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2518NLP Buddies... and NLP Babies!

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  • toddpierce1968
    Aug 1, 2004
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      Jim,

      I knew you were going to come through with a message describing the
      pursuit of something just as insane as what I am pursuing.

      The description of what you're doing is very insightful. Based on the
      limited description of what I'm doing myself, you managed to peg my
      project right on the tail of the donkey.

      In fact, it's quite ironic that I, somewhat trained in linguistics,
      would be pursuing a more reductive computational model whereas you,
      apparently a business programmer from what I can tell, would be using
      a biological/developmental model. By the way, I would like to hear a
      bit about your background training so I know what vocabulary to use as
      we discuss these things.

      What you are doing is definitely much more interesting. I can imagine
      it's hard to fit values normally encoded in a child's brain into a
      standard database format. Even with my model which is based on a
      minimal parametric approach of the simplest of feature matrices,
      designing the database was a nightmare.

      It was difficult to prioritize what features about a word or a
      'concept' computationally provided the greatest contribution to coming
      up with the right result. I've had to revise my database a couple of
      times in the past year, and that's after six years of planning... and
      that's just for the lexicon!

      As I imagine you already know, since all of these 'features' need to
      be specifically set by the trainer, I have to write interactive
      subroutines to support every database table. Everything has to be
      explicity explained to the computer.

      I do think that we're both discovering interesting abstractions about
      human language as we sort through the various different factors that
      ultimately make human language the best one invented yet. We may even
      be discovering things that nobody else has discovered before.

      I do have some training in developmental linguistics so maybe I could
      be of some contribution. Regardless of my theoretic experience, your
      practical implementation of language acquisition sounds fascinating.
      I may even be able to use some of the information in my own
      implementation.

      I'd be very interested not only in the current incarnation of your
      database but also in what is vaporware. Is this all in your head
      still or do you have it documented?

      You see, this is one reason I figured conducting some of this
      conversation outside of the forum. We're both dealing with systems
      and concepts that are so outrageously huge that just the two of us
      could take over the floor.

      I'm fine with it for the time being, but remember, I do keep backups
      of my work as well as the documentation on a website, and I don't plan
      to post the address in a forum. This is not because it's secret, it's
      because I don't need to invite armchair critics from all over the
      world :)

      That point aside, what interests me most is the language acquisition
      rules you have come up with so far and the resulting database
      architecture, either implemented or planned. Naturally, if that's too
      big a question to answer here you know you have been invited to mail
      me at todd_pierce at hotmail dot com.

      -Todd

      --- In artificialintelligencegroup@yahoogroups.com, "Jim Bromer"
      <jbromer@i...> wrote:
      > All of your comments seem pretty familiar to me. I am still working
      > on the database management part of my program and I am starting with a
      > lexicon of particles of input text. I have decided not to start with
      > a list of words because I want to figure out how the program can learn
      > to identify meaningful words and then to determine their utilization
      > meanings. I believe that this is the fundamental contemporary problem
      > of artificial intelligence and that the effort to jump start learning
      > with an established data base of words and relationships is only
      > pushing the problem back to the next stage of development. What I
      > mean is that the trial and error algorithms and the interactions that
      > may help the program to evaluate them is the significant problem in
      > contemporary AI, and the thing is that this problem exists at all
      > levels of intelligence. Let me put it this way: if an infant must use
      > some special means to initially learn language and to figure basic
      > things about the environment out, then he will always possess those
      > special skills. We have a bias against initial learning because while


      > we cannot understand it, we ourselves have progressed to more advanced
      > issues ourselves. However, I believe that this naïve learning may be
      > comprised of a system of associating data objects both immediately
      > perceived and stored in memory in such a way so that they play certain
      > roles in understanding. My interest then is to find the simplest set
      > of roles that would be necessary for intelligence to emerge through
      > this kind of process. However, this is a logistical nightmare for me
      > too. If this set of what I have sometimes called ideological roles
      > becomes too extensive, then it would be too unwieldy to use.
      >
      > I would like to continue using the artificialintelligencegroup to
      > discuss these ideas so that others could join in if they want to.
      >
      > Jim Bromer
      >
      >
      > --- In artificialintelligencegroup@yahoogroups.com, "toddpierce1968"
      > <todd_pierce@h...> wrote:
      > > Sam, Jim,
      > >
      > > Well, the project is already started (and not a secret in any way).
      > > The one part that is pretty much complete is handling the lexicon.
      > >
      > > I decided to implement a custom database of sorts and use a
      > > syntactically tagged corpus I bought from Celex. The program can now
      > > store vocabulary, import vocaulary and there is a subroutine to
      > > interactively refine syntactic features that are not set yet.
      > >
      > > I'm planning to implement feature matrices in as many places as
      > > possible in the system; a brute force method that few people have
      > > really taken full advantage of.
      > >
      > > So basically where I'm at is I'm sitting on a database system that,
      > > given a word in text, like 'walked', will return a hell of a lot of
      > > information about 'walked', and in addition, about the root word
      > > 'walk' as well. Root forms and derived forms are stored in two
      > > different tables.
      > >
      > > This whole project is logistically insane. That's why I just do it
      > > bit by bit in my spare time. But I have managed to mostly take care
      > > of the lexicon that way and as of a few weeks ago, it's structure and
      > > support functions (LISP) are done.
      > >
      > > So now it's on to a parser and knowlege representation. I had planned
      > > to proceed using a model I learned in college, but over the years,
      > > I've made a lot of improvements on it just drunken brainstorming.
      > >
      > > Which is why I decided to post a message. If I can improve on his
      > > model just brainstorming by myself, maybe I could make a lot more
      > > progress if I had someone to discuss it with. Maybe I could come up
      > > with a different model alltogether. If nothing else, I know I'd be
      > > less likely to forget something I'd have to go back and fix later.
      > >
      > > Since it's planned to be a binary feature intensive system, what sorts
      > > of features would be computationally useful for words and the objects
      > > they identify? living/non-living, physical/non-physical, etc.
      > >
      > > And what about turning sentences into some sort of 'internal
      > > representation'? How abstract does it have to be? Must it be hard
      > > logic or is something resembling natural language phrase structure
      > > good enough? Do some things simply need to be stored literally as
      > > they text typed in?
      > >
      > > And speaking of this parsing process, must it be a computer
      > > programmer's dream of lexicon->parser->knowlege or must it be blurred,
      > > where each step must depend on every level of representation? Can the
      > > process of generating a sentence use the same machinery but backwards?
      > > i.e knowlege->parser->lexicon?
      > >
      > > Is there any way neural networks would be uniquely qualified for any
      > > of this?
      > >
      > > And what cues can we take from nature? For example, we do know that
      > > humans do have a 'working memory' with a dedicated buffer just for
      > > language. We also know the concept of time is key when dealing with
      > > language and knowlege. And all higher animals have a concept of
      > > Euclidian geometry. Most language happens in discourse, which usually
      > > provides many cues to parsing and meaning, how can I leverage off of
      > > that? Furthermore, is it important to forget things?
      > >
      > > So, what cognititive machinery could help in this effort?
      > >
      > > If those are the sorts of things you don't mind mulling about in the
      > > back of your head for a few days a week, feel free to e-mail me at
      > > todd_pierce@h...
      > >
      > > I do have a document that goes back years which is dedicated to this
      > > sort of brainstorming and I don't mind recording even the craziest of
      > > ideas. After all, the document did result in a rather nice lexicon.
      > >
      > > -Todd
      > >
      > >
      > > --- In artificialintelligencegroup@yahoogroups.com, Samuel Buhr
      > > <sam_lonester@y...> wrote:
      > > > Wow! NLP! How do you propose to start on this
      > > > project? Tell me more, without giving up valuable
      > > > information, of course.
      > > >
      > > > Sam
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > --- toddpierce1968 <todd_pierce@h...> wrote:
      > > >
      > > > > Once again, I'm posting a message looking for
      > > > > anybody who is
      > > > > interested in NLP or Linguistics.
      > > > >
      > > > > I'm working on my own natural language processor so
      > > > > it would be nice
      > > > > to take up dialogue with anybody who has done this
      > > > > or is interested in it.
      > > > >
      > > > > Furthermore, maybe I would make fewer mistakes
      > > > > during development :)
      > > > >
      > > > > -T
      > > > >
      > > > >
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