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09 Oct Resolving a Paradox

Square Paradox

In time and space some things are impossible, but the pen is more powerful than reality. I can draw a world in which stairs lead in crazy, mind-bending directions, and I could probably build a structure that implemented upside-down staircases to nowhere. But I could never build the cube shown here, because it violates some […]

16 May Discourse Pragmatics

Boxing Ring

Pragmatics Context data is critical for disambiguation of words that have many possible meanings. These meanings are almost always mediated by context, therefore understanding context must precede disambiguation. For instance, when standing in a ring appears in the context of a boxing match, ring refers to a physical object with corners. The same phrase, in […]

12 Apr Making a Pattern of Comprenshion

Speech and Hearing

In A Timeless Way of Building, Christopher Alexander points out that “…no pattern is an isolated entity. Each pattern can exist in the world only to the extent that it is supported by other patterns: the larger patterns in which it is embedded, the patterns of the same size that surround it, and the smaller […]

11 Apr Are You My Grammar?

Communication Generation

Quest for a Formalism Many grammar formalisms have been proposed for use with computers. Many existing formalisms have been borrowed for computer applications. Currently, one of the most popular grammar theories among linguists is called Government and Binding (Chomsky, 1986). This theory has been used in some computerized language-analysis programs, but poor outcomes have demonstrated that it is […]

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 […]

30 Dec Context Models

Model Plane

Building a Model The goals of the research that evolved into Understanding Context were twofold: to investigate human physiology/psychology for clues that would let us evaluate neuromorphic computational paradigms; and to explore the possibility of new computational models using context to correlate and associate concepts. Birds fly and they are lightweight. Building models of flight with lightweight materials works […]

31 Mar Asymmetrical Balance, True Love and Chaos

Background Thought

Inequality is the Pattern Unequal distributions characterize everything in the universe from subatomic particles to galaxies. In fact the whole idea of “equality” in the physical universe seems at least a tiny bit sketchy. At the extreme end of unequal distributions is chaos. On the near end are things that approximate equality: balance, parity, equal opportunity, symmetry […]

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 […]

12 Nov Context Powers Backward Chaining Logic

Forward Chaining Rules

A popular success strategies book suggests that if we “Begin with the End in Mind” we are likely to get where we’re going more consistently. We wander less if we think about what we want at the end from the very first steps of our journeys. Context helps us do that. Human behaviorists and philosophers have […]

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 […]