Archives for Artificial Intelligence

African Gray Parrot Understands Concept of Zero

Alex is a very smart parrot indeed. To the surprise of researchers, he understands the concept of zero, something which human children don’t grasp until they are 2 or 3 years old. Read more about Alex here.

Ultra-Lifelike Female Robot Debuts in Japan

The Fembots are coming… see the photo

Brain Has Particular Neurons for Recognizing Celebrities and Other Concepts

In a very interesting new finding, researchers have discovered the people’s brains contain individual neurons, or small groups of neurons, that seem exist only to recognize particular people or concepts. This would imply that there is one neuron, or at least a small group of neurons, in our brains for every unique thing that we know.… Read More “Brain Has Particular Neurons for Recognizing Celebrities and Other Concepts”

Simulated Universes and the Nature of Consciousness

Researchers in Europe have completed the first phase of what may be the largest computational physics experiment in history: They built and ran a simulated universe through 14 billion years of development. The experiment used up 25 million megabytes of memory, and the biggest supercomputer in Europe for a month.… Read More “Simulated Universes and the Nature of Consciousness”

Driving Interface for Music

An experimental driving interface enables a user to control the performance of a composition by driving through a landscape using a game-controller. This system is similar in some respects to my idea for driving through soundscapes of last year.

Silent Speech Technology

NASA’s research on subvocalization technology is moving forward. Their system intercepts nerve signals to the vocal cords before the speaker makes a sound and then figures out what words they signify. This technology will enable people to speak silently on the phone or to their computers, without moving their lips or making a sound.… Read More “Silent Speech Technology”

About Sony's Brain Stimulation Patent

A number of readers sent me links this week about the new Sony patent for ultrasonic neural stimulation.  It is definitely interesting and could represent a useful new approach to non-invasive brainstate manipulation. However, it is by no means anywhere near being useful for entertainment, virtual reality, or mind control.… Read More “About Sony's Brain Stimulation Patent”

Beautiful Idea: How to Program the Global Mind

I just read this really cool idea about how to design a programming language for the global brain — think of it as grid computing, but where some of the agents in the grid are humans and others are computers, working together to solve problems.… Read More “Beautiful Idea: How to Program the Global Mind”

How to Talk to Aliens

Here is an interesting article, written by a chess grandmaster, on how to trade information with alien civilizations, assuming they are ever contacted. The article proposes that at interstellar distances, the only realistic form of trade would be a trade in information — such as technology and scientific knowledge.… Read More “How to Talk to Aliens”

Confabulation: New Theory of Cognition Announced

After 30 years of research, a very interesting new theory of cognition has been announced. The theory posits that all human cognition and behavior is based on just one simple, non-algorithmic procedure that has been named confabulation. If the theory is correct it could offer a radical new approach to artificial intelligence, knowledge discovery, and knowledge management.

Cell chip coming soon

Big news coming — a radical high-performance, ultra-miniaturized parallel processing chip is about to go mainstream in a variety of consumer devices, giving Intel some serious competition…

Semiconductor designers from International Business Machines,
Sony and Toshiba will reveal on Monday the inner workings of a
“supercomputer on a chip” they claim could revolutionise
communications, multimedia and consumer electronics.

Read More “Cell chip coming soon”

Folktologies — Beyond the Folksonomy vs. Ontology Distinction

First of all I know Clay Shirky, and he’s a good fellow. But he’s simply wrong about his claim that "tagging" (of the flavor that is appearing on — what I call "social tagging") is inherently better than the use of formal ontologies.… Read More “Folktologies — Beyond the Folksonomy vs. Ontology Distinction”

Brain Study Reveals Differences Between Semantic and Episodic Memory

This interesting new brain
study reveals processing differences between Semantic Memory and Episodic Memory in human brains.
Nature performs these functions differently, and there is probably a good reason why that
is so. On the Web we don’t really have an equivalent of Episodic Memory or Semantic Memory yet… but we’re working on it!
Read More “Brain Study Reveals Differences Between Semantic and Episodic Memory”

New Technique for Analyzing Sentiment in Texts

Researchers at Cornell have come up with a clever new way to determine the sentiment expressed in textual data. Their method relies of separating objective statements from subjective statements, and then just measuring the subjective ones. This results in more accurate measures of sentiment.

Use of Role Classes to Define Predicate Semantics: Proposal for Semantic Web Best-Practice

This article proposes a design pattern for ontologies and the Semantic Web based on the concept of formally defined Roles as a means to richly express the semantics of relationships among entities in ontologies. Roles are special types of n-ary relations, and thus the use of Roles is a subset of the Semantic Web best-practices recommendation for N-Ary Relations.Read More “Use of Role Classes to Define Predicate Semantics: Proposal for Semantic Web Best-Practice”

The Ontology Problem: A Definition with Commentary

The Ontology Problem is a fundamental challenge of the emerging Semantic Web. This problem is comprised of three key sub-problems, the Upper Ontology Problem, the Domain Ontology Problem, and the Ontology Integration Problem, described in detail below:


Cool AI Visualization

Watch the thought process of an AI as it struggles to cope with the onslaught of your genius (or ineptitude, as the case may be). Check out the “spheres of influence” too. Very nice.

Flying by Brain

This is pretty cool stuff — growing brains using live tissue and then teaching them to control software:

from an article in Slashdot: “Scientists at the University of Florida made a living ‘brain’ by extracting 25,000 neurons from a rat’s brain and culturing them inside a glass dish.

Read More “Flying by Brain”

Block Rank: New Way to Index The Web

Researchers from U. Chicago and Microsoft Asia have developed a new Web indexing algorithm called BlockRank that ranks pages according to which sections (“blocks”) of content on other pages contain links to them. The results are said to be similar to Google’s PageRank algorithm.

An Interesting Visualization of Word Frequencies

This animated visualizer lets you enter a word (in the little search box on the bottom left) and then shows the word situated next to other words that are used with similar frequency in English. It’s cool — you can discover some interesting things.… Read More “An Interesting Visualization of Word Frequencies”

A Physics of Ideas: Measuring The Physical Properties of Memes

by Nova Spivack,

Original: July 8, 2004

Revised: February 5, 2005; February 28, 2010

(Permission to reprint or share this article is granted, with a citation to this Web Page:

This paper provides an overview of a new approach to measuring the physical properties of ideas as they move in real-time through information spaces and populations such as the Internet.Read More “A Physics of Ideas: Measuring The Physical Properties of Memes”

Minding the Planet: From Semantic Web to Global Mind

Draft 1.1 for Review (integrates some fixes from readers)
Nova Spivack (


This article presents some thoughts about the future of intelligence on Earth. In particular, I discuss the similarities between the Internet and the brain, and how I believe the emerging Semantic Web will make this similarity even greater.… Read More “Minding the Planet: From Semantic Web to Global Mind”

Artificial War

Here is a book that readers who are interested in multi-agent systems will find useful. The author, Andrew Ilachinski is also a reader of this blog, by the way — it’s called “Artificial War: Multiagent-Based Simulation of Combat” and provides an examination of the thesis that what happens on a battlefield (though the arena can be much more general of course) is a self-organized emergent phenomenon that can be understood, at least in part, by examining relatively “simple” underlying rules.… Read More “Artificial War”

New Way to Crack Declassified Documents

A new technique has been proposed that appears to be able to determine a shortlist of possible words that can occupy sections of declassified documents that have been “blacked out.” The attack makes use of some clever analytical tactics. Using this method the researchers were able to determine the identity of an intelligence agency in a declassified CIA document.… Read More “New Way to Crack Declassified Documents”

The Memecodes Project

The Memecodes Project starts with randomly generated Web pages and evolves them to get more search results from Google. Brilliant idea. The only problem is that Google indexing isn’t frequent enough, making this process take a bit of time. Still, I think this is a very interesting new approach that could even be a useful utility for sites in general someday.

Chaotic Computing – Alternative to Quantum Computing?

A new approach to computing called Chaotic Computing has been proposed. It uses chaotic elements to simulate logical operations. The benefits are that such systems may be dynamically reconfigurable in real-time, and may be able to perform multiple operations at the same time.… Read More “Chaotic Computing – Alternative to Quantum Computing?”

New Version of My "Metaweb" Graph — The Future of the Net



Many people have requested this graph and so I am posting my latest version of it. The Metaweb is the coming “intelligent Web” that is evolving from the convergence of the Web, Social Software and the Semantic Web. The Metaweb is starting to emerge as we shift from a Web focused on information to a Web focused on relationships between things — what I call “The Relationship Web” or the “Relationship Revolution.”… Read More “New Version of My "Metaweb" Graph — The Future of the Net”

A really cool search engine you might not need…

Today I found a very cool project at AT&T Research, a search engine for number sequences.. Just enter a series of integers and it will return any formulas or theorems related to them. I tried a whole slew of exotic sequences — like the prime gaps, series of prime gaps of different sizes, results of various operations on prime series, etc.,… Read More “A really cool search engine you might not need…”

A9 Revealed

Amazon has opened up a beta of their A9 “Google Killer” search engine. It’s pretty cool. Has several nice innovations in the UI and seems to be making use of some Alexa data as well. It’s still basically just a Web search engine, with more personalization, but well-executed, and may even provide a better search experience than Google presently offers.… Read More “A9 Revealed”

Photo Recognition an Alternative to GPS?

New software can figure out where you are positioned based on analyzing a photo in near real time. Simply send it a photo from your camera-phone and the software will match the image to a database of locations — such as buildings in a city — and give you back your coordinates.… Read More “Photo Recognition an Alternative to GPS?”