All posts by Martha Fay Burtis

Building A Next-Generation Infrastructure for Agent-based Distance Learning (PDF ZIP)

The emergence of the Internet has radically changed the way in which we learn, teach and train. This paper proposes an integrated and extensible architecture for agent-based distance learning. The architecture provides component-based extensibility, allowing emerging technologies to be plugged-in, so that they can produce synergy. It provides HTTP and IIOP connections for maintaining and delivering courseware to students. Via the HTTP connection, our Persona system provides the personalization service to each set of courseware, allowing it to customize its content and/or presentation context-sensitively. This s

ervice facilitates the effective delivery of courseware. Via the IIOP connection, our SoftDock system provides the foundation facility allowing users to work collaboratively in teams. Our current educational domain is software modeling. Participants learn the basic concepts and principles of software modeling, and then leverage their newly-acquired modeling skills. We believe our work provides a blue print for showing how emerging technologies can be applied to practical distance learning applications.

AIML Overview

IML, or Artificial Intelligence Mark-up Language enables people to input knowledge into chat-bots based on the A.L.I.C.E free software technology.

AIML was developed by the Alicebot free software community and I during 1995-2000. It was originally adapted from a non-XML grammar also called AIML, and formed the basis for the first Alicebot, A.L.I.C.E., the Artificial Linguistic Internet Computer Entity.

AIML, describes a class of data objects called AIML objects and partially describes the behavior of computer programs that process them. AIML objects are made up of units called topics and categories, which contain either parsed or unparsed data.

Intelligent Agents and How They Are Changing Online Learning

Intelligent Agents, or bots, are software programs that can accomplish tasks autonomously upon activation. They are now coming to be widely used in online learning environments and have taken many different forms, from automated information banks to comparison tools to course tutors.

This spring, two experts on intelligent agents, Steve Knode and Morris Pondfield, gave presentations at University of Maryland University College for the CVU’s Distance Education Scholars Program. Their presentations were subsequently repeated to UMUC overseas audiences in Heidelberg and Tokyo.

Responsive Face Demo detail
Detail from Ken Perlin’s
Responsive Face Demo,
NYU Media Research Lab

This site highlights Knode’s and Pondfield’s work on intelligent agents. You can choose between Knode’s full-length presentation or a series of mini-presentations delivered by Pondfield.

Natural Born Cyborgs: Minds, Technologies, and the Future of Human Intelligence

Interview with Andy Clark.

Natasha Mitchell: So your suggestion is that our mind is a lot bigger than our body, that somehow we kind of incorporate the world around us into our mind.

Andy Clark: Yeah, I guess the thought is that we’re kind of set up to do that so here’s a kind of parallel.

Some animals, but not all, have a sense of what’s called haptic touch, humans have it, chimpanzees have it. Haptic touch is a kind of sense whereby you can take a tool, and you can very quickly come to treat it as if it was part of your body. For example, you can take a rake and during the raking motion, if they record from cells in the monkey’s brain the cells that would normally represent the fingers of the hand can very quickly come to map the area of the tines of the rake. So in a way, immediately on the spot the body mage of the monkey has been adapted to encompass the tool. But I think that unlike the monkey we do it for more cognitive things as well, our brains are just set up to kind of loop out and exploit the environment around them for cognitive purposes.

Are You Ready for Social Software?

YEARS AGO, a logic professor beat it into my bony head that Sherlock Holmes had it all wrong when he consistently claimed to use deduction in solving his cases. It turns out he (or better, Arthur Conan Doyle) was using induction, which is, according to Webster’s, “the act or process of reasoning from a part to a whole, from particulars to generals, or from the individual to the universal.” In working from a paltry collection of clues to a full understanding of the actions and motives of the butler and his victim, Holmes/Doyle was, basically, developing a picture of the universe surrounding the crime from a few hints.

EducationGuardian.co.uk | E-learning | The semantic web

When discussing the semantic web, it is important to get one thing clear from the start: this is not a new version of the internet. Casual web users will probably not even notice semantic web technologies running behind their browsers. But they might notice a vast improvement in the relevance of the data returned to them through search engines. For adults and children alike, this could mean more time spent reading, watching and listening to immediately useful multimedia material, and less time filtering out junk search returns.