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Re: [ontolog-forum] Wolfram|Alpha and NL QA

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, Neil Raden <nraden@xxxxxxxxx>
Cc: Tony Shaw <anthonypetershaw@xxxxxxxxx>, "dm-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx" <dm-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Duane Nickull <dnickull@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 3 Jun 2009 01:02:28 -0700
Message-id: <C64B7C24.6A54%dnickull@xxxxxxxxx>

On 6/2/09 6:08 PM, "Adrian Walker" <adriandwalker@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

Because 'context' in WolframAlpha is limited to the equations (I'm using the term 'equations' loosely) of a particular knowledge domain, the meaning of a term can change depending on how it is used, giving you completely wrong answers, with no warning that they are wrong. All of this is enough to make a data governance geek cringe. The only thing worse than being wrong is being wrong and believing you are right, and acting on it.

A key technical problem would seem to be how to prevent the system from answering questions it does not understand.

I would assert that a key engineering problem is how to capture the context in which a question is posed.  For example – the human brain thinks in terms of cognition, yet pragmatics are intrinsically linked to that context.  For example – if you are having drinks in a bar and you see a glass of beer on an adjacent table, you recognize it, but you may not elevate it to the highest tuples of your brian.

If you are driving down a freeway at 100 KPH and see the same glass of beer approaching your windshield, it has different semantics.

Given the WA engine cannot understand the context in which questions are posed, it will also fail in terms of absolute semantically meaningful answers.

Just MHO.


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