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August 25, 2006

Sample Press Coverage for the 2006 Almaden Institute on Cognitive Computing

I am indebted to my colleagues, Sara Delekta Galligan and Jenny Hunter, for compiling the following information:

Red Herring: Q&A: IBM’s Dharmendra Modha (5/6/06)

ZDNet:  Blueprinting the human brain (5/10/06)

CNET: Blueprinting the human brain (5/10/06)

San Francisco Chronicle blog:  The Tech Chronicles:  Hal-like computer simulation rattles brain conference (5/10/06)

The J Curve (VC Steve Jurvetson's blog):  Upload (5/10/06)

The J Curve (VC Steve Jurvetson's blog):  Art Imitates Life (5/10/06)

Krasnow Director's Column (Jim Olds--conference attendee) (5/10/06)

CNET: This is your brain on a microchip (5/11/06)

Red Herring: Making Computers Smarter (5/10/06)

Pasta & Vinegar: From Artificial Intelligence to Cognitive Computing (5/7/06)

Positive Technology Journal (blog): Cognitive Computing (5/7/06)

Ultimate Mind (R & D of the mind blog): (5/9/06)

Krasnow Director's Column (Jim Olds--conferenece attendee): Blogging on the road (again)  (5/9/06)

AI in the News (american association for artificial intelligence) (5/6/06) RedHerring Q & A (5/7/06) Blueprinting the Human Brain (5/10/06)
TechNews Forum: Mapping the Brain (5/11/06)

SoftwareOnlineFind: Making Computers Smarter (5/11/06) 2006 Almaden Institute - Cognitive Computing (6/11/06)

Red Herring: Q&A-- Gerald Edelman (6/26/06)

New York Times: Brainy Robots Start Stepping Into Daily Life (7/18/06)

United Press International: NewsTrack- Robots are becoming part of everyday life (7/18/06) Brainy Robots Start Stepping Into Daily Life (7/18/06)

International Herald Tribune: Brainy Robots Roll Towards Real World (7/18/06)

Amherst Times (NY): Brainy Robots Start Stepping Into Daily Life (7/18/06)

Tuscaloosa News (AL): Brainy Robots Start Stepping Into Daily Life (7/18/06)

Wilmington Morning Star (NC): Brainy Robots Start Stepping Into Daily Life (7/18/06)

The Ledger (FL): Brainy Robots Stepping Into Daily Life (7/18/06)

Spartenburg Herald (SC): Brainy Robots Stepping Into Daily Life(7/18/06) Brainy Robots Stepping Into Daily Life(7/18/06)

Red Herring: Dartmouth Marks AI's Birthday (7/16/06)

Red Herring, print issue: Computers That Think, Really (8/7/06)

ZDNet: Putting your brain on a microchip (5/12/06),39020439,39268542,00.htm

Global Research: Blueprinting the human brain

Bellacio:  Blueprinting the human brain

The Latest Brain Injury News and Developments: 3D Computer Stimulation of Human Brain (5/22/06)

Read This Blog! High Order Ignorance (5/10/06)

Read This Blog! Avoiding Deepest Ignorance (5/11/06)

The Irvken Experience: As Hermit asks - Sudden progress to be anticipated in AI? (5/13/06) Newsletter: Almaden Institute's 'Cognitive Computing' videos available online (6/5/06)

Inorganic Brain: Awesome!!! web site and information (06/05/06)

Traveling Through the Wire: Almaden Institute's Cognitive Computing Videos (6/6/06)

LVX23Cab Driver for the Soul (6/6/06)

August 22, 2006

"anthromorphizing robots and deconstructing humans"

Today, at Almaden, we had a wonderful time with David Calkins who is the President of the Robotics Society of America.

David gave an engaging talk describing several robots: Sony's Aibo, Honda's Asimo, Kawada's Promet, TMSUK, Kokoro Dreams' Dinosaurs, Actroid, Sony's QRIO, a traffic directing robot, Stanford's Stanley, and Sanryu's fire-fighting robot. He also reported seeing trumpet playing robots from Toyota! It is quite interesting to note that most robots on this list are made in Japan.

He described several competitions, for example, Trinity College's Fire Fighting Home Robot Contest.

He lamented the fact that Sony sunset Aibo and QRIO.

He described a number of fascinating potential applications: remembering names at a cocktail party, reading emails, building a relationship with elderly and young, early detection of lonely dead people in homes, entertainment, security, fire-fighting, etc. Without mincing words, he said that we need robots for (guilt-free) "slavery"!

We had an obligatory discussion on whether robots will take over the world!

People feel intimidated when dealing with robots that are taller than themselves. This explains the size of Honda's Asimo.

Looking to the future, the basic thought is that while we can build extremely smart mechanical contraptions and equip them with complicated "if-then-else" rules, these machines do not possess cognitive intelligence. For example, it is hard to recognize faces, to detect dirty clothes, to distinguish a dangerous fire from a pleasant fireplace or just a hot light bulb, or to distinguish a real person from a photograph. He feels that cognitive intelligence will eventually be conquered, but machines exhibiting consciousness will never be built.

He ended with a beautiful statement that he is (and, sometimes, all of us are) guilty of "anthromorphizing robots and deconstructing humans". He is currently searching for a definition of a robot!

Manager of Cognitive Computing Group

Today, yours truly was named Manager of Cognitive Computing Group at IBM's Almaden Research center.

I will keep you posted about activities of my group as time progresses. BTW, we are hiring: researchers, post-docs, co-op students (interns), and short-term academic visitors.

August 18, 2006

Japanese Govt to back intelligence robot development

"Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry plans to begin assisting the development of next-generation intelligence robots in fiscal 2007 with the aim of commercializing them in 2015, Jiji Press learned Thursday."

"In Japan, the market for industrial robots is expected to expand to around 3 trillion yen over the next decade."

See original article -->  

August 16, 2006

2006 Almaden Institute on Cognitive Computing

On May 10-11, 2006, I chaired IBM's Almaden Institute on Cognitive Computing.

The Institute examined scientific and technological issues around the quest to understand how the human brain works. And, examined approaches to understanding cognition that unify neurological, biological, psychological, mathematical, computational, and information-theoretic insights. We focussed on the search for global, top-down theories of cognition that are consistent with known bottom-up, neurobiological facts and serve to explain a broad range of observed cognitive phenomena. The ultimate goal, of course, is to understand how and when can we mechanize cognition.

The Institute featured prominent speakers and panelists: Nobelist Gerald Edelman, The Neurosciences Institute, Henry Markram, EPFL/BlueBrain, Robert Hecht-Nielsen, UCSD, Jeff Hawkins, Palm/Numenta, James Albus, NIST, Theodore Berger, USC, Kwabena Boahen, Stanford, Ralph Linsker, IBM, Jerry Swartz, The Swartz Foundation, V. S. Ramachandran, UCSD, John Searle, UC Berkeley, Joaquin Fuster, UCLA, Leslie Valiant, Harvard University, Toby Berger, University of Virginia, and Christof Koch, Caltech.

The Institute brought together over 165 attendees from over 57 different institutions:

    UNIVERSITIES: Brandeis, CalTech, EPFL, George Mason, Harvard, SFSU, Stanford, Rockefeller, UC Davis, UC Berkeley, UC Los Angeles, UC Merced, UC San Diego, UC San Francisco, University of Massachusetts, University of Nevada, USC, University of Virginia, The Neurosciences Institute,


    INDUSTRY & GOV LABS: Allen Institute of Brain Science, Honda, Hitachi, House Ear Institute, Intel, JPL, LBNL, MSRI, Mitsubishi, PARC, Samsung, Santa Fe, SRI, Yahoo!

    START-UPs/VENTURE CAPITALISTS: Draper Fisher Jurvetson, KPMG, Numenta, Posit Science, Security First Corp., Symbol Technologies, Sutter Hill Ventures, Technology Partners, The Intellisis Corporation

    MEDIA: CNET, New York Times, Red Herring, San Francisco Chronicle, Scientific American, The Register, Wired


The videos and presentations from the Institute are now online: