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Newsletter April 08, 2002

o Editorial
o Expert Zone
o Chatterbox Challenge
o Agent News
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o Technologies
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Intelligent agents take care of your health

In 1999, more than 30000 medical sites were identified on the Web by the Rouen University Hospital Center. The number of sites and portals specialized in health matters keeps increasing all the time, a sign that Internet users are closely interested in their health.

The World Health Organization produced in 1999 a publication entitled "Medicine and the Internet - a guide to finding responsible information". This guide notably recommends the development of rapid access to medical information through the Internet; of course, the Internet should not be seen as a replacement for consulting a doctor before trying to treat oneself.

For buying medicine on-line, there exist price comparison tools for individuals and professionals that make it possible to find the required items at the best price. "Health Deals" for example compares the price of vitamins, herbs and other products at 11 on-line merchants. As for "MyIgor", it is more intended for the medical profession since it performs searches on more than 100 specialized suppliers.

Still in the health field, but this time from a humanitarian perspective, the Internet is helping to accelerate medical research into certain serious illnesses such as cancer and AIDS. Internet users that wish to help research can download some free software based on file-sharing (peer-to-peer) technology. The software makes use of the - underused - processing power of your computer. This enables scientists and researchers to solve complex problems thanks to the power of a network of interconnected computers. "FightAIDSatHome" is one example of a project of this type.

The Internet is a considerable source of information for getting information and advice, and staying in touch with the latest medical progress. However, it won't ever replace a visit to the family doctor or a smile from your local chemist.

Medicine price comparison tools:

Humanitarian file-sharing:


> Will cybercriminality interest the candidates in the presidential election?
Problems of security will undoubtedly be at the center of debates in the forthcoming elections in France. But what about security on the Internet? A number of political initiatives have recently been launched to counter the phenomenon of cybercrime


> Chatterbox Challenge Update
The judge's scores from the first phase of voting are now in. The judges ranked Alice as the leading bot in the 10 Questions test, followed by Chat-Bot and Eugene.
Will the public agree? Currently, Eugene is top in the public rankings, with Oraknobo and Chat-Bot hard on its heels. Come and vote for the best chatterbot at:
Get profiles of judges, botmasters, and all the information about chatterbots.


> FileNavigator
FileNavigator is a peer to peer file-sharing program. It allows you to share and search for any file type from any network based on the OpenNap and Napster protocols. FileNavigator supports any file type, allowing you access to an assortment of video and picture files, as well as MP3 audio files


> WebWolf
WebWolf is a desktop based Web Page Crawler. It explores the internet, searching for files, FTP Sites and links that match your search criteria. It will then compile a list of the results in an easy to read report ready for you to download.


> The bionic eye
For decades, scientists and eye doctors have been trying to develop artificial eyes that would return the sense of sight to blind and visually impaired people. And the thought of the "bionic eye" may not be too far fetched. Many companies, such as Optobionics in Wheaton, Ill., have taken the first steps with tiny microchips that can mimic certain parts and function of the human eye - such as the rods and cones, sensors that convert light into electrical impulses at the retina located at the back of the eye.

> Robots Raise Ethical Questions
Rodney A. Brooks' book, "Flesh and Machines: How Robots Will Change Us," is the kind of stuff that makes Trekkies salivate. In it, droids are inevitable, robots will be commonplace and humans will become cyborg-like with internal robots besting our genetic heritage with engineered biotechnology.


> Sixth International Conference on AI Planning & Scheduling
The International Conference on Artificial Intelligence Planning & Scheduling (AIPS) will be held on April 23-27 at Toulouse. France. This is a well established scientific meeting for the presentation of new results in the growing field of planning and scheduling. The continuity of the AIPS conference series is ensured by the Artificial Intelligence Planning and Scheduling (AIPS) Executive Council.

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