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Sunday, 27 January 2008
when is it a blog or just a page?
how often do you write? how many comments should you get? when should you just give up and move on to other projects?

Posted by makes one wonder at 11:33 AM EST
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Friday, 17 August 2007
Application of matrices in AI
Topic: Science

So, after 3 years, I pull out my AI textbook, Artificial Intelligence, a Modern Approach (Stuart Russel, Peter Norvig).   I took an AI class at the college in my small town.  It was not offered before, and it sparked a lot of interest.  That same year, 2004, an exhibit, Robots and Us, was at the Science Museum in St. Paul, MN.  I didn't have to travel far to get my hands on robots that are generally only available in reserach labs at large universities.  Some technologies I enjoyed were face recognition, robotic animals (that will someday walk up walls), and a sensory garden.  That garden had flowers that would move toward you, or bloom when they sensed sound or movement--trippy!

As I browsed my text tonight, I found my old assignments and tests.  It strikes me as miraculous, ok, not that big, but amazing that I was able to do the searching problems more accurately now even though I didn't get them quite right 3 years ago.  The back of the book had a section on vectors in the math background section .  I like linear algebra, so I worked a matrix problem.  After solving it, realize I haven't had a math course since 1996 (it was a management science course), I decided I have to find out how it applies to AI.

Search engines use matrices to find relevance and ranking; this is only one method and does not scale well. Matrices are also used for  cryptography, data mining, and sensory perception such as visual or haptic, like this electronic skin.  Awesome-fresh.

Posted by makes one wonder at 12:00 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, 17 August 2007 12:59 AM EDT
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Tuesday, 14 August 2007
Computerized reading tutor research

I am not so interested in chatbots, but I'll still read about tutoring bots.  This blog post is on a topic that seems to be forgotten in today's computing/ai.  Anyway.....Here's an example of computer-assisted learning. Research on the Project LISTEN at Carnegie Mellon.  It's Reading Tutor works like this:  aisplays stories on a computer screen, and listens to children read aloud, intervenes when the reader makes mistakes, gets stuck, clicks for help, or is likely to encounter difficulty, and provides audio assistance modelled in part after expert reading teachers.  It's not yet available for commercial use, but keep an eye on it, it may be at your local school in the future.

An interview on Canadian TV news describes more:


It's research provides increased learning in almost every module in the computerized tutor., especially learners with low proficiency.  In school use: 6th graders whose skills were 3rd grade level gained up to 5th grade in less than 8 months (Aist & Mostow, 1997). 

One might think a human is better, but the Reading Tutor outscored the human-taught group in every area, such as word comprehension, except the Word Attack module. 

Compared to student silent reading (including teacher read-aloud in grade 1 until students were ready for independent reading practice): "The Reading Tutor group significantly outgained their statistically matched SSR classmates in phonemic awareness, rapid letter naming, word identification, word comprehension, passage comprehension, fluency, and spelling – especially in grade 1" This is not surprising.

English as Second Language: Sustained Silent Reading (SSR) vs computer tutor:  Computer outgained the control group  dramatically in every measure.  Many opportunities for all language learning.

Posted by makes one wonder at 10:41 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, 17 August 2007 12:52 AM EDT
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