Why don’t we have human-like understanding in language with computers yet? We experienced it back in the 1968 movie 2001:Space Odyssey albeit a ‘bad HAL’ but even with decades and billions of dollars of investment we still haven’t cracked the language understanding holy grail. Cognitive Scientist, John Ball, has combined his theory of how a human brain approaches language for a computer with the meaning based, language independent linguistic framework RRG by Professor Robert Van Valin. He shows how this solves the open scientific problems that were referred to back in the 1950s and onwards by scientists like Yehoshu Bar-Hillel. In the Computerworld series, John Ball explains why the progress in NLP, focussing on statistical analysis is not going to get us where we want to go – human-like understanding.
By Beth Carey