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  1. #1
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    Natural Language Processing

    Hey guys,
    I am a linguist, unfortunately I cannot call myself a computer programmer confidently. I have studied Python and am learning ways to implement code. Long story short, I want to be the one who creates a true linguistically competent machine. I have made a few lines of code before but nothing near a true linguistic interaction. I have come up with a theory based on the theories of linguistic predecessors on how to create a linguistically competent machine (you can read all about it at lingforum.com in the articles authored by me). It has occurred to me that the knowledge my machine would be building would have to be statistically correlated with some form of prompt that occurs behind all processes. The dos prompt pretty much. I'm wondering, where can I find this prompt? What is it called? Does it change with every action performed on a computer? Can I create a program that analyzes that data?
    I appreciate the help, and I hope to learn as much as possible from this forum. I will check and post often.

    Nick


    What will it take to make a computer able to learn any language from scratch?

  • #2
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    The problem with most computers is that they are pretty much just super advanced calculators. You can teach a computer new words and phrases, but you'd need to throw it into a database and teach it through repetition how the words can be used. Pretty much you just need to build the machine to be able to adapt to every minute detail that can exist in languages and notice parallels and other fun what not.

    Imagine how you learn languages. Computers learn pretty much the same way. Just common usage.
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    Hold yourself responsible for a higher standard than anybody expects of you. Never excuse yourself.
    - Henry Ward Beecher

  • #3
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    It would require the analysis of a command prompt. The text that occurs with any computational action. Can I create a program with python that will access that command prompt? I think I can take it from there.

    I'd like it if someone was able to answer my questions plz thanks.

  • #4
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    I have no idea how programmatic access to the command/dos prompt gets you any closer to natural language processing, but if you must, the subprocess module appears to be the equivalent of the command prompt.

    Having computers understand language is a holy grail that's been worked on for probably 50 years now... Best of luck with your project, but I'd suggest getting a computer expert on your team.

    Dave

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    I've come up with a new theory of grammar. I call it Maximalism. I guarantee it will produce a talking machine. I would love to have a computer expert to work with. Please, if you're interested, contact me.

  • #6
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    The reason it is necessary to access the command prompt, or the subprocess module, is that it seems that there is an operation that occurs behind every lexical item (or any sound, word, phrase, sentence, conversation, etc.). Any time language is spoken, it occurs with a mental, or in this case computational, event. Consider these examples.

    The dog bit my knee.
    That tree is big.
    He came to the party.
    We left at dusk.

    and the obvious ones

    Take out the garbage.
    Do your homework.
    Clean your room.

    they all perform some sort of operation. So I say that it seems that items are serving as operators. Words come together to direct thought. I have a whole theory on this. If you'd like to hear more I'd be happy to share. I hope someone can put it into code before I die so I can speak with this thing. I have many questions.

  • #7
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    So this subprocess module actually accesses the basic components of computation? The command prompt behind everything?...
    So if I said something like

    subprocess.checkoutput

    It would check any action that has occurred computationally?

  • #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by nickreardon View Post
    So this subprocess module actually accesses the basic components of computation? The command prompt behind everything?...
    I'm not sure what *you* consider the "basic components of computation", but I would say they are the machine instructions of the processor. Add, Multiply, Jump, stuff like that. If that's what you mean, then no, the subprocess module does not access those. You'd write an assembly language program to access those directly. Subprocess, like your initial "DOS prompt" request, provides access to the command line execution of applications, typically operating system commands like "Dir", "LS", etc. "The Command Prompt Behind Everything" sounds like it came from the Hitchhiker's Guide, I don't even know what it means.

    So if I said something like

    subprocess.checkoutput

    It would check any action that has occurred computationally?
    No, here's the definition:
    subprocess.check_output(args, *, stdin=None, stderr=None, shell=False, universal_newlines=False, timeout=None)

    Run command with arguments and return its output as a byte string.
    So it will run the command and give you the results in a string. That doesn't have much to do with "checking any action..."

    Dave

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    Ok, this is what I'm trying to explain.

    Does the act of taking your mouse and executing an application have a direct command prompt that occurs as a subprocess in an accessible textual environment?
    And if the answer is yes, do the executed applications then have their own command prompt that is subprocessing behind what they do?

    The idea is this.
    I want my computer to make me some money, so I say "Genie, will you make me some money?"

    From there, it performs processes that it has learned to do to analyze the information that people have made available over the internet in order to make some money. So it makes a website. But first we would have to teach it how.

    It would have to know what processes are getting implemented and how to use those processes. So I put in the input "This is how to make a search." and then perform an action. Can I get it to read which action I have performed? Can I get it to save that information?

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    Very little of what goes on in today's applications is textual. While you might be able to collect an association with a mouse click to a command (e.g. "Run Photoshop"), there will be no list of other commands or subprocesses that are then executed by Photoshop that you could save away to later re-create "this is what was done in photoshop, so next time someone requests photoshop, see if that's what they want to do".

    And no, there is no general way you can (from "outside" an application) collect everything its doing and store it for later re-use. A user clicking on stuff, manipulating files, accessing something remotely on the internet, and even knowing when a user has something he'd call an "answer" - all would be impossible (IMO) to store, connect with language, and re-use.

    Perhaps I'm not quite the expert you're looking for, because I don't see your vision

    Dave

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    It's not impossible, it's not even impractical, it's just a matter of getting it done at this point. Let me at least try to bridge the gap in understanding. A lot of linguists say that the problem is that there aren't many people who understanding programming and understand linguistics. I understand linguistics, and based on what I've learned (and envisioned) I've developed a theory of grammar thats goal is purely computational. It's brand new I promise.

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    Could be you're right Nick. Someone had to invent the light bulb and the vacuum cleaner - maybe you're the guy to do it for natural languages and computers!

    Dave

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  • #13
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    Ok well I've been teaching myself python for a little while now and my understanding is limited. I'm working on getting a program to analyze a few conversations and formulate probable responses given a textual input.

    I have made several conversations and saved them as .docx. The only thing that differentiates a speaker from a hearer is the return key. I need to know how I can get a computer to "look" at this data and save every letter as a folder (an array as someone said) within a folder within a folder. This will serve as context.

    The "meaning" of the string of arrays will be saved within the final array of the string of arrays as a string (or what I have called a "notepad document within a folder") that has some sort of code(statistical) within it that can be analyzed upon accessing that array.

    Are you catching my drift?
    Last edited by nickreardon; 12-16-2011 at 12:35 AM.

  • #14
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    Mannn no one?

  • #15
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    It's just so confusing, hard to know what to say. From your description, if I feed in the sentence "the quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog", then I will end up with a directory structure that looks like:
    folder
    |
    +- folder
    |
    + a
    + b
    ...
    + z

    And in the "g" folder (the final one), you will have a notepad file (text file I guess) with the "meaning" of "the quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog".

    Do I have this right so far? How does this help the computer understand or speak language again?

    Dave

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