Monday, February 19, 2007

“You think you’ve got problems, what are you supposed to do if you’re a manically depressed robot? " Marvin the robot Hithikers Guid to the Galaxy

Many years ago I read the Red Mars books by Kim Stanley Robinson. The initial book is set only about 15 years into the future and I was fascinated by their armband computers. They would talk to their computer and give it tasks like researching all newspapers to find a particular article. There was no wasting of time sifting through hundreds of useless web pages. When the answer was found it was reported by the computer, but not in a dry uncaring voice but one with personality. Searchbots is a research project that I have been using for a while. It is not perfect and is still being tested, but it is fun and useful. Essentially you design a searchbot and then you fill it with your personal information. Telling it what you know and what your interests are. Once this is done you can ask it questions. For some questions it will send you an email periodically when it finds items of interest. You then go through some of the sites rating them for relevance. This helps you in the future so that it can understand your needs. There are many ways of getting info. Someone in the searchbot universe asked how to cook corn and because my bot knows I know something about cooking it asked me. I answered it and the message was sent back to the original bot and then onto the person asking it. Without going on forever, it is a lot of fun with some decent results. For a more complete understanding take the tour to learn more. Give it a try and get yourself a personal searchbot.

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