QuEST Weekly Meeting, September 18th

QUEST Topics for 18 Sept, 2009
1.)    Article from Science News on emotion and vision – By Jenny Lauren Lee

August 29th, 2009; Vol.176 #5 (p. 22).  ‘brain guesses the identity of objects before it has finished processing all the sensory information collected by the eyes… brain uses “affect” (pronounced AFF-ect) — a concept researchers use to talk about emotion in a cleaner, more clearly defined way — not only to tell whether an object is important enough to merit further attention, but also to see that object in the first place.  *** I would like to discuss ‘affect’ – here suggest affect determines what merits attention – I think it is more than that – as important as attention is I might suggest ‘affect’ is a type of qualia ***… The idea here is not that if we both see someone smile we would interpret it differently,” says Lisa Feldman Barrett 
of Boston College. “It’s that you might see the smile and I might completely miss it.”  traditional view, perception, judgment and emotions are c**** this is a critical point – not even see – this is what we have been pushing as a subjective representation **** … onsidered separate processes, with emotions coming last in the procession. One perceives. One judges, using reason, what best to do with the information collected. And one keeps one’s emotions, as much as possible, out of the picture. **** this is the point we tried to overthrow in the ooda article ****… Researchers were struck by experiments in which people seemed to feel an emotion without being able to identify the object that had elicited it. In 1980 the late psychologist Robert Zajonc, then at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, wrote that it is possible that people can “like something or be afraid of it before [they] know precisely what it is.”… showed that people appear to prefer smooth, curved objects over sharp-edged ones, though the people tested could not always articulate a reason for their preference.  *** Affect is a Libet process ***
2.) What Turing meant to say – latest ‘think piece’ – focus on alignment of representations as the key to winning at the ‘Imitation Game’ – and thus the key idea in the Turing Test.  The implication of this idea in next generation CAPTCHAs, ad-hoc networks security/quality of service/Trust and possibly for Autism detection.
3.) Types of Qualia – and how are they stored and represented.
4.) News:
a.     Associated Press article on Al Qaeda web sites going down last year and this year on the anniversary of Sept 11.
b.    Digital contacts as a physiological measurement interface.
c.     Book review on what a dog senses tell it.
d.    Lena foundation autism detector – ‘parent puts the outfit on the child and slides the recorder into a pocket on the front. The recorder is left on all day so that it can capture up to 16 hours of audio. At the end of the day, the parent removes the device from the pocket and sends it to the foundation, where the LENABaby software can analyze the data…starts by breaking down the 16-hour audio stream into segments. Each segment is automatically classified according to the type of sound contained in the clip, such as sounds from the child, a parent, or television…
e.     Visual search for BING – study conducted by Microsoft Research found that consumers can process results with images 20 percent faster than text only results…
f.       Device that reminds people with special needs to do things they might forget – recognizes the everyday actions of the users by means of RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) labels
g.     Retweeting – user-generated communication technique called retweeting–reposting someone else’s message, similar to quoting–will be formally incorporated into Twitter…. What’s more, people often add their own comments before or after a retweet. This becomes a problem with Twitter’s 140-character limit, explains Boyd. Typing “RT @username” takes up characters, and so does adding a comment. To deal with this, users will paraphrase or omit part of the original text, sometimes leading to incorrect quotes.
h.    Seizure makes woman think she is a man – “I’m no longer feeling to be a female,” the scientists reported her saying. “I have the impression to transform into a male. My voice, for example, sounds like a male voice that moment. One time, when I looked down to my arms during this episode, these looked like male arms including male hair growth.”…
i.       Product to add semantic content to images – ImageNotion software, which is expected to go on sale next year, takes a user-friendly approach to semantic image annotation and search, a technology that links the content of photos to concepts so as to make the images understandable by computers
j.       The Singularity and the Fixed Point – singularity depends on a mathematical recursion: invent a superintelligence, and then it will invent an even more powerful superintelligence. But as any mathematics student knows, there are other outcomes of an iterated process, such as a fixed point. A fixed point is a point that, when a function is applied, gives you the same point again. Applying such a function to points near the fixed point will often send them toward the fixed point.
k.     Sleep as a time management tool
l.       Eye movements show whether you have seen something even when you are not aware of it
m. City surveillance – installed at intersections to monitor every vehicle coming into the city… “automatic license plate recognition” project, once a car enters Medina, a camera captures its license-plate number. Within seconds, the number is run through a database… hit comes up for a felony — say, the vehicle was reported stolen or is being driven by a homicide suspect — the information is transmitted instantaneously to police, who can “leap into action,”… “Government shouldn’t be keeping records of people’s comings and goings when they haven’t done anything wrong,

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