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21 May What it Means to Be, and Why AI Needs to Know

Semantic Primitives

Interaction between humans is intricate, intimate and beautiful. Good conversations are like dances and can leave one feeling fulfilled and whole. I have long wanted to build a system that can verbally dance with you. Even longer, one to rapidly translate what you say with high accuracy into any number of other languages, enabling cross-cultural dances. […]

15 May Analyzing Semantics

Speak and Understand

Semantics The stratum of semantics is usually associated with meaning. Throughout the 1980s, when I was in college, semantics was viewed as more and more important in text-understanding systems. One aspect of semantics that has received a great deal of attention is thematic or case roles, which can be very useful in defining the roles of words or […]

10 May Word Structure Analysis

Analyzing Morphology In many natural languages, gender or case has a profound affect on morphology – so much so that students have to memorize conjugation tables. It’s really easy to teach computers about conjugation tables and they remember very well. If it were not so, it may be difficult to keep their attention long enough […]

08 May Three-Dimensional Model of Language

Syntax Morphology Tense

Topographical maps of concepts in a text provide useful views of language. Fortuna et al in Semantic Knowledge Management (pp. 155-169) describe how three-dimensional topic maps can both give meaningful insights into clusters of related content, such as news stories or published papers. I have frequently stressed the importance of concept associations in the brain, in cognitive […]

14 Apr Translation: Inverted Communication

Translation Symmetry

Lately I’ve been concentrating on modeling communicative skills. Whether speaking, signing, gesturing or writing, we begin with intent and wrap symbols around the intent or message to encode it. Translating and encrypting start with a fully encoded message, and unwrap it, before rewrapping it in a different form that is intended to preserve the original intent. Translation is an application […]

10 Jan Shades of Meaning

Left Right Dialog

I have been sharing my observations on the electrical behavior of the brain this month, with a brief glance at perspectives on perception. My work began, and may end with language. As my springboard into artificial intelligence, I’ve been trying for years to develop computer programs that can understand your intent and use that understanding […]

07 Dec Probability of Understanding Meaning

Multivariate Statistical Distribution

Some suggest that computers can achieve full language understanding capabilities using statistical models. Others argue that heuristics or programmatic interpretation that uses special procedures tailored to linguistic phenomena. The two camps are as far apart as ever.   Consider the comments around this recent article on On the one side, Norvig demonstrates the validity […]

03 Aug Exformation vs. Subtext

gutenberg press

Many of us humans like to congregate and communicate. Much of our communication, including this blog, is intended to be shared widely and to persist beyond the moment, whether we are attempting to share the thought of the moment, or change the course of human history.  When we congregate, whether for a TED talk, a […]

01 Aug Section 6 Intro – Language and Dialog

Speak 2 U 3

Dialog: Is this something limited to humans – to sentient beings? Natural Language, its components, acquisition, and use are the subjects of this sixth section of the Understanding Context blog. Here, you will find theories about communication and cognition, along with descriptions of computational approaches to analyzing and automatically generating human language and dialog using computers. […]

26 May Natural Language

Language and Dialog