close this bookVolume 7: No. 61
View the documentFunding news
View the documentIndustry news
View the documentSecurity and privacy
View the documentCareer jobs (in our CCJ 7.31 digest this week)
View the documentLinguistics
View the documentAI journals

NSF offers FAQs on preparation and submission of proposals, at ("Proposal Preparation"). See also ("Award Administration"). [grants, 04Sep97.]

Rome Laboratory (Rome, NY) is soliciting white papers for basic research and innovative engineering in audio and speech processing technology, for DoD/AFOSR and law-enforcement tactical speech recognition, message sorting, and translation (avg. 9 dB signal-to-noise ratio); interference reduction; voice countermeasures; jam-resistant communications; man-machine interface; and background sound identification. John Parker, 315-330-4236; or Joetta A. Bernhard . RL BAA 97-07-PKPX, . [CBD, 05Sep97.]

Rome Laboratory and AFOSR have also renewed their call for research in exploitation of intelligence data, with the ceiling raised from $3.6M to $9.6M. Dan Ventimiglia, 315-330-3222. BAA 96-01-PKPX, . [CBD, 05Sep97.]

IBM's Thomas J. Watson Research Center has announced its 1998-99 Postdoctoral Fellowship in Mathematical Sciences competition, which includes theoretical and exploratory computer science research (at TJW). Current research includes sequential and parallel algorithms, computational complexity, coding theory, cryptography, numerical analysis, differential equations, mathematical optimization, high-performance computation, logic design, computer algebra, statistics, dynamical systems, continuous complexity, computational linguistics, computer music, user interface technology, interactive scientific and technical publishing, and knowledge-based systems. One fellowship, for 1-2 years, at up to $70K/year plus moving expenses. Candidates must have not more than 5 years of postdoctoral experience. Apply by 09Jan98, including research proposal and letters of reference, for decision by 17Mar98. Committee on Postdoctoral Fellowships, Dept. of Mathematical Sciences, 31-210, IBM Research Div., T.J. Watson Research Center, P.O. Box 218, Yorktown Heights, NY 10598. [Robert S. Sutor , comp.theory.dynamic-sys, 08Sep97.]

Spending on the Year 2000 problem will reach $280B between 1997 and 2002, according to Killen & Associates. 52% will be in North America, 28% Europe, 17% Asia. [Reuters, 10Aug97. net-hap.]

Economists say that they still can't measure any productivity gain from billions of dollars of US investment in computers and information technology. Spending on technology has grown rapidly -- perhaps exponentially -- to 268% of the 1982 level, but worker productivity has increased only slowly and linearly, to 119% of 1982. Some economists think we just aren't measuring service productivity (such as convenience to customers); some think that computers are just too small a factor to show up in macroeconomic statistics; some -- including Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan -- think we're about to "turn the corner" and see exponential productivity growth; and some think that information technology wastes as much time as it saves, what with support costs, debugging, training, rapid obsolescence, futzing, Web surfing, PowerPoint slides, and the like. Meanwhile, businesses "continue to binge on information technology." Surely they're not just getting fooled year after year, decade after decade. [Scott Thurm, SJM, 14Sep97, 1E.]

The good news: US business productivity in 2Qtr97 increased at the fastest pace in 3.5 years. [SJM, 10Sep97, 1C.]

Joblessness is dipping to record lows in the US, but people are staying unemployed for about 16 weeks on average. It's because consumer confidence is high and people are being more choosy. [Merrill Lynch. BW, 15Sep97, p. 8.]

The Japanese are facing 3.4% unemployment, which is a real strain on their system. (It was considered high at 2.1% in 1991.) Formerly, employees hired as a group would be promoted as a group, eventually reaching top management ranks and then retiring as a group. The older you got, the less work there was for you to do. Now, efficiency is forcing more of a pyramid system. Many older workers have been let go, joining a pool of younger workers who have never bought into the lifetime employment system. [Michael Zielenziger, SJM, 14Sep97, 1E.] (Salary cuts for other executives are also needed, but companies have been avoiding "bringing shame." No big company wants to be the first to do it.)

The California Supreme Court has ruled that age discrimination should carry the same legal penalties as race and gender discrimination. [LA Times. SJM, 28Aug97, 1C.]

The President's Commission on Critical Infrastructure Protection says the federal R&D budget against "physical and cyber threats" should be increased from $250M this year to $500M in 1999 and $1B by 2004. [Washington Post, 06Sep97. EduP.]

West Virginia is installing a system that compares renewal drivers license photos with those already on file. The operator is notified of any doubtful matches. [Grant Buckler, Newsbytes, 10Sep97. Bill Park.]

The House Intelligence committee has replaced a generally pro-encryption Security and Freedom through Encryption (SAFE) bill with one requiring a trap door in all domestic encryption products and scrambled network services. The act would make it a federal crime to sell unapproved encryption technology, or to make or distribute it after 31Jan00. The Defense and Commerce departments would control exports of cryptographic technology, with no judicial review (but with stronger restrictions possible by executive order). Key escrow software could be exported, regardless of strength. The bill includes automatic restraining orders, "factual basis" access to encrypted text (rather than probably cause, which is more difficult), and secret hearings. If law enforcement decodes your messages, they'll tell you within 90 days. or . [Scott Cattanach , fight-censorship-announce, 12Sep97. Brad Miller. Also NYT, 07Sep97.] (This is at the urging of the FBI, and is probably a trial balloon by the Clinton administration -- which previously said that it has no interest in restricting domestic encryption. A few months ago, key escrow advocate Dorothy Denning softened her position, saying that encryption has not prevented prosecution in the criminal cases she's seen.)

Rutgers Center for Cognitive Science (New Brunswick, NJ): RA in NN, speech processing, and acoustics.

Boeing Defense & Space Group (Philadelphia): US MS/PhD in NLP, computational linguistics, IR, machine translation, etc.

Neodesic Corp. (Evanston, IL): jr/sr programmers for NLP, intelligent software, Web agents.

West Group (Eagan, MN): MS+ researcher in IR, NLP, ML, HCI, KR.

Microsoft Research (Redmond, WA): computational grammarian for French.

SF Bay Area: MS/PhD sr. SE in AI, fuzzy logic, CBR, expert systems for investment timing.

San Diego, CA: MS AI engineers in agent bases systems, KBS.

RADSS Technologies (Calgary, Canada): SE in voice recognition, DB for data entry from phone conversation. (*)

USunderland (UK): PhD research lectureships in HCI, NN, genetic algorithms, SE, IR.

Cambridge, UK: research scientists in AI, artificial life, agents.

UStrathclyde (UK): lecturer in IS, IR.

ULimerick (Ireland): postdoc researcher in genetic programming, NN, fuzzy logic.

SPHEAR TMR Network (Europe): EU PhD researchers in automatic speech recognition.

Philips Research Labs (Aachen, Germany): MS/PhD researcher in speech/pattern recognition, signal processing, NLP, etc.

Chinese U. of Hong Kong: profs in IS, IR, DB, AI.

* captain's cool job of the week. (Selected by Brian "captain" Murfin.)

Universal Translator, from LanguageForce Inc., claims to translate between English and Chinese, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Esperanto, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italia, Indonesian, Latin, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Slovak, Spanish, Swahili, Swedish, Thai, Turkish, Ukranian, and Vietnamese. A "first draft tool," or for reading email or web pages, or useful as a spelling checker. Just $99, for Windows 95. , 888-837-8887. [,, 25Aug97.] (The company also makes a $197 Chinese Dragon Writer, for "Level II" or "professional" translation and language learning, and a collection of $39 native-speaker CDs for instruction in Asian and European languages (and ASL).)

The Uni-verse chat system does real-time translation in French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, and English. Free Windows 95/NT trial software, or Java-based service. . [Bennett Blaustein , net-hap, 10Jul97.]

Dictionaries for many languages can be found via or . [Larry Tremblay ,, 17Aug97.]

Eric Schulman's "The History of the Universe in 200 Words or Less" has been translated into 16 other languages. It goes "Quantum fluctuation. Inflation. Expansion. Strong nuclear interaction... World-Wide Web creation. Composition. Extrapolation?" . [mini-AIR, Aug97.]

Microsoft Word has a text summarization capability that selects sentences with the most statistically significant vocabulary. You can view an example at . [Jorn Barger ,, 24Aug97. David Joslin.] (Barger calls it "pretty hilarious ... most types of documents end up looking pretty random.")

SIGART recently mailed their Oct96 (!) issue of the SIGART Bulletin, to be followed soon by the Aug97 and Oct97 issues. The bulletin will (most likely) then cease publication, instead merging with ACM's glossy new _intelligence_ magazine (starting Jan98). Sample sections of "_intelligence_: New Visions of AI in Practice" will be distributed with the last two bulletins. The new magazine will cover "techniques and practice of developing intelligent systems" and "the practical, professional, and commercial side of AI." It is an ACM Track II publication meant to have wide appeal, and may eventually be a bi-monthly. Book reviewers are needed. (Reviews will no longer include conference proceedings or -- maybe -- textbooks, except on the SIGART website.) Christopher Welty, , is editor in chief. SIGART will continue to provide services and accept announcements via , . _intelligence_ will cost $39 for ACM members and $49 for non-ACM members, and will include SIGART membership. To subscribe, contact . [SIGART Bulletin, Oct96; and SIGART EIS.] (I presume that SIGART will still participate in the biennial AI Directory, jointly published with AAAI and others.)

Lee Giles has posted Journal Citation Reports' "impact factors" for various CS/AI journals in 1995. (1996 scores may be available later this year.) Impact factor measures frequency of citation for the average article, normalized by journal circulation. Cognitive Brain Research leads the pack in 1995, with an impact factor of 2.2 -- but only .88 in 1994. (If what you want is a lot of readers, a large-circulation magazine may be more useful than one with a high normalized citation rate -- but the latter would indicate a tightly knit community of scientists publishing useful articles. The best journals have both: Science magazine has a 1995 factor of 22; Nature, 27; Clinical Research, 58.)

Other leaders in AI -- excluding machine vision journals and EE/robotics -- are IEEE Trans. on Pattern Analysis (1.9); Neural Computation (1.7); IEEE Trans. on Neural Networks (1.6); Artificial Intelligence (1.6); Machine Learning (1.3); Neural Networks (1.3); and Knowledge Acquisition (1.1). Less-cited journals include Network-Comp. Neural; AI Magazine (.86); AI in Medicine; Expert System Applications; IEEE Trans. on Knowledge and Data Engineering; Int. J. of Approximate Reasoning; Pattern Recognition; Neurocomputing; Int. J. of Intelligent Systems; IEEE Expert (.60); Applied AI; Pattern Recognition Letters; AI EDAM; Engineering Applications of AI; J. of Automated Reasoning (.25); J. of Experience and Theory in AI; AI Engineering; Int. J. of Software Engineering Knowledge; Knowledge-based Systems (.17); AI Review; AI Applications; Applied Intelligence; Computers and AI (.045); and Neural Processing Letters (0.000).

In 1994, the top three AI journals were Neural Computation (3.1); IEEE Trans. on Pattern Analysis (2.0); and IEEE Trans. on Neural Networks (1.9) -- all very similar to 1995. Communications of the ACM was 1.8. Additional info is on ("What's Here: Citation index"). [Connectionists, 04Sep97.]

-- Ken