Sentient System

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A Sentient System is a physical system that uses sensors to solve a sentience task (perceive its environment and react accordingly).




  • (Addlesee et al., 2001) ⇒ Mike Addlesee, Rupert Curwen, Steve Hodges, Joe Newman, Pete Steggles, Andy Ward, and Andy Hopper. (2001). “Implementing a sentient computing system.” In: Computer, 34(8).
    • ABSTRACT: Sentient computing systems, which can change their behaviour based on a model of the environment they construct using sensor data, may hold the key to managing tomorrow's device-rich mobile networks. At AT&T Laboratories Cambridge, we have built a system that uses sensors to update a model of the real world. We designed the model's terms (object positions, descriptions and state, and so forth) to be immediately familiar to users. Thus, the model describes the world much as users themselves would. We can use this model to write programs that react to changes in the environment according to the user's preferences. We call this sentient computing because the applications appear to share the user's perception of the environment. Treating the current state of the environment as common ground between computers and users provides new ways of interacting with information systems. A sentient computing system doesn't need to be intelligent or capable of forming new concepts about the world, it only needs to act as though its perceptions duplicate the user's. In earlier work, we described a prototype of this system and stated our intention to deploy it on a large scale. We have now installed an enhanced version throughout an office building. Over the past year, approximately 50 staff members have used the system daily with a set of trial applications