Quest Weekly Meeting, Dec 11th

QUEST topics 11 Dec 09:
1.)  In our continuing discussion on workable definitions of data, information and knowledge associated with our universal processing element = agent, we will extend to include context and agent pools.  This will allow us to incorporate our idea of alignment between agents – ‘what turing meant to say’.  This also then leads us to what we will define as quest agents.  The increasing of complexity of the representation to include qualia and links require us to return to a discussion of how we propose representing qualia and links.
2.) Types of qualia – to have a discussion on how we propose to represent qualia in quest agents we need to come back to the different types of concepts we want to capture as qualia. 
3.) Types of links – similarly as we discuss quest agents we need to converge on what links are between these different types of qualia.  What are they for?  How do they differ between the different types of qualia?
4.) The last topic we want to return to is a discussion on a metric on impact of surging ISR assets.  If we are going to get out of counting sorties, number of Combat Air Patrols, how can we capture a common set of units for the disparate missions associated with I and S and R?
5.) News
a.     DARPA balloon challenge – ‘During the DARPA Network Challenge, each of the 10 red balloons will be placed in hidden but publicly accessible locations during the daylight hours of December 5. Would-be balloon hunters can start registering for the challenge on December 1, and have until December 14 to submit balloon locations to the contest website…some groups are developing software applications. Dr. Lee said he also expected large teams of spotters and even the possibility that some groups might use subterfuge like disseminating false information. Other groups may try to pay for information, he said, noting that even during a brief experiment the agency ran with a balloon near its headquarters, information on the location was offered for sale on Craigslist’…group of MIT students won the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) $40,000 Network Challenge by being the first to submit the locations of 10 moored, red, 8-foot weather balloons at 10 fixed locations across the continental U.S.The team accomplished the goal in just under nine hours, sorting through tons of misinformation floating around the Internet on Facebook, Twitter, and other sites… set up an information-gathering pyramid that assigned each balloon an award of $4,000. The first person to spot one got $2,000, while smaller amounts of money were handed out to others who provided assistance down the line…. ‘
b.    Google goggles – ‘ability to perform an Internet search by submitting a photograph …The experimental search-by-sight feature, Google Goggles… goal to be able to identify any image…experimental search-by-sight feature, called Google Goggles, has a database of billions of images that informs its analysis of what’s been uploaded, said Vic Gundotra, Google’s vice president of engineering. It can recognize books, album covers, artwork, landmarks, places, logos, and more…It is our goal to be able to identify any image,” he said. “It represents our earliest efforts in the field of computer vision. You can take a picture of an item, use that picture of whatever you take as the query… Although the service can recognize faces, since faces are among the billions of images in the database, it doesn’t right now,… For this product, we made the decision not to do facial recognition… We have the technology to do the underlying face recognition, but we decided to delay that until safeguards are in place’
c.     Google and live web update search – real time search – ‘begin supplementing its search results with the updates posted each second to sites like Twitter, Facebook and MySpace… field known as real-time search, Google said that over the next few days its users would begin seeing brand-new Tweets, blog items, news stories and social networking updates… Google struck formal partnerships with Twitter, Facebook and MySpace to quickly bring updates from those services into its search index… Facebook has said publicly it is not earning money from the deal, and is only giving Google updates from the public “profile pages” on the service, which can already be seen by anyone on the Web… new Google features are likely to be most useful during breaking news events like earthquakes, when people want constantly updated information without having to scan multiple sources…
d.    AI pioneers reunite – ‘Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, or SAIL, run by the computer scientist John McCarthy, gained less recognition… McCarthy coined the term artificial intelligence… scientists both inside and outside of the artificial intelligence community had come to see the effort as a failure… Dr. McCarthy coined the term artificial intelligence in the 1950s. Before coming to SAIL he developed the LISP programming language and invented the time-sharing approach to computers… exercise in machine learning, the video shows a model helicopter making a remarkable series of maneuvers that would not be possible by a human pilot… pilot system first learned from a human pilot and then was able to extend those skills…’
e.     Anecdote on recovery from autism – ‘he stopped responding to his name. And then he stopped playing. And then by his second birthday, he stopped speaking entirely… I knew that I wanted treatment for Jake that had science behind it. And a lot of treatments don’t. But the one that had the most science behind it was a treatment called ABA… ABA – applied behavior analysis – is an intensive approach that uses repetition and rewards to teach autistic children the things that come naturally to most kids… wanted to teach Jake to respond to his name. So we’d say, ‘Jake,’ and we’d take an M&M and we’d hold it up just between our eyes… first time a new study shows that early intervention therapy can improve language skills and behavior, and raise IQ – giving hope to parents of children with autism… chief scientist for the advocacy group “Autism Speaks.” She helped design the study and says symptoms of autism may appear as early as eight months… After a year of ABA therapy, Jake showed progress. Then, at age four – a turning point. When Karen took him for ice cream, without prompting, Jake told the man what flavor he wanted: “Nilla…. soon followed was an even bigger milestone. At Jake’s 4 year check-up, Karen was told her son no longer had symptoms of autism. The doctor said Jake had recovered… Jake is a thriving 13-year-old. He plays basketball and football, and is every bit the typical teenage boy… I like to hang out with my friends. … I don’t love to study even though sometimes I have to. … I would describe myself as outgoing, athletic and nice…
f.       Smartphone apps that can save your life – ‘aimed at health professionals have the potential to be lifesavers… aimed at assisting medical professionals or improving personal health… obstetricians remotely access real-time data about newborn babies… Absolute Fitness, which could help you keep tabs on your diet…
g.     Apple game changing via downloads – ‘This is the future of digital distribution for everything: software, games, entertainment, all kinds of content…App Store evolves from a kitschy catalog of novelty applications into what analysts and aficionados describe as a platform that is rapidly transforming mobile computing and telephony, it is changing the goals and testing the patience of developers, bolstering sales of the Apple motherships the applications ride upon — the iPhone and iPod Touch — and causing Apple’s competitors to overhaul their product lines and business models. It even threatens to open chinks in Apple’s own corporate armor… Applications make the smartphone trend a revolutionary trend — one we haven’t seen in consumer technology for many years… pioneering role in driving broad-based consumer adoption of the Internet in the 1990s…The popularity of Apple’s app model has reached a fever pitch. Tens of thousands of independent developers are clamoring to write programs for it, and the App Store’s virtual shelves are stocked with more than 100,000 applications… taking note and scrambling to replicate the App Store frenzy… cities like New York and San Francisco to open reservoirs of city data to the public to spur software developers to create hyperlocal applications for computers and phones…future of great software development and distribution,” Mr. Schiller says. “The idea that anyone, all the way from an individual to a large company, can create software that is innovative and be carried around in a customer’s pocket is just exploding…led Apple to be deeply supportive of developers once shunned by big telecommunications companies, while also frustrating many of them more recently with what developers see as the company’s inscrutable and arbitrary process for accepting programs into the App Store… Apple says it receives more than 10,000 application submissions each week. Most become available in the App Store within two weeks…Apple pockets 30 percent of the revenue earned by any App Store program, with developers keeping the balance. Although barriers to entry for software developers have dropped considerably, Mr. Farago acknowledges that “friction points have changed…For our size and seriousness, we are still treated like a college freshman who is doing this as a side project,” Mr. Smith says. “The trade-off being that there is a much lower barrier to entry for developers. Anyone can have a shot… Simply having a great application is not enough… for the App Store, analysts estimate that it generates as much as a billion dollars a year in revenue for Apple and its developers…Palm offers 500 applications, a relatively slim selection compared with the iPhone, and many analysts believe that this has made the device less attractive to consumers. Palm, like Research in Motion, says it doesn’t need an avalanche of applications to compete… market is becoming saturated with a large volume of applications. When you’re number 50,000 out of 200,000, how do you survive?… Many developers and analysts think Google’s mobile operating system, most recently placed in the Motorola Droid, may evolve into the fiercest competitor to the iPhone. Unlike Apple, Google has eschewed a review process, allowing any developer to publish an application to the Android Marketplace, its version of the App Store, instantly’
h.    Smart phones and malware – ‘iPhone Worm Hints at the Future… As smart phones become smarter, malicious code will find a friendlier home… cybercriminals moved closer to proving this point–exploiting a weakness in modified iPhones to spread a worm programmed to steal banking… new worm, dubbed “Ikee.B” or “Duh,” spreads using the default password for an application that can be installed on modified versions of the iPhone…Once the device has been compromised, the worm grabs text messages, and searches for banking authorization codes used by at least one bank, before sending the codes to a central server. Earlier this month, another iPhone worm was released. It exploited the same password weakness to spread itself, but did not try to steal personal information… affects only the small number of iPhones that have been “jail broken”–modified to run nonapproved software–the worm will likely inconvenience only a few people… it’s only a matter of time before cybercriminals find a way to infect phones that haven’t been jail broken…confirmed that even short-ranged and short-lived Bluetooth connections between phones could, in theory, be used to spread a wireless worm. “Starting a Bluetooth worm outbreak is relatively easy once a vulnerability is found. An attacker can bring an infected device into a typical urban mall and discover many potential victims…smart phones, are a more attractive target for hackers because they resemble mini PCs. The devices are always connected to the Internet, run third-party applications, and store information that is potentially valuable to cybercriminal…new worm employed a weakness introduced by an application called OpenSSH that can be used to connect to the phone remotely. This application uses the default password “alpine,” and the worm used this default password to wriggle between handsets…
i.       Photoelastic touch screens – ‘photo-elastic system uses transparent rubber shapes that sit on a LCD screen to act as input devices. Touch a 3D face and the screen changes the eyes so look at what you’re doing…the light from the LCD is polarized. A camera above the screen also has a polarized filter. When the transparent rubber object between the two is deformed, it changes the polarization of the LCD light. The camera detects this change and voila, the system responds to the deformation… used to animate the 3D objects, it also serves as a mouse tool with variable pressure response…The rubber is an overlay rather than built-in presumably because the team worked with an off-the-shelf LCD touchscreen. I would think that eventually the system should just incorporate the rubber surface into the touchscreen… I feel like a majority of the human-computer interface research I see is still in the “see what sticks to the wall…
j.       Microsoft’s vision for computing – ‘next decade more natural interface with computers will be commonplace…way people interact with computers will wildly change. Hand gestures will be as common as the click of a keyboard, and an assortment of documents will be selected not with a mouse, but with a scan of the eye… we call a natural user interface… ultimate aggregation of the ability of the computer to emulate human senses of sight, hearing, speech, touch, gesture and couple them together in a different way for people to interact with a machine… expected next year, when Microsoft is scheduled to release a new line of its Xbox consoles that eliminates the need for hand-controllers altogether — essentially, the players become the controllers… Xbox team will announce this new type of camera which allows you to sit on that sofa along with up to three of your friends, or stand and move around, and have the Xbox system calculate in real time the angular position of the 22 major joints in your body,… ‘The Cloud’ as taking the publishing abilities of the Internet and adding programmability to it,” he said. “And so these high scale things — coupled with these new devices, which are smarter, perhaps more anticipatory in how they interact with you — this will create a new computing platform which will allow us to attack a new range of problems that in the past have really eluded us… You should be able to describe the problem or the policy you want and the computer should be able to somehow implement that…
k.     H.M. brain sliced up and on web – ‘brain belonged to H.M., who had amnesia after surgery in 1953… Henry Molaison, known as H.M. in scientific literature…”My daddy’s family came from the South and moved North, they came from Thibodaux Louisiana, and moved north,” Molaison would say. “My mother’s family came from the North and moved South.” Within 15 minutes he might repeat this exact statement twice more, unable to remember that he’d already said it … *** makes me think of the destination memory discussion from last week **** … dissecting his brain to figure out exactly which structures contributed to his amnesia, which he suffered for more than 50 years…taking a picture of each individual slice, and these pictures will also be made available on the Web. The goals are to map the human brain in new ways and correlate individual structures with specific functions such as memory…Molaison, born in 1926, had been suffering epileptic seizures since childhood, and underwent an operation in 1953 remove the part of the brain doctors believed were causing the seizures. They took out much of the hippocampus, a horseshoe-shaped structure that plays a major part in long-term memory… after the surgery, the patient could not form new memories that lasted more than 20 or 30 seconds, Corkin said. The operation did, however, succeed in reducing his seizures… If you asked him how old he was, he always guessed younger, but he never said 27,” which is how old he was at the time of the surgery…before the operation, Molaison enjoyed doing crossword puzzles and believed they helped his memory, Corkin said. He could retrieve any word he knew before the brain surgery but could not learn any words that came into his vocabulary afterward. He spent a lot of time at home doing these puzzles and watching television, she said… technology allows them to cut the brain at a width of 70 microns, and will yield about 2,600 slices total…brain has been cooled to a temperature of 40 degrees below zero Celsius. The entire process, streamed live on the lab Web site, is expected to last about 30 hours, and will probably go into Friday night…
l.       Physically active teen boys are smarter – ‘Swedish study that suggests physically active teen boys may be smarter than their couch-potato counterparts…implications for the education of young people. Increasing, not decreasing, physical education in schools can not only slow the shift toward sedentary lifestyles but, by doing so, reduce risk of disease and “perhaps intellectual and academic underachievement… wanted to know if aerobic (cardiovascular) fitness and muscle strength were associated with brain power and future socioeconomic status…also assessed genetic and family influences by looking at the scores of brothers and twins and, over time, the association between all initial scores and measures of success at midlife, including education level and occupation…also hint that positive fitness changes can have positive cognitive results in teen boys. “Male subjects with improved predicted cardiovascular fitness between 15 and 18 years of age exhibited significantly greater intelligence scores than subjects with decreased cardiovascular fitness… The data are ‘objective’ and standardized measurements of fitness and cognition and do not rely on self-rating scales and questionnaires…ability to compare twins’ scores was another important strength allowing the researchers to remove the “influence of genetic, social and family backgrounds. With several thousand twins, we were able to show that, on average, the fitter twin has also the higher IQ score… question remains: Are more-active boys smarter or smarter boys more active? This study does not answer that question…cannot assume that fitness per se increases cognitive function, so joining a gym does not by itself make you ‘smarter’. But in order for optimal cognitive function/development to take place, regular cardiovascular exercise is needed… Do the results hold true for girls? The study can’t say but, “there is no reason to assume that this cannot be extrapolated to girls’
m. Unmanned tactical a/c not on the horizon – ‘any possible fielding of a fleet of totally unmanned — and even totally autonomous — combat planes is many years away… That’s because there is no sensor package capable of “360-degree situational awareness that can process information” and decide on how to act upon it better than the human brain…Vice Adm. Jack Dorsett, deputy chief of naval operations for information dominance and the director of naval intelligence, said the sea service “will walk our way into” unmanned tactical aircraft because “there are some significant challenges ahead…Navy continues “early stages” of tests on its X-47B unmanned combat aircraft. A fact sheet from prime contractor Northrop Grumman says the aircraft will demonstrate “carrier-based launch and recovery in the 2011 timeframe,” and enter service “in the 2020 timeframe… There are those that see JSF as the last manned fighter,” Mullen told the Senate panel. “I’m one that’s inclined to believe that…’
n.    New strategy in Afghanistan –‘ launching an initiative to persuade Taliban insurgents to lay down their weapons, offering jobs and protection to the militants who choose to abandon their fight… new program marks the first time that the U.S.-led North Atlantic Treaty Organization forces are systematically reaching out to Taliban fighters… Western officials behind the new reconciliation program say they believe the majority of insurgents are fighting for money — the Taliban often pay their members…’
o.    Semantic Web article – ‘software development tool kit they hope will help usher in the Semantic Web, an approach proposes to create a more intelligent Internet infrastructure that can assign meaning to the concepts being searched and, to some degree, have an understanding of the researcher’s intent…some are pushing for a fundamental change in the way the Internet catalogues and organizes data to make it more readily available to the growing number of interdisciplinary and highly specialized researchers who spend their working hours nearly entirely online and who tend to collaborate online. Whereas this is not a new argument—the idea of a more intuitive “Semantic Web” has been kicked around for years—it has gotten a fresh set of legs thanks to the recent funding of a software development tool kit expected to better connect researchers with the information they seek… mid-2010 that scientists and other researchers will be able to use to make data from their work available to a larger number of their peers as well as laypeople, including educators and policymakers…A Semantic Web setup would enable researchers to craft their queries in more natural language. Goodman adds, however, that a fully semantic Web that can read, comprehend and categorize information beyond keywords requires a level of artificial intelligence that is currently not available, something Rensselaer’s researchers are trying to address with this new tool kit…As a result, sifting through different data sources in search of related information can be a very tedious task, where a researcher needs to go to individual databases and inspect files, sometimes even calling fellow researchers…infrastructure that can assign meaning to the concepts being searched and even to some degree have an understanding of the researcher’s intent. Using ontologies, which are formal representations of concepts within a particular discipline and of the relationships among these concepts, searches could understand different nomenclatures that express the same ideas…Access to certain data sets could also be controlled using semantic tags attached to the data, helping those searching for the information to more easily credit the original creator of the data that they are using, whereas data creators could track exactly who is looking at their data… semantic interface would allow a researcher to visit a single research site, describe the information required, and then let ontology and semantics take care of the…people in charge of massive databases would have to develop ontologies that make the information more accessible, although Fox says Constellation’s plan is to have some prepackaged ontologies for programmers to use…
p.    Smarter social networks – ‘geared towards sharing content without also encouraging spam and more real-time features and low-effort ways to interact with friends… went through some of the intelligent features that are part of Wallop, a social network spun out of Microsoft Research… Wallop was designed to automatically cluster people into groups…Other social networks could perhaps be much more useful if they could group and manage contacts automatically. It would be good to know, for instance, if a friend rarely logs into his Facebook account, so I could try sending a message a different way. Although Facebook and other social networks do include features that allow users to make and manage lists of friends, few users take advantage… default filters based around location, people you connect with most often, and your existing Friend Lists…’
q.    Social networks and well being awareness – ‘described as not only improving reflection and awareness of their own well-being, but also raising their interest in others…allow participants to communicate well-being quickly and easily via Facebook or Twitter, would improve personal and group well-being and interactions….’We’re really interested in what might be called “affective micro climates… Half of participants said they felt that their self-awareness increased, in terms of self-reflection at the time of the update, and reflection over past states…Healthii, we anticipated that people would use it to be aware of their peers,’ said dr schraefel. ‘What surprised us more was that they appeared to be getting a lot of value by doing a little self-reflection…enabled users to encode their well-being status into social networking sites and microblogs. The status was represented by four dimensions (busy-ness, enjoyment, stress, and health), and by choosing one of three levels (not, quite, or very) in each dimension…graphical avatar or numeric code, and users could also update simply by adding the numeric code to a Twitter or Facebook update. For example, adding #healthii (3321) would mean the person is feeling very busy, enjoying their task, averagely stressed, but feeling a bit under the weather…’In our field of Human-Computer Interaction, we’re used to designing to support efficiency or productivity in tasks,’ said dr schraefel. ‘That’s important, but we’re now beginning to consider how to design systems to support well-being while engaged in everyday tasks to enhance quality of life. We think these kinds of awareness applications may be a part of that’
r.      Trapped in a coma but aware – ‘diagnosed as being in vegetative state for 23 years was fully conscious Study found that 41 percent of patients in minimally-conscious state were wrongly diagnosed … vegetative state for 23 years was conscious the whole time… Belgium carried out a brain scan using state-of-the art scanning system and discovered that Houben’s brain was fully functional… Rom communicated by typing on a special keyboard attached to his wheelchair, and aided by his carer… that 41 percent of patients in a Minimally Conscious State (MCS) were misdiagnosed as being in the much more serious Vegetative State (VS)… VS is a coma-like state in which patients have a sleep and wake cycle, and can show reflex chewing, swallowing and blinking, but don’t respond to language or stimulation…his research, “Differentiating the vegetative from the minimally conscious state is often one of the most challenging tasks facing clinicians involved in the care of patients with disorders of consciousness… high rate of misdiagnosis is that doctors often base their diagnosis on observations of a patient’s behavior, rather than assessing patients using standardized tests… For example, if you come into a room and a patient’s eyes follow you, or if they smile when you make a joke, they are conscious — but it doesn’t mean they will still be able to do that one hour later… Glasgow Coma Scale is a standardized test that classifies a patient’s motor, verbal and eye response on a graded scale…Diagnosis can be further complicated by another condition, called Locked-In Syndrome. Much less common than VS or MCS, patients in a locked-in state are totally aware of their environment but have minimal reflexive movements…
s.      Video and image search – ‘Granted there are “real” image search engines out there (sorry, Google Images doesn’t count; it searches the text that’s affixed to an image), but they’re compute intensive and require extensive “training” to distinguish individual objects store in a huge database…algorithm that enables automated recognition of both objects in images and actions in videos. The software analyzes an image or video and characterizes the most important constituents of the object or action represented. It then searches for those constituents in image and video databases… single photo of a bicycle at night can be used as a template to locate pictures of bicycles in full sunlight…actions within videos, like a man riding a bicycle, Milanfar’s software completes the same procedures but incorporates the manner in which those pixel relationships move over time. The software analyzes the map of pixel relationships and determines the salient geometric features of the object or action. These components remain perceptually constant within an object regardless of image quality… can use this algorithm to identify patterns of pixel relationships by calculating the statistical likelihood that a candidate image contains the queried object…’
t.      Who’s talking about me – ‘videos and articles get reposted or discussed on dozens or hundreds of sites. But Web experts are now thinking about how to keep track of online conversation in real time, even when it’s scattered all over the Web. A new crop of protocols aim to do just that… protocol first proposed last month, could allow comments to “swim upstream” to connect to the original post, regardless of where they’re made…Technologies like this are needed for today’s Web, where content tends to flow from one site to another, said Kevin Marks in a keynote given last week at Defrag 2009, a technology conference in Denver focused on tools and technologies for handling online data… Getting scattered bits of data gathered quickly could be critical for people who want to participate in the conversation that goes on around the content they post online…For the Salmon protocol to work properly, it would need to be adopted by both publishers of content and services that might subscribe to or discuss that content. When a post appears, the publisher uses pubsubhubbub to notify the subscribers that it’s present. Then, if a user makes a comment about the post on another site, the Salmon protocol sends this information back to the publisher… protocol also includes ways of checking the identity of people making comments… built a demonstration of Salmon, but the protocol is too new for any site to have formally adopted it so far’

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