Many and long were the conversations between Lord Byron and Shelley to which I was a devout and silent listener. During one of these, various philosophical doctrines were discussed, and among others the nature of the principle of life, and whether there was any probability of its ever being discovered and communicated. They talked of the experiments of Dr. Darwin (I speak not of what the doctor really did or said that he did, but, as more to my purpose, of what was then spoken of as having been done by him), who preserved a piece of vermicelli in a glass case till by some extraordinary means it began to move with a voluntary motion. Not thus, after all, would life be given. Perhaps a corpse would be reanimated; galvanism had given token of such things: perhaps the component parts of a creature might be manufactured, brought together, and endued with vital warmth (Butler 1998).
In recent years, there has been a resurgence in research on empirical methods in natural language processing. These methods employ learning techniques to automatically extract linguistic knowledge from natural language corpora rather than require the system developer to manually encode the requisite knowledge. The current special issue reviews recent research in empirical methods in speech recognition, syntactic parsing, semantic processing, information extraction, and machine translation. This article presents an introduction to the series of specialized articles on these topics and attempts to describe and explain the growing interest in using learning methods to aid the development of natural language processing systems.
Music and language are two human activities that fit well with a traditional notion of creativity and are particularly suited to computational exploration. In this paper we will argue for the necessity of syntactic processing in musical applications. Unsupervised methods offer uniquely interesting approaches to supporting creativity. We will demonstrate using the Constituent Context Model that syntactic structure of musical melodies can be learned automatically without annotated training data. Using a corpus built from the Well Tempered Clavier by Bach we describe a simple classification experiment that shows the relative quality of the induced parse trees for musical melodies.
Recent general AI conferences show a decline in both the number and the quality of vision papers, but there is tremendous growth in, and specialization of, computer vision conferences. Hence, one might conclude that computer vision is parting or has parted company with AI. This article proposes that the divorce of computer vision and AI suggested here is actually an open marriage: Although computer vision is developing through its own research agenda, there are many shared areas of interest, and many of the key goals, assumptions, and characteristics of computer vision are also clearly found in AI.
This paper presents evidence for the idea that much of artificial intelligence, human perception and cognition, mainstream computing, and mathematics, may be understood as compression of information via the matching and unification of patterns. This is the basis for the "SP theory of intelligence", outlined in the paper and fully described elsewhere. Relevant evidence may be seen: in empirical support for the SP theory; in some advantages of information compression (IC) in terms of biology and engineering; in our use of shorthands and ordinary words in language; in how we merge successive views of any one thing; in visual recognition; in binocular vision; in visual adaptation; in how we learn lexical and grammatical structures in language; and in perceptual constancies. IC via the matching and unification of patterns may be seen in both computing and mathematics: in IC via equations; in the matching and unification of names; in the reduction or removal of redundancy from unary numbers; in the workings of Post's Canonical System and the transition function in the Universal Turing Machine; in the way computers retrieve information from memory; in systems like Prolog; and in the query-by-example technique for information retrieval. The chunking-with-codes technique for IC may be seen in the use of named functions to avoid repetition of computer code. The schema-plus-correction technique may be seen in functions with parameters and in the use of classes in object-oriented programming. And the run-length coding technique may be seen in multiplication, in division, and in several other devices in mathematics and computing. The SP theory resolves the apparent paradox of "decompression by compression". And computing and cognition as IC is compatible with the uses of redundancy in such things as backup copies to safeguard data and understanding speech in a noisy environment.