Posts Tagged ‘human language’

Big Data’s Role in Natural Language Processing

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Jeff Bertolucci of Information Week reports, “Computers do many things faster and more efficiently than the human brain, but they’re decidedly inferior when it comes to extracting meaning from human language. As BigData-Startups.com founder Mark van Rijmenam writes in a recent blog post, the key stumbling block here is that computers understand ‘unambiguous and highly structured’ programming language, while human language is a minefield of nuance, emotion, and implied intent. Van Rijmenam also quotes a Chronicle of Higher Education post by Geoffrey Pullum, a professor of general linguistics at the University of Edinburgh. Pullum outlines three prerequisites for computers to master human language: ‘First, enough syntax to uniquely identify the sentence; second, enough semantics to extract its literal meaning; and third, enough pragmatics to infer the intent behind the utterance, and thus discerning what should be done or assumed given that it was uttered.’ ” Read more

Studying Human Language Acquisition with Semantic Web Technologies

A recent article reports, “A new generation of cybertools developed at Cornell will help researchers share and analyze rare Sri Lankan language recordings important for studying language acquisition in children. The Sinhala language, only spoken on the island of Sri Lanka, is ‘very precious’ because of the unique way it is structured, said project leader Barbara Lust, professor of human development in the College of Human Ecology and director of the Cornell Language Acquisition Lab. It provides an invaluable opportunity to research which aspects of language acquisition are universal or biologically programmed and which are culturally determined, she said.” Read more