Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Radio Free Robitron

I've just opened a new internet radio station to feature my favorite programming and to spotlight new music from my friends and my studio.

click here to listen in.

The play rotation is very rock oriented right now, as I gather songs that I'd like to include in my play lists.

The station has the capability for live shows, and I'll be looking into that as things progress. I may add some talk shows or possibly live concerts from my geographic area. (northwest Georgia)

If you have new music on the web, as downloadable mp3 files, or if you have any suggestions for content that listeners might enjoy, send me an email at robby@robitron.com


Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The Atavachron project is getting to be quite fun to work on. My python skills are building up nicely, and I've found new ways to utilize Hugo Liu's MontyLingua for my purposes.

It took me a while to find my most productive tool set. I tried IDLE, the free development environment that comes with python. Unfortunately, it leaves orphaned processes running when you close windows, so then I tried ActiveState's ActivePython editor, but didn't much care for it. I got rid of that entirely. I finally settled comfortably into using Edit Plus and the console window. It's hard to beat simplicity sometimes.

I've been using MontyLingua to break out verb and noun phrases and modifiers to make the program understand commands. I can do sql queries for now that tell me the memory is working. Later, I'll break those out into natural language equivalents after I get a feeling for what I want it to do.

The AIML bot, named Atoz, is the interface to Atavachron, and I'm using a specialized AIML set to accomplish that. So far PyAIML is exactly what I needed for that. I like what I'm seeing so far, and the future looks promising. (time to make a backup!)


Sunday, June 17, 2007

The Atavachron

Do you remember when . . .

I've often wanted to talk to something that remembered everything I ever said, could recall it in whole or in part, could remember who did what, where, and when. I think we have it.

Today has been so productive I didn't want to stop, but I must rest for a while. Working in Python has been a joy, and I think I'm going to like this language. All the main components are connected and working together for stage one. The next stage will be one of reflection and planning; mustn't go too fast. Must remember to savor this so that I can tell Atoz.

Atoz is the librarian in charge of the Atavachron. He is my interface to that world. It is my world now but someday you may make your own with him.

I spent some time editing the standard AIML that came with PyAIML. That said, I'm not making another chatterbot. This is an application of AIML and lots of helper packages that will allow for the creation of a memory model of the world. Does this sound nutty? Wait till I tell you about the spin-offs! ;-)


Saturday, June 16, 2007

The Atavachron Project

June 15, Cedartown Georgia, Cyber Mecha Studios announces a new project involving natural language understanding and reality modeling. Robby Garner, director, gives the following hint: "Every life is a story." Having spent years trying to make computers imitate us, we believe it is time the computer got to know us for who we are in order to preserve our memories for posterity.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Hub Back Online

It took me a while realize that I had blocked tomcat's port during some other firewall changes, so the automated Turing test simulation has been down for a while. I have been busy with other things and simply didn't notice.

All systems are go at this point.


Friday, June 01, 2007

Tanker Down!

We were stranded on this planet in a gravity well too deep for the bushvac turbine to get away from. Falling, doomed to be here, we'll survive on rations and whatever we can scrounge. Our only hope is to stay fit and ready, and perhaps to comprehend more about our surroundings while we wait for another ship to return here for us. This is my seat on the great galactic vessel. This is my berth for the main voyage. Damn, I hate it here.

I've just got to keep my mind focused on the task at hand, which is guiding this blimp through the airspace it was intended to pass through. The task is not to waiver from the course too much. The wind was heavy but constant. "We should be reaching Canal Street Beacon seven momentarily," the voice behind the screen was saying.

"Turn on the landing lights and prepare for docking," I said, more or less to nobody, but somebody replied, "Aye aye." We were floating a bit past the processing plant near Plymouth that sold mostly automobile tires but was also known for it's famous fruit pies. They used to pay all these people in India to run the computing facility, but now they're all being imported to live in this complex where raw materials arrive by barge, and come out as CD's and DVD's containing copyrighted material, fit to be sold in any mall or shopping center. They even had their own light gauge rail system.

Ron Jon surpassed the expectations of all when he declared his allegiance to the just cause of the day. "Just because it was just cause it to be just a cause." Or so they told me. But he was with us, so I tried to lay low. I didn't wear any jewelry or color or even a hat. Since we were there in numbers, it was much harder to go unrecognized. The trick was to seem like you lived there.

The woman with the fur coat nodded, and we passed into the open courtyard between Victor's and The Plaza. Somebody was laughing on one side of the reflecting pond, while a man lay prostrate on the other side. A leftover from the noontime traffic nightmare. A baby cried as we all went past the fountain and into the entrance of the "Face of Reality" exhibit at the Embassy Hotel.

Long faced clowns with umbrellas guarded our every move. We walked down long hallways past ballrooms and cafeteria. There was a vendor selling trinkets next to a hot dog stand. "How many of these things have I eaten this week already?" As if to no one, I reached up to pay the vendor and took my change.

"Where is this?" I tried to find the others but they were on the other side of the counter buying things. So I waited there as I watched them carrying on and joking with each other. The wall near the elevator was rusted in several spots. When the elevator doors opened, it was rusty as well. I suppose the ocean air was salty enough to do this over a period of time. I would measure the electricity and see about that later. Right now there was too much to see and do to be sitting around worrying about the air. Then all hell broke loose.

The attack helicopters came thundering up, just outside the building. Heavy gunfire could be heard. A woman rushed to pick up her little girl as a tank nearly squashed her on it's way toward the square.

The ship was on a hill top overlooking a multilevel parking deck. We were working our way down the alley towards the hill when a concussion literally knocked me unconscious. I woke up an hour or so later and the ship was still there, but everyone else was gone, and now there isn't a soul to be found here. It is so quiet that I can hear the rubble settling.

The wind was gusting like crazy. I was afraid the blimp would be ripped free from it's moorings, but it held on thankfully. After making my way across the square alone, I encountered the throng of people who had taken refuge on the other side. I was alone in a thicket of people who were making their way back inside the offices along the way to the cafeteria. I could smell something very good to eat. I wished I had taken time earlier to grab a bite.

There was broken glass everywhere. Everyone who could take shelter had taken shelter, and the rest were either dead or terrified. I felt like I was moving in slow motion. The people around me were murmuring to each other about something. I saw Ron Jon on the other side of a pile of bricks, with what looked like a rifle and a black case of some kind in the other hand. It was starting to get cold as the sun was going down. I looked at my watch and it was broken.

"That's not your cheese!" A man yelled as he chased a woman with a flashlight. The smell of burning plastic burned the eyes. It almost sounded quiet except for the rubble settling. A lot of people were either just laying down or dead. I kept moving towards the exit door. There was no pause button or stop.

Copyright (C) 2005 R. Glen Garner

Your own private singularity

Kevin Copple wrote this in the Robitron discussion group earlier:
> There is no way to find out if we are in a simulation.
> Except, perhaps, to achieve our "own" Singularity within
> the simulation, I guess. Get it?

This reminds me of the time I joined the students with disabilities association on campus. I had been going to the student center to pass the time between my classes, hanging out in the lobby where the TV and all the comfy chairs were. It is a wireless hot spot, and though noisy, provided all the amenities of home except one or two. Anyway, one day while I was making my way across the parking lot on the way to the student center, this guy in one of those scooters stopped me and said, "where'd you get that cane?" I told him CVS pharmacy, and he said, "let me see that." So I handed it to him, and he said he liked it, the way it folded up to fit in my backpack. The guy said, "do you go to the student disabilities office?" And I said, "no. where is that?" So he told me all about them, how great they were, and that I should go there and fill out an application because it would really help me.

Without much expectation, I went to the students with disabilities office, filled out a form, took them a letter from my doctor that he'd written me for something else, and made an appointment to be "evaluated" by someone. This eventually came to pass, and I spoke face to face with someone who told me they would "put my folder right here, add me to their mailing list, and when you graduate, we will take some credit for that." I asked them where the best handicapped parking was for my health class. The lady said, "we don't keep up with that" and started telling me things like "They don't pay me enough to talk to some of these professors." I finished listening to her complain and left, wondering why I had bothered.

A few weeks later, around finals, I left out for class one day and went off without my cane. I got to school late and it was raining, and I fumbled my way into my first class. Afterwards, I drove over to the student center, and started making my way across the parking lot, trying to unfurl my umbrella. And on the horizon I see this guy on one of those scooter things.

As I approached him, he yelled, "Hey! Where's your cane?"

"I don't have it today," I said over my shoulder to him.

"Where is it? I thought you were disabled," he said to my back as I tried to break free of his gravity.

Already encumbered by not having my cane, I tried to make my way past the phalanx of wheelchair dudes, and paraplegics riding equipment gurneys. I made it to the elevator but had to wait for some time until the doors would open. Meanwhile other scooters were coming into view from the cafeteria. I thought I heard someone say, "get him!" I finally got inside the elevator and went downstairs to the lobby and the relative safety of geeky kids playing video games.

Now, whenever I pass a paraplegic or some guy in a wheelchair I can feel them sizing me up, looking at me sideways as I waddle by. The Students with Disabilities office helps those with attention deficit disorder and other learning difficulties as well. I am on their mailing list twice which ensures that I receive two of every message they put out.

Summertime at last! I would have liked to have posted something before now, looking back at my last post in January. For now I'll just say hello again, and I'm looking forward to writing more here soon.


Saturday, January 06, 2007

Music Boxes and Chatterbots

The player piano made significant advances over its predecessor, the music box.

The music box could only play one song, and for a voice, it only had little metal strips that would be plucked to make a tune. There were advanced music boxes that came out later, that could play more than one song.

People didn't stop making music boxes.

A player piano was an output device for playing back human behavior. That's right, those little music scrolls contained holes that transcribed the behavior of the pianist's keyboard articulations into something that you could hold in your hand.

And you could recreate the pianist's behavior later, on another device, over and over, as many times as you liked. The pianist wasnt needed again, once the recording was made.

The roll of paper played more than just strips of metal, it had an entire piano at its disposal! It was a form of software in terms of it being a way to program a player piano. And these piano rolls could be bought and sold, just like any other commodity.

And then Edison introduced the gramophone. Not only did it record some representation of the panists' behavior, but it reproduced the original sound that was heard at the initial recording. That sound could take the form of pianos, flutes, trombones, ....., or simply the human voice, anything that could make a sound.

People stopped making player pianos.

Computers have historically been limited by the amount of audio and video they could store. Good sounding audio might take 10 million bytes per minute depending on several things, but in terms of the old school, audio and video recording makes huge files.

Yet hardware is getting cheaper and cheaper while at the same time getting better and better, having more and more capabilities.

If the typing behavior of people may be recorded, why not the audiovisual behavior as well. If typing behavior can be simulated, why not audiovisual behavior?

The threshold for this comes when we can make comparisons between two audio segments, and determine if they are "equivalent." Perhaps that is already here.

In some ways it makes sense to keep recording text, and keep working with that, while using converters to go from voice-to-text and from text-to-voice. But then again, if a recording of behavior is to be played back, wouldn't it be nice to keep the original inflections, tonality, and "voice" of the original speaker?

People are still making chatterbots.