Animation

Introduction

I had just started my programming journey into the digital world when TRON appeared in theaters in 1982.  The movie inspired me to pursue my hobby and eventually my career in Computer Science. 

3D Modeling

I have always had a love for 3D modeling.  I assembled my first 3D modeling tool during my Sophomore year in college using C++, X11 Motif and Sun hardware.   Recently I discovered POV-Ray, an open source ray-tracing program that uses a simple Scene Description Language to model primitives.  Naturally, this fits well with the models in TRON so I spent a few hours render various TRON-world objects.   Click Here to see my TRON section.

Tools

Modeling Programs:  Wings3d (freeware), Silo3d (trial-ware), Blender3d (open source)

Converters between 3D formats
Anthony D’Agostino’s Python Scripts for Blender
ExtremeUV

Free renderers
Povray
Yafray
Art of Illusion
Pixie (RIB)
3Delight (RIB) (free for non-commercial use)

Free 3D programs
Anim8or
Art of Illusion
Blender3D
Wings3D

Information about Music and Sound: http://www.jasonacox.com/wordpress/?p=23

Beyond AI: Creating the Conscience of the Machine

I have always been fascinated with the study of Artificial Intelligence.  I began my interest as many computer science majors by simulating intelligence through maze solving LISP automated mice.  These are brute force methods that appear to be intelligent by recursively exploring every possible solution.  This is not intelligence.  It is merely programmatic problem solving.

What is Artificial Intelligence?  How do we copy the creation that is the human mind and intellect, and impress that upon silicon and wires?  Is it even possible? 

BookBeyond AI: Creating the Conscience of the Machine
by J. Storrs Hall

Artificial intelligence (AI) is now advancing at such a rapid clip that it has the potential to transform our world in ways both exciting and disturbing. Computers have already been designed that are capable of driving cars, playing soccer, and finding and organizing information on the Web in ways that no human could. With each new gain in processing power, will scientists soon be able to create supercomputers that can read a newspaper with understanding, or write a news story, or create novels, or even formulate laws? And if machine intelligence advances beyond human intelligence, will we need to start talking about a computer’s intentions?

This book contemplates several interesting topics related to artificial intelligence, including the consequences of actually creating a systems that is intelligent.  A lot of what is intelligence appears to be search and pattern matching.  It seems that we build complex associations that help us grapple with our environment and interact with others in an intelligent fashion. 

What is intelligence?  I believe that we will continue to see progress in developing artificial minds.  Predictive expert systems already provide a sense of “smarts” but they are not creating anything new.  Attempts to build systems that take inputs, learn and even postulate solutions (as in mathematical proofs) have been limited in their success.  It seems that these intelligent systems hit a “glass ceiling” beyond which they are unable to produce anything new.  

Tools, Programs and Links

SHRDLU is a program for understanding natural language, written by Terry Winograd at the M.I.T. Artificial Intelligence Laboratory in 1968-70. – http://hci.stanford.edu/~winograd/shrdlu/