Elektronisk Dansk A. I. Meddelser 107 Nov 07
19 July 2007
Welcome to the </aitopics/articles&columns/aialerts.html>AI ALERT, a service from the <http:/!
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<#july10o>Donald Michie (obituary) - The Guardian (plus several other obituaries & articles, and links to two videos)
<#july6b>RoboCup Kicks Off in Atlanta - ABC News (plus several related articles and one video)
<#july11d>UK computer history gets new home - BBC News
<#july12g>Arresting developments - The Economist
<#july12x>Robotics camp puts future in kids' hands - The Tennessean (plus several related articles)
<#july16e>The Future of Search: an interview wit! h Peter Norvig - Technology Review
<#july16i>Rise of Roboethics - Seed
<#july19a>Look, no hands - BBC News
<#july19b>Robotics - CBC.ca News In Depth report (a collection)
<#july19d>Checkmate for checkers - news @ (plus three related articles)
<#aug00a>2 articles from the August issue of Scientific American
<#slot>The Expansion Slot - a few more articles
July 10, 2007: <http://www.guardian.co.uk/obituaries/story/0,,2122424,0!
0.html>Donald Michie (obituary) - Key wartime code-breaker who became a leader in the field of artificial intelligence. By Stephen Muggleton. The Guardian. "Donald was 83. He made contributions of crucial international significance in three distinct fields of endeavour. During the second world war, he developed code-breaking techniques which led to effective automatic deciphering of German high-level ciphers. In the 1950s, he worked with Anne [McLaren] on pioneering techniques which were fundamental in the development of in vitro fertilisation. Donald subsequently became one of the founders of the field of artificial intelligence, an area to which he devoted the remainder of his academic career. It was within this field that I came to know Donald as an inspirational supervisor of my PhD at Edinburgh - not only insightful, forceful and even heroic, but possessing a wicked sense of humour. ... Owing to recent declassification, it is now clear how profoundly importan! t Donald's wartime research was. ... During this period at Ble! tchley, Donald held frequent lunchtime discussions with Alan Turing on the possibility of building computer programs that would display intelligence. ... Both Donald and Turing were interested in programming computers to play chess, as well as developing programs which could learn automatically from experience. ... [H]e developed a noughts-and-crosses playing machine called Menace, for which he developed a general-purpose learning algorithm called Boxes. Since no computers were then available to him, he hand-simulated the Boxes algorithm, using a device made from an assembly of matchboxes. By 1963, Donald had assembled a small artificial-intelligence research group at Hope Park Square in Edinburgh. With the support of the Edinburgh vice-chancellor, Sir Edward Appleton, Donald established the experimental programming unit in 1965. ... His crowning achievement was the development, under a team he led, of Freddy II, the world's first demonstration of a laboratory robot capable of using! computer vision feedback in assembling complex objects from a heap of parts. ... In 1986, as head of the Turing Trust in Cambridge, Donald founded the Turing Institute in Glasgow, in honour of his former colleague's key contributions to the field."
</news/britain_f2ae0b7f8b842f539e6374338b6e56c5.html>Top academics killed in motorway crash. ITV News (July 7, 2007). "Two of Britain's leading academics have been killed in a car crash on the M11 motorway, their son has confirmed. Divorced couple Professor Donald Michie, 83, and Dame Anne McLaren, 80, died when their car left the motorway as they travelled from Cambridge en route to their London home. Prof Michie was a researcher in artificial intelligence who worked as part of the British code-breaking group at Bletchley Park during World War ! Two. He contributed to the effort to solve Tunny, a German tel! eprinter cipher."
</index.cfm?id=1065162007>Top Scots academics killed in car crash. By Joanna Valley. Scotland on Sunday (July 8, 2007). "A Scot credited as being one of the fathers of modern artificial intelligence has died in a car crash along with his ex-wife, a leading geneticist. ... Prof Michie was a researcher in artificial intelligence who worked as part of the British code-breaking group at Bletchley Park during the Second World War. He contributed to the effort to solve Tunny, a German teleprinter cipher. He was director of Edinburgh University's Department of Machine Intelligence and Perception from its establishment in 1966 and was founder and editor-in-chief of the Machine Intelligence series."
<http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/6281348.stm>Academic pair killed in car crash.! BBC News (July 8, 2007). "Dr McLaren was a leading geneticist who became the first female officer of the Royal Society. ... Their son, Jonathan Michie, said: 'This is a tragic event especially since Donald was preparing a major lecture to be delivered at the University of Edinburgh on the history of machine intelligence.'"
</articles/ap/2007/07/08/europe/EU-GEN-Britain-Obit-Michie-and-McLaren.php>British artificial intelligence expert, 84, and leading geneticist, 80, die in car crash. The Associated Press / available from the International Herald Tribune (July 8, 2007). "He was appointed director of the University of Edinburgh's Department of Machine Intelligence and Perception when it was established in 1966 and was founder and editor-in-chief of the Machine Intelligence publication series. In the late 1980s, Michie was chief scientist at the Turing Institute in Glasgow, ! Scotland, where he was trying to develop computers that learn ! from exp erience -- a technology that could result in robots that adjust to changing circumstances and learn from mistakes."
<http://www.theherald.co.uk/news/news/display.var.1528895.0.0.php>Tributes for leading academic couple killed in car crash. By Robert Fairburn. The Herald (July 9, 2007). "Commenting on Professor Michie's passing, Professor Michael Fourman, head of the School of Informatics at the University of Edinburgh, said: 'He was one of the early leading proponents of Artificial Intelligence and Robotics. "Donald was the founder of both the Experimental programming Unit and the Department of Machine Intelligence at Edinburgh in the 1960s. Many of us were fortunate to hear his illuminating talk at the recent Edinburgh Computer History reunion and we were looking forward to future visits."
html?xml=/news/2007/07/09/db0901.xml>Professor Donald Michie. Telegraph.co.uk (July 9, 2007; also appears in The Daily Telegraph: page 23). "Professor Donald Michie, who died in a motor accident on Saturday aged 83, was a pioneer in the creation of artificial intelligence; during the war he worked on breaking German codes at Bletchley Park and later, as Professor of Machine Intelligence at Edinburgh University, helped to bring about the world of robots, computer games and search engines. Known to his colleagues as 'Duckmouse', Donald Michie was one of the great multi-disciplinarians of his generation. A classical scholar at the start, he worked with mathematicians - and especially Alan Turing - at Bletchley, then went into genetics until computers caught up with his ambitions to 'build a brain' before putting together his team at Edinburgh. ... [A]t Edinburgh Michie produced innovations including MENACE (an early games machine) and FREDERICK, a prototype robot for! industrial applications. Retiring in 1984 with the title of P! rofessor Emeritus, he founded the Turing Institute at Glasgow University. ... He was awarded numerous honorary degrees and was a Fellow of the British Computer Society and of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. He was an honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a Fellow of the American Association for Artificial Intelligence."
</cms/s/326f2e76-2e4e-11dc-821c-0000779fd2ac.html>Pioneering scientists killed in accident. By Alan Cane and Clive Cookson. FInancial Times (July 10, 2007). "Donald Michie was born in Rangoon, Burma, in 1923 and educated at Rugby School where he won a scholarship to study classics at Balliol College, Oxford. The second world war intervened, however. Instead he studied cryptography, discovered that he had a natural aptitude for the subject and was dispatched to Bletchley. There he and Jack Good worked on 'Colossus', the world's first programmable ! electronic computer. Their work cut the time for deciphering the enemy's messages from weeks to hours."
<dependent.co.uk/people/obituaries/article2758799.ece>Professor Donald Michie - UK founder of machine intelligence. By Martin Campbell-Kelly. The Independent (July 12, 2007). "In the 1960s, Donald Michie founded the field of machine intelligence in Britain through a unique combination of personal history, political savvy and academic brilliance. He had become attracted to the field of machine intelligence during the Second World War, when he had come to know Alan Turing - the most influential computer scientist of his generation. Although there had been a 'cybernetics' movement with an interest in intelligent mechanisms since the late 1930s, it languished after the war and Michie was unable to find a place within it. He therefore set out on an academic career in genetics. Michie h! ad been convinced by Turing that the key to machine intelligen! ce would be the availability of powerful digital computers. These started to arrive in British universities in the early 1960s and Michie adroitly switched disciplines, eventually establishing the Department of Machine Intelligence and Perception at Edinburgh University."
<http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/obituaries/article2061886.ece>Professor Donald Michie - Geneticist who after wartime codebreaking at Bletchley Park was a pioneering researcher into artificial intelligence. The Times (July 12, 2007). "While the wider ambitions of artificial intelligence research may not have been realised, the impact of work done from the 1960s onwards in machine learning, rule-based systems and computer reasoning has given us the easy-to-operate computers that we now use. Predictive text on mobile phones, realistic characters in video games and efficient call-centre systems all rely on the fundamental research ! done by Professor Donald Michie and his colleagues during his long and distinguished career at Edinburgh and Strathclyde universities. ... Michie's primary research involved finding ways for machines to extract rules and behaviours from example data, so that they could learn from experience, and he developed the technique of 'standard induction'. This was effectively applied in industrial plants, for example at a uranium reprocessing plant in Pennsylvania. Aware of the broader applications of his research, Michie developed a commercial version, ExpertEase, to make the process of extracting general rules from human experts more efficient."
Two videos you may want to watch:
/aitopics/html/history.html#lighthill>Lighthill Debate (1973 )
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July 6, 2007: </Technology/story?id=3349975>RoboCup Kicks Off in Atlanta - Competition Spawns Technologies for Military and Consumers. By Brittany McCandless. ABC News. "Transformers may be filling the nation's movie theaters, but real-life robots from all over the world are convening in Atlanta to showcase their futuristic ability to help humans -- and to bend it like Beckham. From Iran to Ireland, Germany to Greece, nearly 300 teams from 37 countries are participating at RoboCup 2007 at the Georgia Institute of Technology, competing in events from search-and-rescue operations to robotic soccer games. The ultimate goal of the RoboCup project is to develop a team of fully autonomous huma! noid robots that will beat the human champion World Cup team by 2050. 'This is truly an international event,' said Tucker Balch, an associate professor at the Georgia Tech College of Computing and general chairman of RoboCup 2007 Atlanta. ... The competition features research robotics, meaning the more than 1,700 participants from universities, high schools, middle schools and elementary schools are showcasing new technology. Balch said soccer is the game of choice because it's one of the most international games and it's easy to recognize the robot's goal. ... Real-time perception, artificial intelligence, multirobot collaboration and design principles of autonomous machines are just some of the technologies at work in a single game. 'It's driving many technologies forward all at once, even though on the surface it appears to he a simple game,' Balch said."
ocal/annearundel/bal-ar.robots06jul06,0,1989465.story>Entering byte-sized robot contest - Naval Academy group only undergrads in tournament in Ga. By Bradley Olson. (July 6, 2006). "Imagine building a robot so small that it looks like a fire ant, even when magnified by a factor of 50. Now picture the nano-sized David Beckham bot playing "soccer" on a field about one sixteenth the size of a quarter. Sound like a feat? Advertisement For a handful of midshipmen and one recent graduate of the Naval Academy, it certainly was.... The team left yesterday for Georgia Tech in Atlanta, this year's home to the RoboCup championships, an annual spectacle that brings together thousands of robot researchers from several dozen countries who produce soccer-playing robots on various scales, from the nano level to humanoids. The competition, which started in 1997, runs through Tuesday. Prizes will not be awarded for the inaugural year of the 'nanogram league.'"
Video: </video/#/video/tech/petition.cnn>Competing with robots. CNN (July 7, 2007). "Students from 37 countries meet in Atlanta, Georgia, for a robotics competition. CNN's Bonnie Schneider reports."
</results?search_query=RoboCup+2007&search=>RoboCup videos available from YouTube
this blast from the past: <http://www.cs.ubc.ca/%7Emack/RobotSoccer.htm>Dynamos and Dynamites - The World's First Soccer Playing Robots<http://www.cs.ubc.ca/%7Emack/RobotSoccer.htm>, a collection of videos on Professor Alan Mackworth's Robot Soccer page.
</markets/market_news/article.jsp?content=D8Q8IT2G0>Miniature Robots Play in World's First Nanoscale Soccer Game at Atlanta Tech Contest. By Greg Bluestein. Associated Press / available from Canadian Business Online (July 8, 2007)/ also available from The Boston Globe: </news/world/europe/articles/2007/07/08/miniature_robots_play_nano_soccer/>Miniature robots play nano-soccer. "Robots of all sizes have descended on the campus of Georgia Tech for the RoboCup, an international contest that pits robotic creations against one another in a range of technical challenges. But perhaps the most intriguing event was Saturday's Nano Cup, a competition hailed by organizers as the world's first nanoscale soccer game. Held by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, its organizers hope to show the potential for building tiny devices that can be us! ed in manufacturing, biotechnology and other industries. They also hope to develop manufacturing standards for the untapped field. 'If you take an ant and leave it on its own, it can't do much. But many ants can do incredible things,' said Michael Gaitan, the leader of the agency's microrobots project. 'We think the same way with microrobots. We'll have to see where it takes us. For now, it's soccer.' Five teams from the U.S., Canada and Switzerland answered the call...."
</News/10Jul2007_news02.php>Thai rescue robot wins again. By Apinya Wipatayotin. Bankok Post (July 10, 2007) / </?content=634ft600014545e&features=20070712022545>also available from AsiaViews - Asian News. "A Thai team which designed and built a rescue robot has won the World Robocup Rescue Championships, held in Atlanta, Georgia, the United States, for the second ye! ar in a row. ... It beat 17 rival teams from eight countries, ! includin g world-class robot maker teams from the US, Germany and Japan, which won the second prize. ... The outstanding performances of the Independent robot has prompted the Defence Ministry to ask the KMITNB to produce rescue robots for military rescue operations, said Mr Jackrit [Suthakorn]."
</blog/portal/archives/2007/07/robocup_2007_wr.html>RoboCup 2007 Wraps up. Jon Erickson's Editor's Eye blog . Dr. Dobb's Portal (July 9, 2007). "Nearly 300 teams from 37 countries competed in RoboCup 2007 Atlanta, the competition for research robotics at the Georgia Institute of Technology. All in all, approximately 1700 students and faculty from universities, high schools, middle schools, and elementary schools competed in events ranging from four-legged and humanoid robotic soccer games to search-and-rescue competitions. ... Results! from the other events are still coming in. Maybe I should take the easy way out on this, and just say that in an event like RoboCup, everyone is a winner. Okay, that's wimpy -- but it's true."
</201000991>RoboCup Results In - Yes, robots can play soccer. Dr. Dobb's Portal (July 12, 2007). "
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July 11, 2007: <http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/6291422.stm>UK computer history gets new home. BBC News. "Plans are taking shape to set up a museum that celebrates Britain's role in the origins of the digital age. The National Museum of Computing will be based at Bletchley Park where World War II code breakers built th! e first recognisably modern computers. The museum's centrepiec! e is the rebuilt Colossus computer that broke high-level German communications during WWII. ... 'This is not a museum of computers but of computing,' he said. Every machine on display would be restored to show how it worked, said Mr [Andy] Clark. ... The Museum gets an unofficial opening on 12 July 2007 when the British Computer Society stages a conference at Bletchley on the history of early computers and efforts to preserve them."
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July 12, 2007: </science/displaystory.cfm?story_id=9468793>Arresting developments - Computer science and biological science have a lot to teach each other. The Economist. "Working with Stephen Muggleton of Imperial College, London, [Stephen Emmott of Microsoft Research] is developing an 'artificial scientist' that would be capable of combining inductive logic with probabilistic rea! soning. Such a computer would be able to design experiments, collect the results and then integrate those results with theory. Indeed, it should be possible, the pair think, for the artificial scientist to build hypotheses directly from the data, spotting relationships that the humble graduate student or even his supervisor might miss. ... [Luca Cardelli's] colleagues, meanwhile, are examining how the spread of diseases such as malaria and AIDS can be thought of as information systems. They are using what used to be called artificial intelligence and is now referred to as machine learning to explore the relationships between the two. All of which raises some interesting philosophical points. If, say, a computer were used to diagnose a patient's symptoms and recommend treatment, and the result was flawed, could the computer be held responsible? Peter Lipton of the University of Cambridge, who ponders such matters, suggests that such expert systems could indeed be held morall! y responsible for the consequences of their actions (although ! the desi gners of such systems would not necessarily be off the hook). ..."
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July 12, 2007: </apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2007707120373>Robotics camp puts future in kids' hands - Professors train tomorrow's engineers. By Jaime Sarrio. ."[F]or the 30 or so Middle Tennessee students learning this week how to wire, craft and create robots using only a few tools, the Lipscomb University Robotics Camp is a gadget guru's paradise. ... The five-day camp was created by fellow robot enthusiast and David Lipscomb High student Bryan Reasonover as a project to earn his Eagle Scout designation. ... 'There's a big problem in engineering these days, and that is that enrollments are low,' said Greg Nordstrom, associate professor of engineering at Lipscomb and the camp's lead instructor. 'Students are not seeing the! connection between what engineers do and the world around them. (At camp) the lights come on. They see the connection. It's fun and they're around other kids who think it is fun, so it's OK to give the right answer.'"
</apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070712/NEWS01/70712001/1002>Summer class inspires kids as they learn about robots at Blue Ridge Community College in Weyers Cave. By Christina M. Mitchell. (July 12, 2007). "The two boys joined a handful of others this week in an Intro to Robotics class at Blue Ridge Community College's Learning Can Be Fun summer series. The program offers a variety of courses for children in grades K-12. ... The goal for the robotics course is simple. As instructor Jim Richerson explains it: Technology can be fun. 'I want the kids to be intro! duced to technology,' Richerson said. 'It can be fun to be an ! engineer or to work with robots or to work with technology.' Richerson teaches courses in computers and electronics to college-age students during the school year. Some of his students in those classes started out as elementary kids in a Learning Can Be Fun course."
</wp-dyn/content/article/2007/07/12/AR2007071202065.html>At Tech Camp, Video Games, Robots -- and No Lanyards. By Nelson Hernandez. The Washington Post (July 13, 2007: page B01; free reg. req'd). "Parents spend about $1.2 billion a year on "specialty camps" where youths can learn about computers, science, medicine, business and other subjects, said Pete Findley, president of Giant Campus, which operates Cybercamps. (About $14 billion is spent on traditional outdoor camps.) Findley said the technology camp market is worth about $400 million to $500 million a year, and Cybercamps has revenue of more than $10 millio! n. ... Morgan Nimtz, a 10-year-old from Silver Spring, worked on robots, one of the projects combining computers and physical objects. She proudly showed off her robot, which was able to bleep most of 'Do-Re-Mi' from 'The Sound of Music.' ... 'It's so fun,' Morgan said. 'You get to learn, but you get to play games.' That is the point of the camp. Giant Campus has gone as far as trademarking the phrase 'Human brains learn more when they're having fun.'"
</news/2007/jul/13/tech-camp-exercises-brain-creativity/>Tech Camp exercises brain, creativity - CLU robot projects stir imaginations, build learning skills. By Jean Cowden Moore. Ventura County Star (July 13, 2007). "Michelle, 14, is attending a technology camp at California Lutheran University, as well as at other campuses throughout the nation. ... Michelle is one of only two girls in the camp's robotics session! , but that's fine with her. 'It's just something I like to do,! ' said M ichelle, who goes to La Reina High School in Thousand Oaks and lives in Newbury Park. 'More girls should go into robotics. It's a lot of fun.' ... Other children at the camp are learning to design and program their own video games or build their own Web sites."
</metro/1184401997/4>Kids College preps kids for learning. By Gayle Perez. The Pueblo Chieftain Online (July 14, 2007). "Nine-year-old Vincent Valdez wished every day at school could be as fun as Friday. ... Vincent spent the past week building and programming a robot as part of the robotics class offered at Pueblo Community College's annual Kids College program. ... 'My grandma made me sign up for the class but I'm really glad I did because it's been a lot of fun,' Vincent said. 'I learned a lot about making robots and programming them to do different things.' ... Sondra Glick, instructor for the course, said in t! he two-hour-a-day, five-day course, she was able to give the students a fairly good introduction to robotics."
</apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2007707150376>Robots, cheering collide at Purdue student's camp. Norwich Bulletin (July 15, 2007). "A Purdue University graduate student is trying to get more girls interested in technology careers through cheerleading. Christi Jacobs designed a camp for high school cheerleaders where they'll program robots to dance and create digital cheerleading routines. Jacobs, a former captain of the Purdue cheerleading squad who is writing a master's thesis on how to attract women to technology, spoke with Gannett News Service about what she hopes to accomplish. Question: What kind of reaction have you gotten from people about the camp? ... Q: Are you worried that if the camp is too successful, cheerleaders will be replaced by! robots? ..."
</apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070715/REPOSITORY/707150402>A limitless future for these kids - Remarkable program for gifted scholars has lessons for all of us. Opinion by Morissa Sobelson. Concored Monitor (July 15, 2007). "I just returned from two weeks working at an academic program for high school students at Brown University. ... The extremely selective program that brought them together was no ordinary program. Funded through $800 million left by professional sports team and property owner Jack Kent Cooke when he died in 1997, the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation's mission is to give low-income, high-achieving students the opportunity to blaze paths to intellectual and artistic success without financial obstacles. ... What fascinated me was the way the students approached learning. ... A group of students focusing on computer science brought together their interests in environmentalism, magnetism and artificial intelligenc! e to discuss using computer modeling technology to develop fuel-efficient transportation. ... Unlike most education-oriented nonprofit organizations that focus on changing the American educational system or assisting the most needy students, the foundation unapologetically focuses on changing the lives of individual, gifted learners, young people with 'high-end minds and low-end family incomes,' as the Washington Post put it. ... America is failing its minority and low-income students."
</stories/071907/com_136433.shtml>Brothers from Thomson attend Space Camp. The McDuffie Mirror (July 19, 2007). "Will and Dillard Norman of Thomson spent a week at Space Camp in Huntsville, Ala., during the month of June. Will attended the Space Academy Robotics program. He was assigned the position 'station specialist' on a replica of the International Sp! ace Station. Part of his responsibility was that his team had ! to desig n and engineer a robot that would pick-up artifacts on the lunar surface using the computer and the Lego Mindstorm program."
<http://www.cbc.ca/news/background/tech/robotics/robot-starter-bots.html>Starter bots - Are kids' home-built robots laying the foundation for inspired inventions? By Denise Deveau (July 19, 2007). " Robotics summer camp - At the 2007 IBM Exite (Exploring Interest in Technology and Engineering) summer camp in Toronto, 11- to 13-year-old girls are being asked to program their robotic creations to compete in a 'So You Think Your Robot Can Dance' competition. ... Daniel Chun, owner of BoyToys hobby store in Mississauga, said his store's Little Scientist workshops and summer camp program have been growing every year."
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July 16, 2007: </Biztech/19050/?a=f>The Future of Search - The head of Google Research talks about his group's projects. By Kate Greene. Technology Review. "Peter Norvig, Google's director of research, is an expert ace at building machines that answer tough questions. An authority in programming languages and artificial intelligence, he has written an oft-cited book on AI (Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach), has taught at the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Southern California, and was the head of computational sciences at NASA. In 2001, Norvig came to Google to be the director of search quality. Four years later, he became Google's director of research, overseeing about 100 researchers who investigate topics that range from networking to machine translation. Technology Review spok! e with Norvig to get a hint of what we can expect from search ! technolo gy in the years to come. Technology Review: What does Google Research do? ... TR: What are the outstanding problems in search? ... TR: Your expertise is in artificial intelligence. Isn't Google, at its core, an artificial-intelligence company using machine-learning algorithms to search the Web, recognize speech, and match advertising with keywords? ..."
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- 13.45 Patrik Doherty: Integrating AI and Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Technologies - A tsunami based emergency services scenario and the use of AI technologies
- At its recent recent General Assembly, on Friday October 31, the board of BNVKI-AIABN declared that the society intends to be a platform for AI research in Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg, in short the Benelux, and that it
- An ECCAI Travel Award Scheme has been established to support students, young researchers and faculty who are members of an ECCAI affiliated society participating in ACAI and ECAI.