Tuesday, September 25, 2007
IWB on Social Robots
The Huggable is a robotic communication avatar designed for social interactions, education, healthcare and other applications. It is essentially a very cute teddy bear, with a sensitive skin, embedded "intelligence" (i.e., hardware and software), wireless communications and the ability to see, hear, speak, touch and move. But what I find so compelling about The Huggable is that it can operate as an autonomous personal robot and as a semi-autonomous robotic avatar that is part of a human social network, providing a much richer set of interactions to the members of the network than is possible using PCs and similar devices.
There is a lot of activity in intelligent, autonomous, mobile robots for entertainment, education, protection and many other applications. Applications range from helping doctors and nurses perform their duties better (even remotely), to providing assistance to the elderly for improved mobility and strength (e.g., vacuuming, helping in getting out of bed, even companionship). Aging populations around the world are a big driver of personal robot products and applications.
The concept of semi-autonomous robots integrated into a social network is new, at least for me. But once you start thinking about potential applications, many come to mind, in areas as diverse as family communications, healthcare, education and entertainment.For example, imagine faraway grandparents being able to interact with their young grandchildren who are holding and playing with The Huggable. You can talk, read stories and sing to them. You can (virtually) hug them. You can watch and listen to their reactions as well as sense the way they hold and touch the teddy-bear-like device. Imagine a similar scenario with soldiers stationed around the world, being able to interact with their young children in a far richer, more emotional and satisfying way than a phone conversation. Or imagine the help it could provide children not getting enough nurturing and stimulation from their parents, by enabling family members, professionals or volunteers to get involved in their care.
Virtual World News
Monday, September 24, 2007
Bin Laden Word Cloud
I registered and uploaded the Gutenberg.org Alice in Wonderland. Guess which words are most frequent before clicking. . . here or here.
Here is some population data to play with from the Census Bureau.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Fight for Kisses
|THREE TYPES OF CHANGES|
|Motivation for Change||Better, Faster, Cheaper||Fix a problem||Survival,Environment,World Changes, Breakthrough needed|
|Degree of Change||Incremental improvements||Transition from old to new; A to B||Revolutionary|
|Necessary Thinking||Improve||Change management; strategic planning||Radical shifts in mindset/thinking/actions|
|Actions||Manage and control processes||Design the plan; implement the plan||Whole system change, complete overhaul of mindset, paradigms, culture|
Friday, September 07, 2007
The old one - - -
The new one - - -
Thursday, September 06, 2007
More Women in the Family Tree
The TierneyLab blog over at the NYTimes has an interesting post about the genetic evidence that there are more women in our individual and collective family trees than men. The sociological explanation is that, in the past, lots of men had no offspring (killed in war, killed hunting, killed fooling around, had bad B.O., etc.), thus the remaining (fewer men) had the job to help the unmatched lonely women have children. So, historically, the reproductive men had more children per person (through multiple partners), than reproductive women had per person. Over the generations, descendants of these men married each other. Thus these men would should up in multiple ancestral lines with different female partners. As a result there are fewer male progenitors than female. Polygamous societies contributed to this phenomenon -- as did victorious armies in raping the widows of the defeated armies.
This phenomenon is also evident in the animal kingdom, such as the seal and big cat polygamous societies.
Post Script: A couple of people have reminded me that in previous generations there was a high death rate in childbirth. This meant that a man could have children by two or three wives over the course of his life, in a serial monogamy fashion.