Yesterday during house cleaning apparently somebody readjusted my alarm clock (which is a terrible piece of engineering, by the way, but I won't get to it here) and changed the time in such way that instead of waking me up at 6:15 AM as normal, it woke me up at 5:35 AM. As I didn't know of it until I got to my computer to read the morning emails and news, now I can't really get back to bed any more.
So suddenly my day was given extra 40 minutes... What to do with them?
Well, first I tried to find more information about Siri, a start-up with a good amount of AI big names, all that worked in SRI's big CALO (Cognitive Assistant that Learns and Organizes) project. It is arguably the largest AI project ever built with funding from DARPA.
Unfortunately there isn't much out there, just that they raised US$ 8.5 million and don't want to say what they are really about. ReadWriteWeb has some observations, but still not that helpful. I did sign up for the private Beta and will see what happens whenever they decide to launch.
Everybody should be skeptical about AI-focused applications, but they do have a strong team of people and experience. Judging from the "paper trail" that the CALO project generated, there could be something to it. I think it's a great concept to (and now I'm projecting a concept to their product, which could be completely off) instead of trying to build a search engine, to build a layer on top of the web (so that integrates search engines and specific websites) that tries to guide you to the information you are looking for, instead of forcing you to be search-savvy, i.e., find out by yourself which search keywords will actually take you closer to the information you are looking for.
Again, I'll wait and see... While I'm waiting, I can do the most time-consuming thing (and get rid of my extra 40-minutes): go through the CALO papers...