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Re: [ontolog-forum] metaphysis, semantics and the research program of on

To: ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
From: John F Sowa <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 02 Apr 2012 09:06:16 -0400
Message-id: <4F79A448.8020802@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Hans and Rich,    (01)

> I'm advocating more explicit representation of contexts and scope
> in computer systems, especially institutional contexts, and in any
> ontologies they use.    (02)

That is absolutely necessary.  There is no shortage of publications
and proposed notations for contexts.  On the contrary, there are so
many different and competing proposals that it's an important area
of R & D to sort them out.    (03)

The only thing I'm suggesting is that people should read the literature
before writing long, rambling threads on email lists.    (04)

> But controlled English is the kind of logic that people have been
> using all their lives.    (05)

Two points:    (06)

  1. Controlled English is not a logic.  It's a family of notations that
     can use any version of logic that is convenient for the application.    (07)

  2. The logic that people have been using all their lives is a superset
     of first-order logic, informal analogies, various extensions that
     go far beyond FOL, and a large range of fallacies that Aristotle
     and his buddies documented over two millennia ago.    (08)

The goal of CNLs is to take advantage of the good parts of NLs that can
be processed efficiently by computer systems.    (09)

> But there are bad controlled English programs – in particular I
> remember ROSIE which ran on lisp machines like the Xerox Dolphin.
> It was only marginally better than typing logic because the
> vocabulary was so limited and specialized for the parser.    (010)

Three points:    (011)

  1. ROSIE was developed at RAND over 30 years ago. Your cell phone
     today has far more computing power than the supercomputers of
     those days, and the available machine-readable dictionaries,
     terminologies, etc., are immensely larger.    (012)

  2. Even in those olden days, there were far better and easier
     to use tools than ROSIE.  Please note the historical material
     in the following article:    (013)

     http://www.jfsowa.com/pubs/futures.pdf    (014)

  3. And take a look at the following article about current tools
     that take advantage spoken NLs:    (015)

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/01/technology/nuance-communications-wants-a-world-of-voice-recognition.html    (016)

This article talks about Nuance Communications, which bought up
several NLP companies, including Dragon Systems.  Their 2011
revenue was $1.3 billion.  They must be doing something right.    (017)

Apple's SIRI is a competing technology, which many people like.
SIRI is a spinoff from SRI International that Apple bought
and implemented in their latest offerings.    (018)

There will be a lot more things coming, but the future for NL
based tools and techniques looks quite rosy -- not ROSIE.    (019)

John    (020)

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