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Entries in artificial intelligence (9)


Meet Eugene, the Program That Chats Like a Person

According to a recent NPR story, a computer program has passed the Turing Test, a test that determines whether people can tell if they're communicating with a person or machine.  

The program, called Eugene developed by Vladimir Veselov and Eugene Demchenko, fooled roughly 100 out of 300 people into believing they were text chatting with a 13-year-old Ukrainian boy named Eugene Goostman. 

Eugene's creators spent a lot of time developing a believable personality and programming the "dialog controller," which makes conversations seem human. 

You can chat with a version of Eugene to see for yourself. If you can't get through due to network overload, you can read the Time magazine interview with Eugene.


'Visual Learning Robot' Identifies, Extracts Vital Info From Any Webpage

App developers, start your engines.

Diffbot is a new form of visual-based content extraction technology that views and understands Web content the same way human beings do. The technology identifies and extracts the important objects on any Web page using artificial intelligence, computer vision, machine learning and natural language processing.

And the technology is for everyone. Diffbot’s APIs give application developers a way to instantly utilize data from any Web page in their own applications, effectively turning the entire Web into a usable database. Diffbot is now processing 100 million API calls per month on behalf of its customers, who are using it for Web site mobilization, content management system migration, tag generation, article grouping/clustering and a host of other functions.

How is it being used so far? Diffbot's website gives the following example:

Editions by AOL uses Diffbot to pull relevant content from the web and lay it out into an easy-to-use iPad magazine. Using Diffbot AOL is able to identify headlines, full-text, authors and related images; deliver new content by tracking article changes; generate tags for every article; and automatically group similar items using Diffbot clustering algorithms.

Diffbot just secured a $2 million investment from technology veterans, including Sky Dayton, founder of EarthLink; Andy Bechtolsheim, co-founder of Sun Microsystems; Joi Ito, Director of the MIT Media Lab; Brad Garlinghouse, CEO of YouSendIt, and other top executives and founders from Facebook, Twitter and Yahoo, with participation from Matrix Partners.

“Diffbot is an incredibly sophisticated tool for developers to rapidly build compelling applications around Web content,” Dayton said. “The more developers use Diffbot, the more it learns about and adds structure to data on the Web. This technology is becoming the basis for a new kind of Web experience enhanced by machine interpretation of content.”

Diffbot has categorized the Web into about 20 different page types that can be visually analyzed using layout and contextual cues, including everything from product and review pages to social networking profiles and recipes. Amazingly, this visual-based processing lets Diffbot instantly understand and extract the content on any page, in any language. To date, the company has released developer APIs for two of the most commonly consumed page types, Front Pages and Articles. The Front Page API is designed for analyzing home and index pages using common layout markers (headlines, bylines, images, articles, ads and more), while the Article API is used to extract clean article text, related images and videos and generate unique cross-referenced tags from news and blog Web pages.

“Our goal with Diffbot is to understand every corner of the Web, and make every bit of it accessible for developers trying to create new, rich applications and experiences,” said Michael Tung, Diffbot Founder and CEO.

Visit the website to test-drive Diffbot right now.


Worth Watching: Robot Hides in Walls, Punches Through at Will

Zwischenräume - Interstitial Spaces from petra gemeinboeck on Vimeo.

I can't quite tell you why this video gave me chills. After all, "Zwischenräume" is an art project -- not some incidious robotics experiment.

But still: There's something exceedingly creepy about a robot that hides within a wall, punches through whenever it wants and inspects what's on the other side.

According to the artist, "the installation embeds a group of autonomous robots into the walls of a gallery. They punch holes through the walls to inspect what’s outside, signal each other and conspire ... as if the walls had ears and a hammer to pierce holes for their eyes to see."

Ok, now it's even creepier.


Hackers Stole Your Credit Card? Robots Are On the Case

When a hacker steals your credit card number, email password or Social Security number, they know where to go to make use of it: a vast world of underground chat rooms and forums, where hackers buy and sell the data that gives them access to your money.

How can law enforcement even begin cracking into this enormous hacker network? Never fear: The robot informant is on the case.

CSIdentity, an Austin-based security firm, has created artificial intelligence software that poses as a hacker, interacts with members of these underground chat rooms and, if successful, solicits stolen data, which is then sent back to investigators.

Joe Ross, the president of CSIdentity, said the company’s analyst team designed the chatbots by analyzing the dialog in hacker chatrooms, paying close attention to patterns in the interactions and lingo.

The bots use “fuzzy pattern recognition” to keep up with the lightning-quick conversations. That way, they can make sense of words that are expressed in different ways. (Who knew that a “fullz” would refer to a stolen credit card number and security code?)

Unfortunately, hackers are already on to the game. They keep an eye out for chatters that seem … well, robotic … and will vacate a chatroom if one seems suspicious. However, that pushes companies like CSIdentity to up their efforts even more. And when confused, the bots can always fall back on a swear word to throw off hackers in a profanity-riddled forums.


God, Self-awareness, Insults: What Comes Up When Two Robots Talk?

What happens when you set up a conversation between two artificial intelligence entities?

This was the question that led the Cornell Creative Machines Lab to film a chat between two Cleverbots--those online AI programs that are meant to entertain and aid in web searches.

See the fascinating video to discover what the bots talk about. They quickly cover the idea of God, the truth of their own identities and--frighteningly--their desire to have a body of their own.

Interestingly, the Cornell lab that ran this little experiment states that it's mission is to create autonomous systems that can automatically design and create other machines. Spooky!