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Homegrown software may open door to robots

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Sept 11,2006
The dream of having an intelligent robot around the house came a big step closer to reality earlier this month, when Sohn Joo-chan, a researcher at the Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute, unveiled Korea’s first artificial intelligence program for commercial use. The software, which Mr. Sohn named “Bossam,” will be used in robots that help people with everyday tasks. “We have developed a service with our own technology where a robot could organize a daily schedule for its owner and provide road information on which routes are less congested,” Mr. Sohn said. The program, said Mr. Sohn, derives its power of reason through the following three-step chain of logic: “Socrates is a man,” “man must die,” therefore “Socrates dies.” Though such talk may be enough to give techno-phobes the willies, it helps the program understand and judge situations like a human would, Mr. Sohn said. “Previously, such software relied heavily on foreign technology,” he said, adding that he hopes the program will be used in robots both at home and in business. Mr. Sohn said he hoped that just like the Korean dish that gave the program its name ― bossam’s flavor comes from a mixture of cold meat and vegetables in a lettuce wrapping ― his program would absorb a variety of knowledge to produce an appropriate response. “The Google search engine produces huge amounts of information, but our technology has the ability to pick exactly the information a person needs,” Mr. Sohn said. The program was developed in conjunction with the Ministry of Information and Communication. by Suh Kyoung-ho


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