Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Emma and Dewey at EGL-IUG

Librarians from Ohio and nearby states will get to meet Emma and Dewey (Akron-Summit County Public Library's bot) at the Eastern Great Lakes Innovative Users Group 2010 Annual Conference in Akron on Friday, October 15. Michele McNeal, ASCPL's Web Specialist, and I will present "The Intelligent WebPac: enhancing user experience with .aiml." It's going to be a blast! Michele is great fun to work with, and is a tremendous speaker. (I know because I saw her present at the EGL-IUG 2008 Annual Conference!) She's clear, concise, and unfailingly logical. She's also a fine writer. Here's the program in case you're interested.

BTW - The Innovative Users group is an international organization of member libraries who use the Innovative Interfaces, Inc. integrated library software. That's the software that we use to check things in and out, create and maintain patron records, item records, etc., etc.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Quantum processors in 5 years?

Looking forward to the weekend! I've been busy chasing bugs in our new webpac and working on the library's strategic planning committee. At first, I thought this was going to be one of those committees. The kind that we all dread. It's not. We're getting quite a bit done and doing it in a reasonable amount of time. And there's also EGL-IUG coming up next month; Michele McNeal and I will be presenting. That's going to be a blast! (Except for having to buy a new suit.)

Anyway, here's some news - scientists at the University of Bristol are developing a computer chip that uses photons instead of electrons. A big step forward.

Quantum Technology Paves Way for Faster-than-Light Computing

UK team brings quantum computers one step closer

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Ungainly Headline Heralds "Replacement for Humans"

No, mine isn't much better. The phrase "replacement for humans" doesn't really grab doesn't exactly get your heart racing. Given their plunging ratings, maybe CBS should have gone with an all-out, screaming shocker like "Household Appliances Declare Victory over Mankind. 'Supreme Toaster' Dissolves U.N." If you're still reading at this point, which is doubtful, and want to see what started all this foaming at the mouth, here it is:
Era of Robot Replacement for Humans Inching Nearer.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

They already have fake fur...

Robotics breakthrough: Scientists make artificial skin. (Yeah, another article. I've been really busy, OK? Besides, Emma is starting to answer real reference questions now and there's still a ton of code that needs to be written.)

Sunday, September 5, 2010

“Computers are beginning to grow wheels and roll around in the environment"

Here's an interesting article in the NY Times about the use of robots in medicine. My favorite quote, besides the one above, "For now, most of the mobile robots, sometimes called telepresence robots, are little more than ventriloquists’ dummies with long, invisible strings. But some models have artificial intelligence that lets them do some things on their own, and they will inevitably grow smarter and more agile. They will not only represent the human users, they will augment them." Augment humans...what a nice way to put it.