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UMBC AgentNews v8n9 22 June 2003

Everything is connected to everything else. Real life is lived in a complex world system where all the subsystems overlap and affect each other. The common mistake is to deal with one subsystem in isolation, as if it didn't connect with anything else. This almost always backfires as other subsystems respond in unanticipated ways.-- Franz Boaz, anthropologist

Latest News Items

The semantic web - A touch of intelligence for the internet? -- An article from the Guardian on the semantic web by Ben Williamson and Libby Miller. (6/22)

Phone butler organizes your life -- BBC story on a Southampton agent project. (6/22)

McCarthy wins Benjamin Franklin Medal -- John McCarthy, professor emeritus of computer science and pioneer in artificial intelligence (AI), received the Benjamin Franklin Medal in Computer and Cognitive Science on April 24. (6/22)

Bend it like Robo-Beckham -- Roboticists want to field a team of automatons in the 2050 World Cup that can win it all. Are they nuts? Or is this how progress is made? (6/22)

ArtBots: The Robot Talent Show -- ArtBots: The Robot Talent Show is an international art exhibition for robotic art and art-making robot to be held at the EYEBEAM Gallery in New York City on July 12-13, 2003. (6/6)

Are You Ready for Social Software? -- It's the opposite of project-oriented collaboration tools that places people into groups. Social software supports the desire of individuals to be pulled into groups to achieve goals. And it's coming your way. (6/4)

Imagine Machines That Can See -- Robotics experts are turning to nature for guidance in making machines that see, hear, smell and move like living creatures. (6/4)

swarming sensing robots for public safety -- University of Wyoming researchers have developed a "swarm intelligence" network of sensor-supported robots that can sense chemical, biological, or radiological plumes and respond to an accident or an attack without exposing people to the contaminants. (6/4)

Latest Directory Additions

Prolog Content Language -- PCL is a specification of how to use Prolog as a FIPA compliant content language. (6/22)

Content Language Translation -- This service, developed at ISCTE by Luis Botelho's group, translates expressions between KIF, FIPA SL and PCL (Prolog Content Language). (6/22)

Nature Via Nurture -- Matt Ridley, Nature Via Nurture, HarperCollins, April 2003, ISBN 0060006781. In the follow-up to his bestseller, Genome, Matt Ridley takes on a centuries-old question: is it nature or nurture that makes us who we are? Ridley asserts that the question itself is a "false dichotomy." Using copious examples from human and animal behavior, he presents the notion that our environment affects the way our genes express themselves. (6/22)

jfipa - Java-support for the FIPA Agent Communication Language -- jfipa is a set of java-based tools that supports parsing and routing of envelopes/messages of the FIPA Agent Communication Language (ACL) encoded as XML. (6/9)

Protege OWL Plugin -- The goal of this plugin is to supply Protégé with full support for the Semantic Web ontology language OWL, including export and import of OWL files but also custom-tailored graphical widgets for editing description logic ontologies. (6/9)

Creating OWL-Enhanced Applications -- Slides from Roger Costello (MITRE) on how to create robust, extensible applications using the semantic web language OWL. (6/6)

Semantic web challenge -- A group of researchers have initiated a contest for the best semantic web application, with entries due 15 September 2003. (6/4)

Natural Born Cyborgs -- An interview with philosopher and cognitive scientist Andy Clark reckons all of us are already Natural Born Cyborgs, with minds made to merge with the material world - your watch, paper, computer. (6/1)

Description Logic Handbook -- The Description Logic Handbook: Theory, Implementation and Applications Franz Baader et al (Ed), Cambridge University Press, March 2003, ISBN: 0521781760. This book covers the theory, implementations, and applications of description logic in sixteen chapters and nearly 600 pages. Description logic is the basis for the semantic web languages DAML+OIL and OWL. (5/30)

About Agentnews

AgentNews is an electronic newsletter published at the UMBC Cogito group and is edited by Tim Finin ( It is automatically generated from AgentWeb ( using bk2site ( Copies of material in this newsletter may be forwarded or used provided they are attributed. Send inquiries, comments and news items to To subscribe, send any message to, and to unsubscribe, to For archives and more information see Copyright 1996-2002, Timothy W. Finin. ISSN 1490-306.