January 31, 2005

20 Questions & artifical intelligence

20Q.net "is an experiment in artificial intelligence. The program is very simple but its behavior is complex. Everything that it knows and all questions that it asks were entered by people playing this game. 20Q.net is a learning system; the more it is played, the smarter it gets."

Plus it's in English, Spanish, French, and German.

Thinking the World Into Motion

Wow! Cool stuff going on at Brown. From their Jan/Feb 2005 alumni magazine comes Thinking the World into Motion. From the summary on their web site: "Last June, Matthew Nagle, a quadriplegic, became the first human to receive a tiny brain implant that allows him to control a computer by using only his thoughts. Thanks to Nagle and a team of Brown scientists, the device he’s pioneering may one day make it possible for paralyzed people to move their limbs again." I say again, "wow!" (and thanks to Bonnie for the reference).

New Links on Communications Page

Added 3 new links to the "Doing Research in Communications" page. Included: Accuracy in Media; Civic Practices Network; and Fairness and Accuracy in News Reporting (FAIR).

If you're a news junkie, check out Today's Front Pages, 246 front pages from 32 countries for today's paper. From the Newseum in Washington.

Yahoo! News is greatly improved and is better than Google News. Both allow searching and customizable search alerts, but Yahoo! also lets you search news photos. All for free!

January 24, 2005

Are gender differences in the brain significant?

January 24, 2005
New York Times
Science: Gray Matter and the Sexes: Still a Scientific Gray Area
When Lawrence H. Summers, the president of Harvard, suggested this month that one factor in women's lagging progress in science and mathematics might be innate differences between the sexes, he slapped a bit of brimstone into a debate that has simmered for decades. And though his comments elicited so many fierce reactions that he quickly apologized, many were left to wonder: Did he have a point? Full Story

January 21, 2005

New Books, Jan 21

Arab mass media : newspapers, radio, and television in Arab politics; by Rugh, William A.. publisher: Praeger, 2004. for more info.

Blink : The Power of Thinking Without Thinking; by Malcolm Gladwell. publisher: Little, Brown, 2005. for more info.

Do You Speak American?; by Robert MacNeil, William Cran. publisher: Doubleday, 2004. for more info.

Event-Related Potentials : A Methods Handbook (A Bradford Book); by Todd C. Handy (Editor). publisher: MIT, 2004. for more info.

On Intelligence; by Jeff Hawkins / Sandra Blakeslee. publisher: NY Times, 2004. for more info.

The Cognitive Neurosciences III : Third Edition; by Michael S. Gazzaniga (Editor). publisher: MIT, 2004. for more info.

The Great Brain Debate:Is It Nature or Nurture?; by John E. Dowling. publisher: National Academies Press, 2004. for more info.

January 20, 2005

hyperpolyglots, from New Scientist

From the Jan 8, 2005 issue of New Scientist:

How come some people can learn dozens of foreign languages when many of us struggle with just one? Michael Erard investigates

Revealing the talents of the language masters

THE news arrived as an unexpected email. "Sir," it began. "First, let me apologise for bothering you, but I saw an article you wrote and had to write." The writer, N, went on to describe how his grandfather, a Sicilian who had never gone to school, could learn languages with such remarkable ease that by the end of his life he could speak 70 of them, and read and write in 56.

Hampshire people can read the full-text here

January 12, 2005

New books in CS

Exuberance : the passion for life; by Jamison, Kay R.. publisher: Knopf, 2004. for more info.

Evolution : the remarkable history of a scientific theory; by Larson, Edward J.. publisher: Modern Library, 2004. for more info.

Nicomachean ethics / Aristotle; by Christopher Rowe (trans), Sarah Broadie (commentary). publisher: Oxford, 2002. for more info.

Machines who think : a personal inquiry into the history and prospects of artificial intelligence; by McCorduck, Pamela. publisher: AK Peters, 2004. for more info.

CS Videos at Hampshire

Did you know that Hampshire has lots of cool DVDs and videos of interest to cognitive scientists? There are over 20 titles, which you can see at http://library.hampshire.edu/subjects/brain-videos.html. Learn more information about the titles by clicking on the "online" link at the end of each record.

January 05, 2005

Linguistics on PBS!

There's a PBS show tonight (Wed., Jan 5) called Do You Speak American? which is a 3-hour program about linguistic differences across the US, by Robert MacNeil.

The PBS web site is chock full of good stuff, including transcripts of all three hours, at http://www.pbs.org/speak/transcripts/. There's also an educator's site about the program, which might be interesting to some of you: http://www.pbs.org/speak/education/. I will buy the companion book for Hampshire's collection.

January 03, 2005

Google on 60 Minutes

There was a cool interview with Google inventors & others at the Googleplex on Sunday's 60 Minutes. The transcript is interesting reading & is available via LexisNexis (search for GOOGLE and 60 MINUTES here (Hampshire community only) or let me know if you want me to forward the transcript to you).

There are some insights into the Googleplex, as well as some of the computer science stuff that goes on with Google.