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Posts under ‘Natural Language’

Iterative Disambiguation

In a prior post we showed how extraordinarily ambiguous, long sentences can be precisely interpreted. Here we take a simply look upon request. Let’s take a sentence that has more than 10 parses and configure the software to disambiguate among no more than 10. Once again, this is a trivial sentence to disambiguate in seconds [...]

“Only full page color ads can run on the back cover of the New York Times Magazine.”

A decade or so ago, we were debating how to educate Paul Allen’s artificial intelligence in a meeting at Vulcan headquarters in Seattle with researchers from IBM, Cycorp, SRI,  and other places. We were talking about how to “engineer knowledge” from textbooks into formal systems like Cyc or Vulcan’s SILK inference engine (which we were [...]

“I don’t own a TV set. I would watch it.”

The following excerpt is from Hobbs, Jerry R. “Toward a useful concept of causality for lexical semantics.” Journal of Semantics 22.2 (2005): 181-209.

Are vitamins subject to sales tax in California?

What is the part of speech of “subject” in the sentence: Are vitamins subject to sales tax in California? Related questions might include: Does California subject vitamins to sales tax? Does California sales tax apply to vitamins? Does California tax vitamins? Vitamins is the direct object of the verb in each of these sentences, so, [...]

Common sense about deep learning

I regularly build deep learning models for natural language processing and today I gave one a try that has been the leader in the Stanford Question Answering Dataset (SQuAD).  This one is a impressive NLP platform built using PyTorch.  But it’s still missing the big picture (i.e., it doesn’t “know” much). Generally,  NLP systems that [...]

Dictionary Knowledge Acquisition

The following is motivated by Section 6359 of the California Sales and Use Tax.  It demonstrates how knowledge can be acquired from dictionary definitions: Here, we’ve taken a definition from WordNet and prefixed it with the word followed by a colon and parsed it using the Linguist.

‘believed by many’

A Linguist user recently had a question about part of a sentence that boiled down to something like the following: It is believed by many. The question was whether “many” was an adjective, cardinality, or noun in this sentence.  It’s a reasonable question!

Parsing Winograd Challenges

The Winograd Challenge is an alternative to the Turing Test for assessing artificial intelligence.  The essence of the test involves resolving pronouns.  To date, systems have not fared well on the test for several reasons.  There are 3 that come to mind: The natural language processing involved in the word problems is beyond the state [...]

Nominal semantics of ‘meaning’

Just a quick note about a natural language interpretation that came up for the following sentence: Under that test, the rental to an oil well driller of a “rock bit” having an effective life of but one rental is a transaction in lieu of a transfer of title within the meaning of (a) of this [...]

TA/NLP: It’s a jungle out there!

Text analytics and natural language processing have made tremendous advances in the last few years.  Unfortunately, there is a lot more to understanding natural language that TA/NLP. I was reading a paper today about NLP pipelines for question answering that used machine learning to find what tools are good at what tasks and to configure [...]