October 2020 - A Quick Update

A long break, much to talk about After a very long hiatus, the AI Newsletter is back to bring you thought provoking AI discussion. Back when the AI Newsletter first began, AI was in its infancy. Today AI is all around us powering many of the systems we use on a daily basis. Now more than ever, there is a need to discuss AI and our future. We are working on the next issue slated to be published in November 2020....

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July 2006

The Society for the Study of Artificial Intelligence and Simulation of Behaviour According to its home page, the Society was founded in 1964, and is the largest Artificial Intelligence Society in the UK. Activities include giving travel grants, organising conferences, public lectures and other events, and publishing the Interdisciplinary Journal of Artificial Intelligence and the Simulation of Behaviour. You can find out more about the AISB via the home page. My interest here is to point you at its online publications; and you will find these at the end of my links, below....

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June 2006

Introduction Editing this newsletter is a spare-time occupation, and interesting papers pile up faster than I can read them. This would probably happen even were I not spending time on anything else. Isaac Asimov explained in his essay The Sound of Panting that the panting wasn鈥檛 him chasing pretty research students around the room, but merely the sound of trying to keep up with the literature. A much more futile task; and that was in the 1950s....

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May 2006

Coding With Dinosaurs Computer language design is just like a stroll in the park. Jurassic Park, that is. This quote is by Larry Wall. I took it from Swaine鈥檚 World, the website of Michael Swaine, columnist and editor for Dr. Dobbs. It reminds me of a poem which I鈥檝e known for a long time, although I can鈥檛 remember the author: He coded in Fortran like hell, wrote programs with whistle and bell....

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April 2006

Introduction It鈥檚 been said that Shakespeare gave Twelfth Night the alternative title of What You Will because, exhausted by writing the play, he was completely unable to think of anything more informative. Choose whatever title you will, he says: I鈥檝e given up. AI Newsletter isn鈥檛 Shakespeare; but I have the same problem this month. I started by searching for applets to demonstrate computer vision, along the lines of the neural-net applets I explored in March 2005....

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March 2006

Introduction First, apologies for the late appearance of this issue. I had problems with my laptop鈥檚 Internet connection, which meant that I ended up having to remotely edit a backup copy of the Newsletter held on my Web server machine. Anyway, over the past month, I鈥檝e been looking into holes. Actually, I started by learning some immunology, because I鈥檇 intended to write about Artificial Immune Systems. Our immune systems learn. They sometimes learn extremely effectively, as when they protect us from reinfection by childhood diseases such as measles and mumps....

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February 2006

Introduction It鈥檚 a light issue this month, because of competing demands from a forthcoming software demo. So here鈥檚 a selection of AI miscellanea: an assortment of news items (it really is a pity about Aibo), research papers, advice for researchers, and a very nifty applet; a poem, some songs, and stories which demonstrate the need for common sense; not to mention vacuum cleaners on Mars. Next month, I鈥檒l have a feature on some unusual machine-learning techniques....

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January 2006

Fiftienth Anniversary Issue Introduction We propose that a 2 month, 10 man study of artificial intelligence be carried out during the summer of 1956 at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire. The study is to proceed on the basis of the conjecture that every aspect of learning or any other feature of intelligence can in principle be so precisely described that a machine can be made to simulate it. An attempt will be made to find how to make machines use language, form abstractions and concepts, solve kinds of problems now reserved for humans, and improve themselves....

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December 2005

Introduction Just before writing this month鈥檚 issue, I happened to tune into a BBC Radio 4 programme about a man who trains birds to act. He subverts the imprinting instinct that makes them treat the first moving object seen after hatching as a parent, and even gets them to fly in formation beind an ultralight aircraft. I missed the name, but a Web search found quite a few candidates, such as the Patuxent Wildlife Center Crane Migrators....

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November 2005

Introduction I have been feeling cynical this week. In its 22nd October issue, New Scientist reported two pieces of news. One was that phone companies are trying to make phone calls sound dreadful. You may say they don鈥檛 have to try. However, these aren鈥檛 normal calls; they鈥檙e voice-over-internet. The companies are using programs written by an outfit named Narus to hunt down and de-prioritise or even kill voice data packets on their internet lines; by doing so, they hope to inconvenience voice-over-internet callers and drive them back to paid calls....

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