close this bookVolume 8: No. 16.3
View the documentGenetic algorithms
View the documentAlife applications
View the documentAI and robotics
View the documentResearch software (in our CRS 8.16 digest this week)
View the documentTravel communications
View the documentHealth
View the documentPersonal advice

Hugo de Garis says that evolvable analog hardware and evolvable mixed digital/analog hardware will soon be available, via field programmable analog arrays from Alister Hamilton in Edinburgh. At most a minor modification is needed to let the chips accept random bit strings. . [, GA-List, 05May98. Bill Park.]

Raffaele Gaioni has constructed a big new link page for genetic algorithms, plus an extensive address list for GA researchers. Additional links are solicited. . [, genetic-programming, 28Apr98. Bill Park.]

Archives of the Genetic Programming (GP) mailing list are now on the Web, at . The entire 4.2MB archive is also available as . [Thomas D. Haynes , genetic-programming, 06May98. Bill Park.]

An "Art and Aesthetics of Artificial Life" exhibition will run 26Jun-12Jul98 at the UCLA Center for Digital Arts, coordinated with the Alife 6 conference. Videos, pictures, sculptures, websites, software, environments, etc., are solicited. Thumbnail samples from at least 25 artists will be posted to . [Nicholas Gessler, , genetic-programming, 30Apr98. Bill Park.]

The British Ministry of Defense (MOD) asked CyberLife to adapt their Creatures game to a real application: piloting unmanned aircraft. The approach is genetic search through a space of complex neural networks and "hormone" levels designed to simulate human behavior and learning. The norns have been training/evolving in Eurofighter simulations, and can now "sustain flight formations, evade attackers, shoot down enemy aircraft, and complete reconnaissance missions." In about six months they'll be given genuine miniature planes to fly. [Anil Malhorta. Newsweek, 18May98, p. 10.]

You can find more about the fighter pilot application, plus an introduction to norns, in a recent New Scientist article, . For a pretty thorough explanation of their neural-network construction, see . There's also a lot of discussion on Usenet's [Jorn Barger ,, 12May98.]

Oops. A woman driving in Marseille heard distress signals from her Tamagotchi and tried to get a companion to take care of the little critter. Her attention distracted, she slammed into two cyclists. One died instantly. [RISKS-19.36-37. Bill Park, 17Apr98.] (An artificial life death? A norn might have driven more safely -- but it's hard to train it on unforeseen situations.)

A good "jumping off" place to research projects using the "Soar Architecture for Cognition" is . The central page for the Soar/IFOR project, which develops automated pilots for combat aircraft, is . Some of the links from this page are password-protected by the US government, but you can usually get access to them if you have a legitimate reason. [Randolph M. Jones ,, 28Apr98.]

The ARGO autonomous vehicle from UParma's Dipartimento di Ingegneria dell'Informazione will be driving stretches of highway in Italy on 01-06Jun98. You can tune in on a live video stream and other information, at . [Alberto Broggi , Vision-List, 11May98.]

Robotica is one of the Cambridge University Press Journals currently available free, during development of a Cambridge Journals Online service. You can search or browse the full articles, including high-quality illustrations. . [, newjour, 04May98.] (Registration is required.)

EG3 Communications maintains a list of Internet AI resources, including FAQs, papers, link pages, shareware, companies, etc., as part of its Free Electronic Engineers' Toolbox at . See and for the AI links. [Nina Pinto ,, 24Apr98. David Joslin.]

NASA is looking for AI/CS graduate students or recent BS/MS graduates for summer internships or long-term employment at the NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, CA. Projects include autonomous planetary rovers, model-based reasoning, and software agents for information management in design/engineering environments. You can contact me for the ad (prior to our next CCJ) or write to . One of the projects on model-based decompositional learning is documented at . [Rich Washington , 19May98.]

C++ classes for Apple speech recognition API, from J. Strout.

Red Hat Linux 5.0: PC version of Linux.

superNatural: evolutionary discrete/continuous data modeling.

Modelling English Text: structural analysis/compression dissertation by W.J. Teahan.

Classification and Regression using Mixtures of Experts: dissertation by Waterhouse.

"Network Optimization: Continuous and Discrete Models": linear/nonlinear/discrete network book by Bertsekas.

Simulating Organizations: book ed. by Prietula, Carley, and Gasser.

Developing Software for Safety Critical Systems: video from IEEE.

If you want to check your email while you're on the road, you may be able to download it from your ISP using any Web browser. Your ISP has to offer POP3 capability, and you need to connect via MailStart at or ReadMail at . That way you can read your mail from a Kinko's, cybercafe, airport computer, or hotel rental. Other email and forwarding solutions may be found through the Free Email Address Directory at . [Phillip Robinson, SJM, 03May98, 1E.]

Everything E-Mail, about email, discussion lists, and other email-based services on the Internet, has moved to . 254 links. [, net-hap, 03Sep97.] (Particularly useful for travelers and for the visually impaired.)

JFAX can help you stay in touch while traveling. It offers local phone numbers -- in 80 cities in 8 countries -- that accept voice mail and faxes for delivery via the Internet, for $12.50/month. They've just added an 888 number where you can listen to your voice mail or to synthesized reading of your email and your fax headers, for $.25/minute. . [Newsweek, 11May98, p. 90.]

Totally stressed out at work? That's common along the US Eastern Seaboard (from New York City, NJ, Philadelphia, and DC down to Georgia and Northern Florida) and Gulf States (across to Eastern Texas). Also Detroit, Chicago, Miami, and Las Vegas. Workers are merely "frayed" in other greater metropolitan regions, including Seattle and most of Minnesota, Colorado, California, and south of the Great Lakes. Hawaii, Washington, and the Southwest are "almost mellow," and you'll find "contented types" in Alaska, New England, and most of the Northern and Central states. [Michael J. Weiss, Newsweek, p. 8.]

Jellyfish are the latest pet craze in Tokyo, although their special tanks aren't common yet. (The jellyfish have to be protected from bubbles and strong currents or suction.) Jellyfish are inexpensive, don't chew the furniture, and move with a slow, soothing grace. They are also a popular food item in Japan, but that's a different species. [SJM, 21Apr98, 7C.]

A recent study at Ohio State U. found that avoiding pessimism is important to reducing anxiety and stress, thereby improving health. Embracing optimism had much less effect. [SJM, 06May98, 5E.]

(Still, optimism has its uses. As Noam Chomsky said, "Optimism is a strategy for making a better future." [QOTD, 19May98.] The Dali Lama once advised, "choose to be optimistic, it feels better." [DailyQuote, 18Mar98.])

Quotes of the Day comes with several archives and a search engine. . [Barbara J. Feldman , net-hap, 24Nov97.]

Karen Weber's DailyThought Motivational Quotes Archive is now searchable, at . New contact address: or . [, 12Mar98.]

Norman Vincent Peale is considered by many to be the founder of today's human-potential movement, although he drew his inspiration from Emerson and William James. Peale's quotations are available on "Positive Thinking Every Day: An Inspiration for Each Day of the Year," . [dailythought, 25Apr98.]

Two new daily quotation sources are the irony and philosophy lists from The Philosophy Service. Send a "subscribe_irony" or "subscribe_philosophy" subject line to . [, NEW-LIST, 04May98.] (The irony jokes tend to be trivial, but some of the quotes from philosophers really do make one think. Others are too dense to understand.)

-- Ken