Thursday, February 19, 2009


Hi everyone!

We've been quite busy lately and I'm going to make a point to update this more often. I really intend to, and since all I have to do this semester is graduate and transition to being a post-doc on top of Open Mind I should have lots of free time. What have we been up to? Well...

Most recently, Henry, Erik Mueller , and I ran a workshop on story understanding at IUI last week. Rodger Schank gave an interesting keynote on designing user interfaces using stories. He focused on how people interact and convey information naturally using stories rather than using the constructs which are common in user interfaces today. He talked about how "cavemen" communicated (ie, what are the modes of interaction we've been using all along), just-in-time information and making interfaces more goal-directed. We had a lot of good discussions, saw papers presented, had a demo session and many of us are still communicating by email. I'll try to post a more comprehensive summary later.

Also at IUI, Jayant and I gave a main conference talk on a paper by pretty much all of us using mixture models to play a game of twenty questions with the user. It asks questions which are selected to help AnalogySpace infer information about a new concept.

There's lots of stuff in the pipeline:
  • There are thoughts of an AAAI symposium in a year for the entire common sense community.
  • I'm working on a new technique for infusing normal data and reasoning techniques with common sense. It's working really well.
  • We're planning on putting up a lot of documentation soon and possibly some videos. Keep watching.

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