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Newsletter > April 23 - June 25 > June 05, 2001 Go Back
Newsletter June 05, 2001
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o Editorial
o A-I Movie news
o Agent News
o Download of the week
o Technologies
o Research organizations
o Compagnies
o Conferences - Workshops


Let the sun shine!

Here we are in June and as the summer holidays approach, those existential questions keep coming back into mind: will it be sunny enough today to go to the beach? Will I finally be able to get a sun-tan without expensive UV sessions? Dilemma: should I take my sunglasses today or not? As you see, these are real questions: deep and meaningful questions.

Agents would like to be your summer companion, and help to solve these everyday problems. There's no need to get out the crystal ball or read the cards to predict the future: weather monitoring agents collect information from meteorological centres and send it directly to your desktop, to make sure that you have the latest news about the weather. It is possible to customize them to receive alerts of any upcoming climatic changes in the town(s) that you have selected. Based on scientific data, the most advanced ones even offer five-day weather forecasts. Very handy! The forecasts often come with statistics, satellite pictures or even live webcam feeds.

The downside: agents do not get on well with grains of sand or salt water (just like computers in general). It is therefore important to use them before heading for the beach. But you have to admit that this is a small inconvenience compared to the many benefits they have to offer… ;-)

A-I Movie news

> Are robots now superior to humans?
Now that the notorious RUR-14 puzzle has been solved, Cybelle has got a clearer idea of the test of strength taking place between AIs and humans in the 22nd century. An unsigned page makes things very clear:
"We are not you.
You are physically fragile, biologically constrained to a very narrow set of environments.
We are not.
Your intelligence is equally constrained by biological factors. Ours is not.
We are not you."
And concludes "Technological intelligence is no longer a manifestation of biological intelligence. Our destinies have separated".
Was this manifesto written by an isolated (human?) extremist, or are Evolving Intelligences truly capable of breaking free from their human creators?


N E W   A G E N T S

>> Metasearch <<

> AerospaceFinder
The metasearch engine Strategic Finder has a new plug-in: AerospaceFinder.
It allows you to do web searches on the aeronautic industry sector. With links to over 230 selected aeronautic Internet sources (specialized search engines, databases, qualified sites or pages, Press Release Portals…), AerospaceFinder gets information from the invisible web.

>> Shopbots <<

> Copernic Shopper Plus
Copernic Shopper, the tool that allows you to search for product reviews and to compare prices from dozens of online stores at once, is now available also as Copernic Shopper Plus. This new version gives you all the benefits of the Basic version with extra features such as the ability to monitor product availability or keep track prices automatically.

> Price Column
Price Column helps you find the lowest price to your product from hundreds of online stores. It offers an unbiased service that helps you choose the right products and where to buy it.

>> E-mail <<

> Fundi e-Lert
To be an efficient form of communication, e-mail must be delivered and read as soon as possible. Fundi e-Lert makes checking for new mail every few minutes effortless. Small and fast, it handles multiple POP3 mailboxes with ease. When the program discovers new mail, it announces the new messages either by displaying the message details, or by playing a sound, or both.

>> E-mail <<

> iNoize
iNoize allows you to instantly listen to other persons' music in MP3 format, without downloading or copying files. This software also lets you create your own customized Playlists of Albums or Tracks.

A G E N T  U P D A T E S

>> Alerting agents <<

> Novobot
Novobot, the smart headline viewer, has been updated. Now it has a miniticker window with scrolling headlines. Also Novobot saves currently displayed headlines between sessions, so that you can retrieve headlines and review them later; it remembers your position in the headline list so you can continue browsing headlines from where you left off when you closed Novobot. You can prompt for channels that didn't produce any headlines, for easy detection of non-functioning channels.

>> Natural language <<

> LexiQuest Guide
LexiQuest, provider of strategic watch and information management software, has released the version 2.0 of LexiQuest Guide, the natural language search engine. LexiGuide translates "plain-language" questions into a form easily understood by traditional search engines. This powerful capability can be refined with add-on modules, featuring comprehensive industry-specific dictionaries of terminology and proper names.
LexiGuide is available in English, French, and Spanish

>> Web position agents <<

> TopDog
TopDog, the web position agent that improves your ranking in the top Internet search engines, has been updated. Some new search engines have been added, such us Google Switzerland, Alta Vista Switzerland and FR, Alta Vista Switzerland and IT, Sympatico-Lycos English.
Query drivers have also been updated for Excite UK, HotBot France, OzSearch, Spray Sverige and TopDog analyzes 262 of the top search engines for your web site and keywords, showing where you and your competitors are positioned.


> StocksAloud
StocksAloud helps you manage your investments and business interests. Using your Internet connection, StocksAloud resides in your Windows tray and tracks the stocks of companies you need to follow. StocksAloud alerts you by email or the "You Have News" audio cue whenever companies make news, bringing you key information right when you need it.


> Ayanna Howard teaches the robots
As a project scientist specializing in artificial intelligence at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Ayanna Howard is part of a team that is applying its creative energy to develop autonomous robots capable of "thinking" for themselves in space.
"We want to tell the robot to think about any obstacle it encounters just as an astronaut in the same situation would do," she says. "Our job is to help the robot think in more logical terms about turning left or right, not just by how many degrees."

> Dance with the robot DJ
The professor Chris Csikszentmihalyi has creates the first digital robot DJ. It's called DJ I, Robot. It uses a PC, several micro-controllers, and an advanced "motion control" system to automatically mix, scratch, and search a pair of custom vinyl records on the robotic phonographs.
DJ I, Robot has also competed at several DJ competitions including Blackkat's Beat Mechanix competition in New York.

> The humanoid project
The objective of the project at Chalmers University of Technology (Sweden) is to produce a bipedal humanoid robot, of human dimensions and weight. The plan is to build the robot around a plastic human skeleton and control it with a hierarchy of evolutionary systems. A 60 cm tall prototype named ELVIS has already been built, whose objective is to try various hypotheses regarding hardware and control software. Its creators are motivated by a strong belief in the future importance of humanoid robotics for industry, research and society in general.


> The Department of Artificial Intelligence
The Department of Artificial Intelligence is a part of the School of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of New South Wales, Australia. The mission of the Department of Artificial Intelligence is to use computational models to study the nature of intelligence, to use what is learnt from this study to construct useful tools, to train students in developing intelligent systems and thereby to assist in social and technological development.
A key research goal is to ensure that the massive amounts of data becoming available through modern information systems can be fully and reliably utilised. The aim is to develop technology that can support humans in better handling a diverse range of creative or complex tasks.


> Blaxxun interactive
Blaxxun interactive is a company that designs, develops, and produces interactive Virtual Worlds based on its software platform. The company develops professional, solutions for Virtual Worlds in the fields of entertainment, e-commerce, and business.


> Peer to Peer Computing Forum
The Peer to Peer Computing Forum will be held on June 20-21 2001 in London.
It is the only European event that deals exclusively with how your company can benefit from P2P and how you can go about implementing this technology with the least cost and hassle. The topics of interest will be around examining and assessing the business benefits of P2P, integrating P2P into an existing technology infrastructure, etc.

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