CSAIL Event Calendar: Previous Series
Knowledge Sharing Media for Group Memory and Collaborative Brainstorming
Speaker: Mark Foltz , MIT AI Laboratory
The construction of shared knowledge bases remains an exciting research challenge. We now mostly use unstructured media (email, pen and paper) to exchange knowledge that could be useful to archive. This talk will present two interactive systems intended to help groups record and structure the knowledge they share. The first, Plexus, collects questions and their contributed answers in a two dimensional information space. We claim that the metaphor of shared space can help individuals utilize knowledge archives such as these. Users navigate the space to browse old responses, and may post new questions and answers. Plexus is illustrated with an archive of students' questions from subject 6.034, Artificial Intelligence. Landmarks, regions, and a path through the space assist navigation by relating questions to subject material. The design rationale behind Plexus and examples of its use will be presented. The second system, Whimsy, will focus on capturing the ideas generated through collaborative brainstorming. This tool is more proposed than realized, and as such, I will discuss some claims about brainstorming tools that Whimsy is intended to exemplify: 1) they should permit the easy expression of ideas; 2) they should be as ubiquitous as possible, since ideas can occur anywhere; 3) they should archive the captured ideas, so that no good idea is ever lost; 4) they should allow the group to ask, "Where were we?" 5) they should combine private and group brainstorming. I will present arguments for these claims, and discuss how Whimsy intends to realize them through digital whiteboard, voice capture, and context annotation technologies. Plexus is joint work with William Neveitt, Rebecca Xiong, and Randy Davis.