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May 2003

Middle East A classic story tells of blind men describing an elephant, each with his own ideas based on which part of the elephant he was touching. In my work providing software for educational institutions I get to touch the Middle East. I鈥檝e recently touched, via the Internet, students in Iran and Israel. They all seem alike to this blind observer鈥揵right students enjoying the challenges of implementing AI projects. It was Iranian students that sparked my interest in RoboCup soccer, and Israeli students that sparked my interest in the complexities of parsing bi-directional language....

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