Erik Naggum <email@example.com> wrote:
| there's something in the engineering culture that just doesn't quite get
| this idea that people want to be relieved of remembering accurately, and
| there's no limit to what people don't want to remember. whenever I call
| directory assistance, for instance, chances are that I will call again
| the next time I need the same number unless I write it down, but all of
| this stuff is already in electronic form, so why can't the stupid
| telephone just record it? sigh. some technologies are so lame.
This month's Scientific American has three articles about some very
interesting work being done at the MIT Media Lab's "Project Oxygen" for
imbuing such characteristics into hand-held devices, especially speaker-
independent voice-response systems with enough knowledge of English that
you could say "Call the last number I asked directory assistance for",
and it would.
They have a working prototype weather information system that handles
queries like these [paraphrased from memory, but see the sidebar on the
second "Oxygen" article]:
Q: What's the weather in Boston?
A: The current weather in Boston is 54 degrees with clear skies.
Q: How about Washington?
A: The current weather in Washington is 49 degrees and raining.
Q: And tomorrow?
A: The forecast weather for Washington tomorrow is 51 degrees and
occasional light rain showers.
Rob Warnock, 8L-855 firstname.lastname@example.org
Applied Networking http://reality.sgi.com/rpw3/
Silicon Graphics, Inc. Phone: 650-933-1673
1600 Amphitheatre Pkwy. FAX: 650-933-0511
Mountain View, CA 94043 PP-ASEL-IA