Computer Science (CS)

Audio Clone: AAI.

Recordings of the voices of the deceased can be sampled, digitized, processed and collated to create a kind of ‘audio artificial intelligence’ based on the original personality of the deceased person.

Timeline have been utilizing archival recordings of world-famous mathematician Albert Einstein to create a working prototype. Although it’s response times are somewhat sluggish, the audio A.I. Albert is capable of responding to questions and engaging in conversation.

The ‘[Audio Clone] A.A.I.’ software is housed within the casing of a modified laptop computer. T.T. are currently looking into the legal issues surrounding a mass-marketable version of the computer, housed within casing manufactured from materials compromising the ashes of the deceased.

Imagine being able to leave an A.A.I. archive of yourself in the event of your death… imagine being able to converse with a deceased loved-one…

This is perhaps T.T.’s most provocative concept to date, and this is not an area of investigation that they will be
entering into lightly.

It’s a wonderful idea but understand the issues involved… to some this may seem kind of disturbing or immoral…

Source: MELOmag Magazine

Computer Networks

Today I am going to get to grips with Netowrks, and to make sure that I've learned everything that I was supposed to, I'll write a summary of the chapters I read in books as I go along, starting with A.S Tanenbaum, Computer Networks.

PhDBlog

A new challenge at a new university. I'd better keep up that resolution of documenting everything accurately, so here is week 1 of my PhD Blog.

This week has been one of those annoying setting up weeks where I have drowned in paperwork and said 'hello' to a whole buch of people. None of which I can remember names for.

My PhD is going to be about the integration of Danger Theory ( a novel immunological concept ) into something useful for the improvement of network intrusion detection. The two people I am working with on this project (immediately) are Jamie Twycross and Uwe Aickelin (supervisor). We are working on this project as part of an EPSRC Adventure Fund Project, in collaboration with several other people at UCL (Peter Bentley and Jung Won Kim), Immunologists based at UWE (Bristol) and HPLabs, Bristol. Should be fun.

For starters I have read through a fair volume of papers relevant to the immunology theory (mostly provided by Polly Matzinger) and more specifically I am currently examining the potential role of dendritic cells in the process of planned and unplanned cell death. Next weeks work entials getting to grips with Networking and Network Security and the associated issues.

Data Management meets Unstructured Information

Just came back from a conference on data management(Wilshire Metadata/DAMA International 2003 Conference. A recurring topic that surfaced about data management was the relevance of their work in relation to unstructured information. A reality check for everyone was that most corporate information actually existed in semi-structured of unstructured information and not in databases. From this thought, I was directed to DM Review and in particular this article. Digging Into the Web: XML, Meta Data and Other Paths to Unstructured Data - By Robert Blumberg and Shaku Atre. I definitely see an opportunity between IA(metadata/ux) type folks cross-pollinating with data modelers and data managers. It will be interesting to see and I look forward to hearing more from here. Thoughts?

History of Semantic Networks

Matt Webb points to this great paper describing 6 different types of semantic networks. Applicable to the ontologists among us, semantic networks also make great diagram fodder. Not sure what a semantic network is?

A semantic network or net is a graphic notation for representing knowledge in patterns of interconnected nodes and arcs. Computer implementations of semantic networks were first developed for artificial intelligence and machine translation, but earlier versions have long been used in philosophy, psychology, and linguistics.

What is common to all semantic networks is a declarative graphic representation that can be used either to represent knowledge or to support automated systems for reasoning about knowledge.

Adaptive design for weblog software

Matt Webb's blog about adaptive and evolutionary design makes good reading for anyone interested in those concepts as they apply to software architecture and application development. Matt Jones is also linking to the blog.

I posted a short blog about the software ecology of Drupal on the Drop blog -- I've been spending a good deal of time talking to Drupal developers lately. I talk a lot about evolutionary design because I work in the the temple of Unix and C and the software ecology within my organization reflects that. I have learned to respect the wisdom of programmers that have spent decades using very elegant tools that have been refined over time. Webb's vision of the software ecology reflects the same -- small code components and an abstraction layer that are evolved slowly over time. The idea is that applications are developed separately to serve individual functions very well. The ecology is characterized by the slow evolution of software whose features remain shallow. The adaptability comes in the form of interoperability of individual applications across the software landscape.

I think it's good to reflect on this description of software development so that we understand, as contributers to the software selection process, what to consider when choosing software. Vendors of various content and document management solutions sell the concept of a platform that will serve as the panacea for your enterprise knowledge and content management and communication needs, but more important than the pitch is to understand how the platform and component pieces will allow for your solution to grow with your needs. As Gunnar has remarked in the Drupal discussion, the proof is in the pudding -- the pudding being the development team and I might add in the core software functionalities and solutions addressed by your tools.

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