Saturday, 28 July 2007 - A Working Example of Adaptive Bio Logic

Adaptive bio what? This web site is an experiment in “advanced adaptive automation techniques” developed by Cambridge Minds, a Cambridge software company.

Software robots manage the page :
*One robot is responsible for checking all the links and mailing a status report each day.
*A second robot is responsible for taking new entries from email messages and inserting them into an appropriate category on the page.
*A third robot is responsible for removing entries from the page, based upon a number of criteria.
*A fourth robot is responsible for periodically re-ordering the links within categories, according to the level of use by users.

Now the scary bit…
No human programmer can understand the code that makes these robots work - they are all the product of genetic programming.
Genetic programming is an advanced, automated method for creating working software objects from a high-level logic statement of a problem.

“As far as we are aware, apart from this example, TeacherXpress is the most advanced working example of this form of software development anywhere in the world” Anyway, it is what it says on the website!

From a more pragmatic point of view, it is a shame robots do not accept human feedback.

This site is HUGE, with lots of links, but the difference between this site and my collection is that the links are not there because somebody thought they might be interesting to a fellow teacher, but just because they exist. In short, it is a bit like trying to find a plumber in the yellow pages. There might be lots of them listed, but at first you have no way of knowing which one of them is actually any good.

On the plus side, the section headings are sensible:
Libraries, newspapers, reference, search engines, employment, museums, general info, books, magazine and equipment, educational software, government agencies, professional associations, hardware, teacher associations, LEA and Local Grid links, educational websites and a number of subject-specific sections e.g. Maths resources KS1 and 2.

On the minus side, there is no specific section for languages despite the fact that every other subject seems to have its own section. Is this a reflection of what some technical people think of foreign languages?? (hope not) However, no doubt that the LEA and Local Grid links section could be a source of very good links for mfl teachers.

No comments: