Lab News Items
December 13, 2005

12/13: CommerceNet Holiday Open House

Announcements, Lab News By: ams

Check your inbox for an invitation to the 2005 Holiday Open House at our new digs in Palo Alto. Cocktails, conversations, and connections after work on a Tuesday evening — who could ask for more? Another chocolate fountain, like last year? Well, stay tuned…

If we’ve overlooked you, please don’t hesitate to drop us a line at cn_rsvp@Commerce.Net!

December 2, 2005

CommerceNet co-sponsors Prediction Markets Summit (12/2)

Announcements, Conferences, Lab News By: ams

A note from Chris Hibbert crossposted from The Now Economy, our main blog:

The meeting has been rescheduled for December 2 in order to accomodate more participants.

Collabria, which hosts
discussions on new technologies for collaboration and knowledge
management, will be hosting a discussion on
Prediction Markets in San Francisco on December 2nd. They have a
presence in several
other cities
, and plan to host similar discussions in other
locations. Their modus operandi is to get a small group (~25
people) together, have a few presentations (sans PowerPoint), and
discuss the implications of the ideas.

The San Francisco discussion
features Bernardo Huberman, Ely Dahan, Eric Zitzewitz and me. Bernardo‘s
recent papers (with Tad Hogg) are about techniques to
correct
for some
inefficiencies
they’ve identified in small, internal corporate
prediction markets. Ely teaches
marketing at UCLA, and uses Prediction Markets as a replacement for
focus groups to get consumers to
predict
what
product feature mix
will be most desirable. Eric has written
about how Prediction Markets can
contribute
to policy discussions, and demonstrating that the
prices in well-structured markets
correspond to probabilities
.

I expect to give an
introduction to the idea of Prediction Markets (because I’m speaking
first), talk about how they can be valuable in policy setting and
business planning, and give an update on Zocalo’s status.

October 28, 2005

TagCamp! (10/28-9 @ our Calif. Ave offices)

Announcements, Conferences, Lab News By: ams

TagCamp is coming up in two weeks. At our now-vacated California Avenue facility, we will be hosting an overnight geek-fest from Friday, October 28th through Saturday October 29th. Please bring something soft, since we have lots of open space and office furniture, we still need sleeping bags &c…

Bring your best ideas for tagging infrastructure, business opportunities, and hacks; we’ll provide power, bits, and caffeine…

October 19, 2005

QuestionMarket Tech Report Published

Announcements, Lab News By: ams

We’re proud to issue the first tech report from our summer internship program, an imaginative proposal for a peer-to-peer market to let humans solve hard AI problems by Benjamin Hill, fromUC Berkeley / SIMS. CN-TR-05-05: QuestionMarket could point the way to a new commercial opportunity on a par with Web advertising, by allowing publishers to syndicate puzzles that will pay them (and their readers) small amounts for each solution).

A QuestionMarket enables the exchange of units of human-generated information. While many other distributed ‘grid’ systems create a marketplace for trading computational resources like processing, bandwidth, and storage, QuestionMarket deals in the acquisition and exchange of small units of human cognition. By focusing on puzzles that are difficult to solve with a computer but relatively easy for humans, so called AI-complete problems are resistant to Moore’s Law while encompassing a wide range of valuable human-only work, such as translation, tagging, and filtering. Building on the existing multi-billion-dollar market in trading very fine-grained units of human attention (advertising), QuestionMarket lies at the intersection of web-based advertising, micro-outsourcing of human work, multimedia metadata annotation, and focus group testing. Most intriguingly, market-based reward systems — prices — should serve to direct the right puzzles to the right solvers, whether the intelligence required is human or artificial. By putting a price on answers, QuestionMarket posits a fair playing field for benchmarking future improvements in artificial intelligence against typical human performance.

August 12, 2005

zLab Visitor: Robb Beal (8/12)

Lab News By: ams

The creator of Spring and leader of UserCreations will be visiting CommerceNet this Friday afternoon. You can see from his introduction that he’s passionate about creating novel user experiences. He’s recently started looking into microformats more closely, and we’d all like to sit down and brainstorm about new user interfaces for scripting the web (a.k.a. Marty Tenenbaum’s Semantic Web 2.0 vision).

August 10, 2005

zLab Visitor: Jesse “BookBurro” Andrews

Lab News By: ams

From 10-21 August, Jesse Andrews will be visiting CommerceNet from Kentucky. There, he’s been working on a number of exciting Greasemonkey user scripts, and even more importantly, helping develop the community of script authors and users at Greasemonkeyed, a site where one can tag and review scripts. To find out more about his goals and projects, see Jesse Andrews’ Visitor page on our wiki.

continue reading »

July 14, 2005

T3: Privacy-Enhanced Personalization

Lab News By: ams

zLab summer intern Yang Wang from UC Irvine will present a dry run of his upcoming talk at the Workshop on Privacy-Enhanced Personalization on A Software Product Line Approach for Handling Privacy Constraints in Web Personalization, joint work with his advisor, Prof. Alfred Kobsa.

July 7, 2005

7/7 T3: Marty Tenenbaum, “AI Meets Web 2.0”

Lab News By: ams

Next month’s first Thursday Tech Talks will be a dry run of our Chairman’s upcoming keynote address to the Innovative Applications of Artificial Intelligence (IAAI) confernce in July.

AI Meets Web 2.0: Building The Web Of Tomorrow Today

Imagine an Internet-scale Knowledge System where people and intelligent agents can collaborate on solving complex problems in business, engineering, science, medicine, and other endeavors.. Its resources include semantically tagged Websites, Wikis and Blogs, as well as social networks, vertical Search engines and a vast array of Web services from business processes to AI planners and domain models. Research prototypes of decentralized knowledge systems have been demonstrated for years, but now, thanks to the Web and Moore’s Law, they appear ready for prime time. I will introduce the architectural concepts for incrementally growing an Internet-scale knowledge system, and describe early commercial deployments in manufacturing and healthcare.

June 1, 2005

CN Summer Internships Awarded

Lab News By: ams

CommerceNet is proud to annouce that four interns have been selected to work at zLab this summer: two full-timers and two visitors from UC Irvine, George Mason University, and UC Berkeley SIMS. Ryan Oprea will be working on Zocalo to support experimental economists with Chris Hibbert. Joe Feise will be working on event-driven hypertext transclusion with Ben Sittler. Yang Wang will be implementing a decentralized, privacy-protecting personalized recommendation system with Kragen Sitaker. Ben Hill will be developing and documenting PeerMarket, a system for trading computer services with Rohit Khare.

March 24, 2005

TPd: 0th draft of our new event router

Lab News By: ams

We can’t claim it’s useful yet, but we’ve been working to put some of our insights about event-based programming into code. There’s a fresh TPd page on our Wiki that describes our ‘microkernel’ approach to event routing, one where even cross-host subscription is an outboard shell script.

With a thin, stateless, event forwarding loop, we’re exploring two separate directions: agoric routing, to see if “price signals” for buying and selling news can function at all like a content routing service; and dataflow scripting to see if we can coin a convenient new way to teach programmers event-based architectural styles by simply binding variables to URLs ‘out there’ on the Web.