Wednesday, March 05, 2008

ETech: Wednesday morning keynote

The Wednesday morning keynote kicked off with Nat Torkington, without his traditional OSCON shirt, introducing the first speaker of the day. The father of Lisp, the creator of Artificial Intelligence, John McCarthy. He's talking about natural language and Elephant.

Next up is Steve Cousins talking about an Open Source Platform for Personal Robots. He's talking about the STAIR the Standford AI Robot, and Willow Garage.

He's trying to build a open source platform for robotics, but how is this different from a normal open source operating system? It'll have SLAM Navigation, it'll be able to track where the robot is and take commands to go safely to a new location. There will object recognition, using a database of pictures to identify object. There will be a 3D object map, maintaining a map of known object locations. There will be manipluation libraries, which plans how to safely pick up an object.

Next up is Kathy Sierra talking about How to Kick Ass. She's arguing that the difference between world class and average, generally isn't anything to do with natural talent, it's about putting in the time. Natural ability just isn't as important as we used to think, it more about the ability to focus.

Update: Next up is Tom Coates talking about Fire Eagle a new information brokering service he's been developing. It lets people share their location online.

Services should be available from anywhere the network touches, it should play well with others and services should decouple the creation and the use of data. Fire Eagle does two things, allow a number of different services to update your location, and then parses this and provides it in a consistent format, at whatever level of granularity you want to authorise, to further services.

The last speaker of today's keynote is Peter Semmelhack from Bug labs who has the longest talk title I've ever seen, he's talking about Personalizing the Device: How Communities Will Help Actualize User-generated Hardware and the Long-tail of Gadgets.

He's arguing that we're on the cusp of a big change in the way electronics are produced. There are lots of examples of devices, which we'd all want, but under the current economical model would never get produced. There is a long tail of electronic devices.

...and we're done.

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