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Newsletter > September 10 - November 12 > September 10, 2001 Go Back
Newsletter September 10, 2001


o Editorial
o Articles of the week
o Agent News
o Download of the week
o Technologies
o Conferences - Workshops
o Books

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EDITORIAL
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Hello mom? I'm your robot!

In their first few years, children are filled with curiosity. They yearn to discover their environment, experience new sensations and observe the people around them. During this time, they can also be very agitated, very fragile and very demanding. Imagine if we could have children who were calm, intelligent, quick learners, able to adapt to different situations whatever their age and with a minimum of maintenance. "Maintenance?" Hold that shout of indignation (which would be justified if we were talking about human children): this is all about robotic ones.

In their first few years, children are filled with curiosity. They yearn to discover their environment, experience new sensations and observe the people around them. During this time, they can also be very agitated, very fragile and very demanding. Imagine if we could have children who were calm, intelligent, quick learners, able to adapt to different situations whatever their age and with a minimum of maintenance. "Maintenance?" Hold that shout of indignation (which would be justified if we were talking about human children): this is all about robotic ones.

Robots are more and more part of our life: automated home appliances, vacuum cleaner…But the robots that we are interested in belong to a much more elevated category. Given their own intelligence, they behave like children. They learn through their interaction with their environment.

"Hal", Dr. Anat Treister-Goren's little one, is part of this group. He loves bananas, toys and playing in the park. He especially likes lullabies. "Hal" is a 18 month-old child. But unlike a "real" child, "Hal" is a series of algorithms, a computer programme that is being taught and that learns by experience just like a human being.

As for John Weng, a robotics expert at Michigan University, he is currently training a robot to learn like a child: to obey spoken orders, to find and pick up toys with its mechanical hand. Weng's robots wanders around the corridors of Michigan University, reacting to the objects it touches, voices and what it sees through its stereoscopic vision system.

Far from the level of David, the child robot hero of Steven Spielberg's movie A.I.", these virtual children are still at the experimental stage. It will be a few years yet before these machines can be "adopted" in the home.

Discover other intelligent robots on AgentLand:
http://www.agentland.com/Download/6Artificial_Life/Intelligent_Robots/

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ARTICLES OF THE WEEK
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> Copernic Shopper Plus : get products in a click
http://www.agentland.com/pages/learn/articles/copernicshopperplus.html
For shopping addicts, always on the lookout for products at the lowest price. For those who don't have the time to go from store to store and compare prices. For lazy people who prefer staying at home, instead of shopping : Copernic Shopper Plus could bring them happiness.

> WebSite Watcher : keep an eye on the Web
http://www.agentland.com/pages/learn/articles/websitewatcher.html
The Web is continually growing. New Web sites worth monitoring appear every day. But strangely, you still only have two eyes and one mouse to keep a watch on them all. Why don't you ask WebSite Watcher for some help? It will be the third eye that you have always wanted ;-).

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AGENT NEWS
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> Tracerlock acquires The Informant
http://www.tracerlock.com/
Tracerlock, the online monitoring service, has acquired another monitoring business, The Informant. The current businesses of TracerLock and The Informant, which include the monitoring of newly published material for content matching users' search terms, will be merged to make one of the web's largest monitoring services. The merged businesses will do business under the name 'TracerLock'.
TracerLock's core clipping service allows users to monitor hundreds of online news sources, and to be notified within as little as 15 minutes of a new article being published that matches one of their stored search terms.

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DOWNLOAD OF THE WEEK
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> C4U
http://www.agentland.com/Download/Intelligent_Agent/112.html
Keeping updated with new information on the web is becoming more and more time consuming. And time is a vital commodity. C4U is innovative software that constantly monitors your favorite websites, locates new data and presents it to you highlighted.

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TECHNOLOGIES
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> Wildfire manages your phone calls
http://www.orange.com/English/forwardthinking/Wildfire.asp?UID=050132110022113000000000&UAT=
Wildfire is an intelligent, virtual personal assistant, accessed via your phone, using the latest speech recognition technology. She'll store up to 150 contacts, take messages, make calls, let you know if other calls are waiting, send and receive faxes and respond efficiently to spoken requests.

> AIBO: say "hi" to LATTE & MACARON
http://www.sony.net/Products/aibo/aiboflash.html
Sony has released a new AIBO series: LATTE & MACARON. They are the latest AIBO Entertainment Robots with the ability to communicate with their four senses touch, sight, hearing and balance. They have also six emotions: joy, sadness, anger, surprise, fear, and discontent. If you talk near LATTE or MACARON, it may start to imitate you in its own original voice. These new companions will be available on September 23 in Japon for 824USD.

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CONFERENCES - WORKSHOPS
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> Workshop on Intelligent Virtual Agents
http://bermudas.ls.fi.upm.es/~iva01/
The Third International Workshop on Intelligent Virtual Agents (IVA2001) will be held on September 10-11, 2001 in Madrid, Spain.
IVA2001 aims to bring the intelligent agents communities together to discuss the current state-of-the-art in virtual agents, and to create a roadmap for the future of this technology.
The workshop will be around applications of intelligent virtual agents, virtual agent sensors, control architectures for autonomous virtual agents, etc.

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BOOKS
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> Autonomous Agents and Multi-Agent Systems Volume 4
http://www.kluweronline.com/issn/1387-2532
This paper proposes a reference model to identify, classify and evaluate mobile agent systems having a significant set of non-trivial architectural issues and technical and functional features in order to support agent-based applications. The proposed reference model describes a generic and global architecture and identifies a set of technical and functional features. The items analysed include the following: execution, management of agent types, management identifiers, persistence, navigation, communication, interaction with external resources, and security.

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