Linden Research, Inc. doing business as Linden Lab, is a held American Internet company, best known as the creator of Second Life. The company's head office is in San Francisco, with additional offices in Boston, Seattle and Davis, California, its offices in Mountain View, Brighton and Amsterdam were closed in 2010. In addition, the company employs remote workers that communicate and collaborate on projects using Second Life technology; the company, founded in 1999, employs numerous established high-tech veterans, including former executives from Electronic Arts, eBay, Disney and Apple. The company's founder and original CEO is Philip Rosedale, a former CTO of RealNetworks, one of Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People in The World in 2007. In 2008, the company was awarded an Emmy for Second Life in the user-generated content and game modification category; the award was given at the 59th annual Engineering Emmy Awards. Philip Rosedale, chairman of Linden Lab, accepted the award. Although Linden Lab's Second Life platform was not the first online virtual world, it has gained a large amount of attention due to its expanding user base and unique policy that allows participants to own the intellectual property rights to the in-world content they create.
The company's name comes from Linden Street, where the company was based. The company's transition from scrappy upstart to success is detailed in the book The Making of Second Life written by former employee Wagner James Au. Although many people have assumed that the inspiration for Second Life originated from Rosedale's exposure to Neil Stephenson's novel Snow Crash, he has suggested that his vision of virtual worlds predates that book and that he conducted some early virtual world experiments during his college years at the University of California San Diego, where he studied physics. Rosedale's strong coding skills resulted in the creation of a video compression technology that would be acquired by RealNetworks, where he was made CTO at the age of 27. While at RealNetworks, Rosedale's ambition to create a virtual world was resurrected and recharged by technological advances in computing and his attendance at the popular music and arts festival Burning Man. With the help of a financial windfall that he reaped from his time at RealNetworks, Rosedale formed Linden Lab in 1999.
His initial focus was on the development of hardware that would enable computer users to be immersed in a 360 degree virtual reality experience. In its earliest form, the company struggled to produce a commercial version of "The Rig,", realized in prototype form as a clunky steel contraption with several computer monitors that users could wear on their shoulders; that vision soon morphed into the software-based application Linden World, where computer users could participate in task-based games and socialization in a 3D online environment. That effort would transform into the better-known, user-centered Second Life. During a 2001 meeting with investors, Rosedale noticed that the participants were responsive to the collaborative, creative potential of Second Life; as a result, the initial objective-driven, gaming focus of Second Life was shifted to a more user-created, community-driven experience. In September 2012, Linden Lab announced two new products: Patterns. In January 2013, Linden Lab purchased the game Blocksworld for iPad, a shared virtual world built of blocks.
Rod Humble, appointed CEO in December 2010, announced his departure on Facebook on 24 January 2014, stating that he would be leaving Linden Lab to pursue founding a new company that will "make art and unusual things!". In February 2014, Linden Lab announced. In June 2014, Linden Lab confirmed; as of August 2015, Linden Lab are in beta tests of Sansar. We want to lower the barrier of entry for VR experience creation... Project Sansar will do for virtual experiences what WordPress has done for the Web... Linden Lab has elicited both compliments and curiosity for its unconventional corporate culture, based on a non-hierarchical system where employees are unusually self-directed and transparent in their work; the company makes a strong effort to maintain transparency among its employees and to the general public. Linden Lab utilized another internal tool, the Distributor, that enabled all employees to distribute "points" to projects that they deem to be worthy of development and resource support; each point has a financial value, based on each quarter's financial performance.
As a result, key stakeholders in the projects with high point values received a distributed monetary payoff at the end of the quarter for completed projects. The Distributor was discontinued. In addition, each employee's quarterly performance review is published on a Wikipedia-like internal website that all other employees may see. Employees of Linden Lab, who are identifiable in-world by their avatars' last name "Linden", have been known to participate in several collaborative events with Second Life users. For example, the company holds an annual holiday "snowball fight" where users are encouraged to throw virtual snowballs at Linden Lab employees. In May 2007, Linden Lab acquired Windward Mark Interactive, a small game development company based in Waltham, Massachusetts. Windward Mark specialized in cloud simulation, releasing their code as open-source. Linden Lab uses the code under the name "Windlight" to enhance atmospheric effects in Second Life. On January 20, 2009, Linden Lab acquired XstreetSL and OnRez, two web-based marketp
In computer science, artificial intelligence, sometimes called machine intelligence, is intelligence demonstrated by machines, in contrast to the natural intelligence displayed by humans and animals. Computer science defines AI research as the study of "intelligent agents": any device that perceives its environment and takes actions that maximize its chance of achieving its goals. Colloquially, the term "artificial intelligence" is used to describe machines that mimic "cognitive" functions that humans associate with other human minds, such as "learning" and "problem solving"; as machines become capable, tasks considered to require "intelligence" are removed from the definition of AI, a phenomenon known as the AI effect. A quip in Tesler's Theorem says "AI is whatever hasn't been done yet." For instance, optical character recognition is excluded from things considered to be AI, having become a routine technology. Modern machine capabilities classified as AI include understanding human speech, competing at the highest level in strategic game systems, autonomously operating cars, intelligent routing in content delivery networks and military simulations.
Artificial intelligence can be classified into three different types of systems: analytical, human-inspired, humanized artificial intelligence. Analytical AI has only characteristics consistent with cognitive intelligence. Human-inspired AI has elements from emotional intelligence. Humanized AI shows characteristics of all types of competencies, is able to be self-conscious and is self-aware in interactions with others. Artificial intelligence was founded as an academic discipline in 1956, in the years since has experienced several waves of optimism, followed by disappointment and the loss of funding, followed by new approaches and renewed funding. For most of its history, AI research has been divided into subfields that fail to communicate with each other; these sub-fields are based on technical considerations, such as particular goals, the use of particular tools, or deep philosophical differences. Subfields have been based on social factors; the traditional problems of AI research include reasoning, knowledge representation, learning, natural language processing and the ability to move and manipulate objects.
General intelligence is among the field's long-term goals. Approaches include statistical methods, computational intelligence, traditional symbolic AI. Many tools are used in AI, including versions of search and mathematical optimization, artificial neural networks, methods based on statistics and economics; the AI field draws upon computer science, information engineering, psychology, linguistics and many other fields. The field was founded on the claim that human intelligence "can be so described that a machine can be made to simulate it"; this raises philosophical arguments about the nature of the mind and the ethics of creating artificial beings endowed with human-like intelligence which are issues that have been explored by myth and philosophy since antiquity. Some people consider AI to be a danger to humanity if it progresses unabated. Others believe that AI, unlike previous technological revolutions, will create a risk of mass unemployment. In the twenty-first century, AI techniques have experienced a resurgence following concurrent advances in computer power, large amounts of data, theoretical understanding.
Thought-capable artificial beings appeared as storytelling devices in antiquity, have been common in fiction, as in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein or Karel Čapek's R. U. R.. These characters and their fates raised many of the same issues now discussed in the ethics of artificial intelligence; the study of mechanical or "formal" reasoning began with philosophers and mathematicians in antiquity. The study of mathematical logic led directly to Alan Turing's theory of computation, which suggested that a machine, by shuffling symbols as simple as "0" and "1", could simulate any conceivable act of mathematical deduction; this insight, that digital computers can simulate any process of formal reasoning, is known as the Church–Turing thesis. Along with concurrent discoveries in neurobiology, information theory and cybernetics, this led researchers to consider the possibility of building an electronic brain. Turing proposed that "if a human could not distinguish between responses from a machine and a human, the machine could be considered "intelligent".
The first work, now recognized as AI was McCullouch and Pitts' 1943 formal design for Turing-complete "artificial neurons". The field of AI research was born at a workshop at Dartmouth College in 1956. Attendees Allen Newell, Herbert Simon, John McCarthy, Marvin Minsky and Arthur Samuel became the founders and leaders of AI research, they and their students produced programs that the press described as "astonishing": computers were learning checkers strategies (and by 1959 were playing better than the average human
Gerald Jay Sussman
Gerald Jay Sussman is the Panasonic Professor of Electrical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He received his S. B. and Ph. D. degrees in mathematics from MIT in 1968 and 1973 respectively. He has been involved in artificial intelligence research at MIT since 1964, his research has centered on understanding the problem-solving strategies used by scientists and engineers, with the goals of automating parts of the process and formalizing it to provide more effective methods of science and engineering education. Sussman has worked in computer languages, in computer architecture and in VLSI design. Sussman attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as an undergraduate and received his S. B. in mathematics in 1968. He continued his studies at MIT and obtained a Ph. D. in 1973 in mathematics, under the supervision of Seymour Papert and Marvin Minsky. His doctoral thesis was titled "A Computational Model of Skill Acquisition" focusing on artificial intelligence and machine learning, using a computational performance model called "HACKER."
Sussman is a coauthor of the introductory computer science textbook Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs. It was used at MIT for several decades, has been translated into several languages. Sussman's contributions to artificial intelligence include problem solving by debugging almost-right plans, propagation of constraints applied to electrical circuit analysis and synthesis, dependency-based explanation and dependency-based backtracking, various language structures for expressing problem-solving strategies. Sussman and his former student, Guy L. Steele Jr. invented the Scheme programming language in 1975. Sussman saw that artificial intelligence ideas can be applied to computer-aided design. Sussman developed, with his graduate students, sophisticated computer-aided design tools for VLSI. Steele made the first Scheme chips in 1978; these ideas and the AI-based CAD technology to support them were further developed in the Scheme chips of 1979 and 1981. The technique and experience developed were used to design other special-purpose computers.
Sussman was the principal designer of the Digital Orrery, a machine designed to do high-precision integrations for orbital mechanics experiments. The Orrery was designed and built by a few people in a few months, using AI-based simulation and compilation tools. Using the Digital Orrery, Sussman has worked with Jack Wisdom to discover numerical evidence for chaotic motions in the outer planets; the Digital Orrery is now retired at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. Sussman was the lead designer of the Supercomputer Toolkit, another multiprocessor computer optimized for evolving systems of ordinary differential equations; the Supercomputer Toolkit was used by Sussman and Wisdom to confirm and extend the discoveries made with the Digital Orrery to include the entire planetary system. Sussman has pioneered the use of computational descriptions to communicate methodological ideas in teaching subjects in Electrical Circuits and in Signals and Systems. Over the past decade Sussman and Wisdom have developed a subject that uses computational techniques to communicate a deeper understanding of advanced classical mechanics.
In Computer Science: Reflections on the Field, Reflections from the Field, he writes "...computational algorithms are used to express the methods used in the analysis of dynamical phenomena. Expressing the methods in a computer language forces them to be unambiguous and computationally effective. Students are expected to extend them and to write new ones; the task of formulating a method as a computer-executable program and debugging that program is a powerful exercise in the learning process. Once formalized procedurally, a mathematical idea becomes a tool that can be used directly to compute results." Sussman and Wisdom, with Meinhard Mayer, have produced a textbook and Interpretation of Classical Mechanics, to capture these new ideas. Sussman and Abelson have been a part of the Free Software Movement, including releasing MIT/GNU Scheme as free software and serving on the Board of Directors of the Free Software Foundation. For his contributions to computer-science education, Sussman received the ACM's Karl Karlstrom Outstanding Educator Award in 1990, the Amar G. Bose award for teaching in 1991.
Sussman, Hal Abelson, Richard Stallman are the only founding directors still active on the board of directors of the Free Software Foundation. Sussman is a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, a member of the National Academy of Engineering, a fellow of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence, a fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery, a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a fellow of the New York Academy of Sciences, a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, he is a bonded locksmith, a life member of the American Watchmakers-Clockmakers Institute, a member of the Massachusetts Watchmakers-Clockmakers Association, a member of the Amateur Telescope Makers of Boston, a member of the American Radio Relay League. Gerald Sussman is married to Julie Sussman. Julie is an MIT graduate and has studied many languages including French, German, Japanese, Swedish, Dutch and Serbo-Croatian, she has written a book on everyday Chinese characters.
Marvin Minsky Seymour Papert Terry Winograd MDL programming language Sussman anomaly Video of "Flexible Systems The Power of Generic Operations" talk for LispNYC, January 2016 Video clip of Sussman speaking a