|August 19, 1996||
Press Contact: Steve Koppes|
University of Chicago provides on-line cyberspace concierge for Democratic National Convention August 26-29
The University of Chicagos Intelligent Information Laboratory (InfoLab) has created a cyberspace concierge that will provide Democratic National Convention delegates with a unique Web-based restaurant guide and answers to thousands of frequently-asked questions about Chicago.
The on-line concierge system, called the Chicago Information Exchange, takes advantage of the Universitys cutting edge research in artificial intelligence to form a bridge between people and vast data bases of information. Information exchange architect Kristian Hammond, Associate Professor of Computer Science and InfoLabs director, said, Our goal is to gather as much information as possible about everything in Chicago, and make it as easy as possible for people to find. The restaurant guide and on-line information center will help make the Democratic National Convention the most high-tech political convention ever.
"Entrée Chicago": How do you figure out where to eat in Chicago if youve never been here before? Instead of paging through printed restaurant guides, you can peruse InfoLabs Entrée Chicago, an intelligent, Web-based restaurant advisor that contains a searchable data base of over 700 Chicago eateries.
Want a moderately priced restaurant not too far from the convention center? Access Entrée via the World Wide Webdelegates at the convention can use the touch screens on the convention floorand enter your criteria. Click, and presto: Entrée recommends Frontera Grill, Café Spiaggia and Lawrys Prime Rib, and provides a description of each restaurant, including price, cuisine, location and phone number. Entrée is also connected to a locator map, provided by Vicinity Corporation, that can tell you exactly how to get to the restaurant of your choice.
Say you just arrived from Atlanta, where your favorite restaurant is Indigo. Entrée can easily help you find a similar restaurant in Chicago. Entrée knows restaurants across the country, from San Francisco to New York, and knows how they compare to Chicagos gustatorial offerings.
Not satisfied with Entrées initial recommendation? Tweak your preferences by selecting among a number of options, including less expensive," nicer, quieter, or different cuisine.
"Q & A": Youre an out-of-town convention delegate or journalist and want to know the height of the Sears Tower, or what to do with the kids. Or, why is Chicago really called the Windy City?
All you have to do is type your question into the Web-based Q & A and the computer churns through its data base to find the answers to your questions. Answers to thousands of frequently asked questions about Chicago have been drawn from Chicago Internet users and news groups.
During the convention, if the answer isnt already in the data base, the question is routed to a team of researchers from the Special Libraries Association who will have the answer within minutes. Its then cached in the data base and can be accessed by all users.
The University of Chicago formed the Intelligent Information Laboratory as a response to the gap between human information needs and the ability of computers to meet them. With an eye toward solving problems that are real rather than academic, InfoLab is dedicated to the discovery of technology that will link people and the machines that serve them, and to the transfer of these ideas into working systems. Other current projects include Pick-A-Flick, an on-line movie guide; Web Seer, which retrieves images and pictures from the World Wide Web; and ECHO, an experimental Web search engine which simplifies broad, complicated searches.
The University of Chicago, along with AT&T and Ameritech, is an information service provider for the convention.
Last modified at 03:50 PM CST on Wednesday, June 14, 2000.
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