Topics and News document - Quest Group's Blog

munchsistersAI and Robotics

Oct 17, 2013 (3 years and 8 months ago)


QUEST topics, Sept 16, 2011



one is a continuation of our discussion

Dr. Tsou will stimulate the discussion
by providing his understanding of the relationship between what we know about
physiology and our ongoing discussions on the role of qualia / sys1

that will take us
back to
the question

‘can you make objective measurements of emotions or pain or
even ‘redness’?’

related to

our cloud diagram that we were using as a homework

Specifically accounting for relationships between external observables and
aspects (bo
th sys1 {subconscious} and sys2 {conscious}) of our internal representation of
the world is our goal.


For example, when we say the word ‘red’ to describe some
spectral aspect of some part of our visual sensory data that we’ve
incorporated into our
illusory cartesean theater what is the source
of that articulated label and what is its relationship to the visual
quale {the actual experience of what is seen} and to the sensory
data {what is captured at the retina and encoded in pulses}.

A1. Based on t
hat relationship, can we begin to estimate the form
for "information" bandwidth calculation in sys1 & sys2, respectively?


We want to have the same discussion with respect to more
complicated qualia like emotions and pain.

We would like to
account f
or the relationships between ‘frustration’ or ‘confusion’ to
external observables like electro
dermal activity (EDA) and the
internal qualia and also the internal sys1 states that we don’t have
available to introspect over.


The focus of the discus
sion is to establish a position on how we
can design an engineering experiment to allow quest agents to
capture an accurate representation of the humans they are
collaborating with in order to better estimate what context to
provide that human to improve d
ecision making.

C1. Finally, where and how could the calculated human
"information" bandwidth be widened or supplemented by the quest
agents? (where can the quest agents make the greatest impact?)


Topic two is a recent article on impact of processing
of scenes.

Specifically the
impact of object recognition integrated within the context of the general outline of the
scene information.

The researchers presented to 28 people four scenes (bathroom,
kitchen, intersection, and a playground).

They then wer
e presented objects associated
with entities in those environments and the neural signatures for those objects
representations were recorded (specifically in the lateral occipital cortex


combination of the simple object representations was the
n compared to the scene

The combination of the stove and the fridge responses matched the
response to the kitchen.

The implication is that within the LOC the representation of
the scene is a simple combination of parts.


That brings us

back to topic three

to continue the brainstorming session on the
BURKA lab experiment and its potential use as the sys2 cognition engine for a quest


suggested emphasizing a Knowledge engineering video analysis (KEVA)

Video Image Retrie
val and Analysis Tool

(VIRAT) program

application twist:


Modify Current KEVA/virat Capability:


Index, track,
relocate objects of interest in stored and new still and
streaming im



The purpose
of the VIRAT program was to create a database that could
store large quantities of video, and make it easily
searchable by intelligence agents to find "video con
tent of
interest" (e.g. "find all of the footage where three or more
people are standing together in a group")

this is known
as "content
based searching".

The othe
r primary
purpose was to create software that could provide "alerts"
to intelligence operatives during live operations (e.g. "a
person just entered the building").


Capt Amerika proposed an experiment to investigate the application of QUEST
concepts to solve the problem of what bits to exploit and at what resolution in a layered
sensing environment.

The idea is that we don’t have the option of processing all bits
ensed for all possible meanings so we need an approach to decide what we look at and
how we look at it.

The multiresolution Burka experiment where conflicts between the
simulation and the observations at coarse resolutions can drive exploitation resources

and when those conflicts don’t exists we can avoid expending those exploitation
resources and potentially not drown in that data will be discussed.

We specifically want
to add the details for ATRs and Trackers.

We would also like to discuss the potentia
integration of human analyst in this discussion using technology to measure their sys1
response to a given set of data at a given resolution.

We will examine the devices
offered by the company Affectiva for this purpose.


Someday we will get to the
other topic

the recent Sci Amer ‘Mind’ issue July 2011,
a word doc with some snippets from some of the articles can be provided to stimulate

News Articles


Al Qaeda in Pakistan days limited

Al Qaeda's ability to carry out ope
rations from its Pakistan base could be eliminated
within the next two years
, according to Michael Vickers, the U.S. undersecretary of
defense for intelligence…"Assuming sustained CT (counterterrorism) operations against
the group, within
18 to 24 months,
core al Qaeda cohesion and operational capabilities
could be degraded to the point that the group cou
ld fragment and exist mostly as a
propaganda arm and power could devolve to regional affiliates."… United States
"within reach of strategically defeati
ng al Qaeda."

He said the successful operation to
take out Osama bin Laden and the identification of other key al Qaeda leaders put th
United States in a better position.

"If we can be successful at going after them, I
think we can really undermine their
bility to do any kind of planning, to be able to conduct any kind of attack
" on
the United States. "That's why I think it's within reach. Is it going to take some
more work? You bet it is. But I think it's within reach," Panetta said…
Vickers said
al Qaeda'
s leaders "are being eliminated at a far faster rate than al Qaeda can
replace them," and noted the replacements "are much less experienced and

eight of al Qaeda's 20 key leaders have been eliminated this
"When you see a group like
Boko Haram, which is focused internally, use
a car bomb the way they did, it's a capability they clearly got from AQIM (Al
Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb)." But a senior defense official said of the idea of
al Qaeda affiliates banding together, "You aren't g
oing to see some Legion of
Doom. It's an opportunity for an alliance of convenience

Tuesday, new CIA
Director David Petraeus said the "heavy losses to al Qaeda senior leadership
appear to have created an important window of vulnerability for the core al

Qaeda in Pakistan and Afghanistan,”…


Al Qaeda hit again

al Qaeda figure identified as the terrorist network's chief of operations in
Pakistan has been killed…
Abu Hafs al
Shahri helped coordinate anti
plots in the region and
"worked closely" with Pakistani Taliban operatives to
carry out attacks there

A senior Obama administration official said al
was killed earlier this week in one of the tribal districts of northern Pakistan. It's
latest in a series of losses among the top ranks of the terrorist network…


Active camo for tanks


an armor encasing that looks and fee
ls as one imagines a dragon's
scales to

turns tanks into chameleons,
allowing them to disappear into the
environment behind them or to even look like a snow drift, trash can, crowd, or
a soccer mom’s station wagon…
product of

working alongside the Sw
Defence Material Administration, Adaptiv flaunts the
very latest in camouflage
Infrared, used by devices such as night
vision goggles or aircraft,
essentially sees in hot and cold, unlike the human eye.
Adaptiv uses the reliance
thermals in the battlefield against adversaries by manipulating these hot
and cold readings to deceive the surveillant
….A system of more
than 1,000 5.5
inch hexagonal tiles made of thermo
electric material gives the tank its
like capability, whic
h can confuse (if not convince) an adversary
into thinking it is looking at something it is not. Hesitation can give the
warfighters a few more seconds

which may be the difference on the
tiles or pixels can rapidly change temperature directe
d by
cameras that monitor and quickly project adjustments onto them to conform
with the tank’s immediate environment
blogosphere has been a buzz about
Adaptiv’s invisibility power, but arguably even cooler is its ability to shapeshift
to the eyes
of infrared. Disguising vehicles as tanks with paint or netting is
nothing new, but Adaptiv does it in a far smarter way…
transform into an
entirely different object, Adaptiv draws from its pattern library organized by
terrain and projects itself as somethi
ng native to the immediate area…
not limited by its pattern library however, and can even go chameleon on the
spot shifting into something it has come across in its immediate terrain

for example, sometimes use a method of radiating their
identity in all
directions; Adaptiv is capable of signaling its identity to only the friendly

projecting onto its skin a marker similar to a barcode, it can indicate it is
a friendly in a way that is only readable to its force…


Computer detection
of pain

Researchers use
brain imaging to detect patterns of brain activity associated
with pain

a potential boon
for doctors and drug developers…
had to
rely on
subjective descriptions, making pain notoriously difficult to measure and track
. A
new study from Stanford University takes a first step toward an
measure for pain…
Researchers found that by pairing
unctional MRI (fMRI) with
a machine
learning algorithm,

they could
detect specific patterns of brain
activity that predicted whether someone was experiencing pain or not…
we have never done to date is show that you can use that pattern of
to determine whether someone is in pain or not."…

his team
imaged the brain activity of
eight people whose skin had been exposed to a heat
probe that was modulated to feel either painful or not painful. They used a
support vector machine

an algorithm capab
le of learning and adapting

analyze the data for patterns of activity common among the subjects…
When the
researchers gave the pair of
painful and nonpainful heat sensations to 16 new
subjects, they found they could separate the two conditions with more
than 81
percent accuracy…
To be useful, such a technique would need to be able to
differentiate various types of pain. The Stanford team is evaluating whether the
technique can measure chronic pain, rather than a single painful stimulus…


Augmented reality
and gesture recognition

new app
superimposes imagery over your smart
phone view, and lets you
interact with it via hand

make its business software more effective, HP
recently paid $10 billion for Autonomy, a U.K. software company that
specializes in machine learning
. But it turns out that
Autonomy has developed
processing techniques for gesture
recognizing a
Augmented reality involves layering computer
generated imagery on top
of a view of the real world as seen through the camera of a smart phone or tablet
Autonomy's new augmented reality technology, called
, goes
a step further: it
recognizes a user's hand gestures
. This
means a person using
the app can reach out in front of the device to interact with the virtual
One demonstration released by Autonomy creates a virtual air hocke
game on top of an empty tabletop

users play by waving their
hands…Autonomy's core technology lets businesses index and search data that
conventional, text
based search engines struggle
with. Examples are audio
recordings of sales calls, or video from sur
veillance cameras. "We use the same
core technology in Aurasma to identify images or scenes and retrieve the relevant
content to put on top
,"… Autonomy quietly launched Aurasma in May, and

magazine has already used it to make some of their pages
Aurasma app, available for iPhone, iPad and Android smart phones,
constantly creates a visual "fingerprint" of what's in front of it, and compares it
to a set of fingerprints for the are
a where the app is being used…
competitor is
, a Netherlands company that offers an augmented
reality platform that others can add content to
. However, Layar has so far
relied on GPS location to position content, and only recently made it possible to
position virtual objects more precisely, using image recognition…
In another
demonstration, a
smart phone running the app, when pointed at the back of a
broadband router, r
eveals graphics and text explaining what each port is
Although mobile phones and tablets are the best interfaces available for
augmented reality today, the
experience is still somewhat clunky
, since a
person must hold up a device with one hand at all t


Connected watches

becoming mini
PCs thanks to our desire to stay connected to email, messages,
social networking updates and other alerts at all times…acquisition of Fossil’s
Meta Watch business, announced today, is evidence of the mounting interest in
connected or smart wa
tches. The Texas
based accessories maker had run Meta
Watch as part of its technology division. The first Meta Watch product, a digital
watch that links to Android phones via Bluetooth, seemed promising when it
appeared at a tech event in March but missed
an expected summer
release…Pinomaa called connected watches an “emerging growth market.” A
number of other startups are chasing the same opportunity…Established gadget
makers are also interested. Chip manufacturer Texas Instruments previously
designed a “C
hronos” watch for developers. One
Chronos application


if a baby is left in a car seat. Motorola is said to have an Android watch
phone in the works. Both LG and Samsung have created wa
tch phones with LG
offering its version

as recently as 2009…In terms of sales, previous connected
watches have been duds. Innovative as it was, LG’s watch phon
e never got
released outside Europe. Samsung’s never went on sale at all. Their utility was
limited by their super
compact screens, few input/output options and lack of
optimized apps. Proponents of connected watches say those drawbacks are
receding, howev
er, while the device’s obvious advantages

being smaller,
lighter and more wearable than a smartphone, for instance

are becoming more
attractive than ever…


Watson and health care

's supercompu
ter system, best known for trouncing the world's best
"Jeopardy!" players on TV, is being tapped by one of the largest U.S. health
insurers to help diagnose medical problems and authorize treatments…
, which has 34.2 million members, will integrate Watson's lightning speed
and deep health care database into its existing patient information, helping it
choose among treatment options and medicines…WellPoint application will
mbine data from three sources: a patient's chart and electronic records that a
doctor or hospital has, the insurance company's history of medicines and
treatments, and Watson's huge library of textbooks and medical journals…IBM
says the computer can then s
ift through it all and answer a question in moments,
providing several possible diagnoses or treatments, ranked in order of the
computer's confidence, along with the basis for its answer…Nussbaum said a
pilot program will be rolled out early next year at s
everal cancer centers,
academic medical centers and oncology practices…


Compromised digital certificates

sneaked into the computer systems of a security firm on the outskirts of
Amsterdam. He created fake credentials that could allow someone to snoo
p on
Internet connections that appeared to be secure. He then shared that bounty
with people he declines to name…
fruits of his labor are believed to have
used to tap into the online communications of as many as 300,000 unsuspecting
Iranians this summe
. What’s more,
he punched a hole in an online security
mechanism that is trusted by millions of Internet users all over the world…
the annals of Internet attacks, this is likely to go down as a moment of
. For activists, it
shows the downside o
f using online tools to organize:
an opponent with enough determination and resources just might find a way to
track their every move…
It also
calls into question the reliability of a basic
system of trust that global Internet brands like Google and Faceboo
k, along
with their users, rely upon. The system is intended to verify the authenticity of
a particular Web site

to ensure, in effect, that Gmail is Gmail, and that the
connection to the site is encrypted and difficult for an outsider to

of companies and
government authorities around the world,
including in the United States and China, have the power to issue the digital
certificates that the system relies upon to verify a site’s identity…
Armed with
certificates stolen from companies like

these, someone with control over an
Internet service provider, like the Iranian authorities, could trick Internet users
into thinking they were safely connected to a familiar site, while eavesdropping
on their online activity…
Fearing the prospect of other breaches similar to those
carried out by this hacker, Mozilla, the maker of the
Firefox Web browser, last
week issued a warning to certificate authority companies to audit their security
systems or risk being booted off Firefo

It’s a reminder that it is only as
trustworthy as the companies that make up the system. There are bound to be
some that can’t protect their infrastructure, and you have results like this.”…

company’s critical servers contained malicious software th
at should have been
spotted by antivirus tools, the report said, and the servers related to
certificates were all protected by just one weak password…
Google on Thursday
issued an unusual warning to its users in Iran, calling on them to change
passwords and

check if their e
mails were being forwarded to unfamiliar or
suspicious addresses…


Pill Perception

Study sh
ows birth control affects how events are remembered…
birth control pill,
taken by more than 100 million women worldwide, appears to impact how the
brain remembers events. Those taking the pill will recall more of the emotional
aspects of an occurrence, whil
e non
users will hold onto more factual
details…Researchers recruited two groups of women for their study: Those
taking contraceptives and those with natural hormonal cycles…Participants were
shown photos of a mother and son involved in a car accident, wit
h two different
narratives. Some were told the accident had been mild, while others were
informed that the boy was critically injured…A week later, all the participants
were asked to recall the photos. Those using the birth control pill remembered
lly charged details of the boy’s accident and hospitalization, while
those with natural cycles recalled factual details like colors or time…impact
makes sense, according to the research team. Birth control pills work by
suppressing the natural production o
f hormones estrogen and progesterone,
which have already been associated with strong “left brain” memory skills

part of the brain responsible for fact retrieval….