Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Siri Assistant , Origins in CALO : Cognitive Assistant that Learns and Organizes

Siri based on CALO Project

CALO Project Website:
SRI CALO Website:

Summary: "SRI International is leading the development of new software that could revolutionize how computers support decision-makers.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), under its Personalized Assistant that Learns (PAL - download brochure) program, has awarded SRI three phases of a five-year contract to develop an enduring personalized cognitive assistant. DARPA expects the PAL program to generate innovative ideas that result in new science, new approaches to current problems, new algorithms and tools, as well as new technology of significant value to the military.

The team dubbed its new project CALO, for Cognitive Assistant that Learns and Organizes. The name was inspired by the Latin word "calonis," which means "soldier’s servant." The goal of the project is to create cognitive software systems, that is, systems that can reason, learn from experience, be told what to do, explain what they are doing, reflect on their experience, and respond robustly to surprise.

The software, which learns by interacting with and being advised by its users, will handle a broad range of interrelated decision-making tasks that have in the past been resistant to automation. A CALO will have the capability to engage in and lead routine tasks, and to assist when the unexpected happens. To focus the research on real problems and ensure the software meets requirements such as privacy, security, and trust, the CALO project researchers themselves are using the technology during its development.

SRI is leading the multi-disciplinary CALO project team and, beyond participating in the research program, is also responsible for overall project direction, management, and development of prototypes. The project is bringing together leading computer scientists and researchers in artificial intelligence, machine learning, natural language processing, knowledge representation, human-computer interaction, flexible planning, and behavioral studies."

See video at Video.Google:

Other Spin offs:
and Radar Networks, makers of Twine:

CALO presentation at DARPA Tech:
DARPA brochure:
CALO publications:

Related research efforts include:
"RADAR, the Reflective Agent with Distributed Adaptive Reasoning, is a $7 million dollar, five-year research project in Carnegie Mellon University's School of Computer Science. The overall goal is to develop a software-based "cognitive personal assistant" that will help busy military commanders and managers to work more effectively, with less time wasted on routine tasks. This new technology should be equally valuable to managers in industry, academia, and government. RADAR is funded by the Information Processing Technology Office (IPTO) of DARPA and managed by SRI International." At Carnegie Mellon's Computer Science Department:


"IRIS is a semantic desktop application framework that enables users to create a “personal map” across their office-related information objects. IRIS includes a machine-learning platform to help automate this process. It provides “dashboard” views, contextual navigation, and relationship-based structure across an extensible suite of office applications, including a calendar, Web and file browser, e-mail client, and instant messaging client."

Participants include the usual suspects, such as MIT and Harvard, as well as:

CollaborX Inc.
Fetch Technologies, Inc.
iAnyWhere Solutions
International Computer Science Institute (ICSI)
ISX Corporation
Laszlo Systems
Natural Interaction Systems, LLC

See other posts here:

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