by Mike Masnick

Making Computers Understand

from the where's-the-demo? dept

The Washington Post is running an article about an entrepreneur who only first touched a computer 10 years ago, but who is now claiming to have created a huge advance in natural language processing. There have been a lot of very smart people working on natural language processing for many years, so I'm a bit skeptical of what this one guy is doing - especially since most of the article shows that the writer was influenced more by who spoke about the offering than any definitive example of how the technology works (or doesn't). I'm all for innovative approaches to "big" questions like natural language processing, but I worry about an entrepreneur who doesn't demonstrate his product - but instead produces lots of people who say "it's really good".

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  • identicon
    mentor cana, 15 Jul 2003 @ 3:21pm

    I'm also skeptical

    The very title of the article "Making Computers Understand" makes you immediately skeptical. Especially troublesome is the above quote stating that “This man literally has figured out the way the brain learns things”? Isn’t it perhaps premature to claims that we have discovered how the brain works with such certainly when the history has told us many such claims in the past have been proven wrong by later discoveries and innovations?
    Further, how does one prove that two different perspectives are sufficient to understanding a concept? I hope this does not mean that they believe two perspectives are necessary since there are ‘two sides of the same story’. Usually there are more then two sides of the same story and understanding the ‘reality’ and its context probably might take much more than two perspectives.

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