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Artificial Intelligence & Linguistics

Updated on December 21, 2015
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Muhammad Rafiq is a freelance writer, blogger, and translator with a Master's Degree in English literature from the University of Malakand.

Artificial Intelligence
Artificial Intelligence | Source

Definition of Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence means the intelligence shown by electronic systems rather than human beings. There are machines and software packages, which can translate one language into another language without the help of any human being. They can communicate with people and answer your quarries as perfectly as human beings. These machines can imitate the behavior of human beings and perform actions according to the instructions. Robot is an excellent example in this regard.

Explanation of Artificial Intelligence

A.M Turing asked a question as to whether machines can think or not. While replying to his question, A.M Turing suggested that a machine can impersonate or more exactly imitate human being apart from physical attribute. The Turing test comprised of a command of human language such that a conversation in the machine and the human would be indistinguishable from a conversation between two human beings. Similarly, the computer may be said to have artificial intelligence, when it shows intelligence ordinarily associated with human behavior, reasoning, learning, use of language and so on. There are opposing philosophical view points and research strategies in the field of artificial intelligence as to whether computer should be programmed to imitate the way the human mind works, or whether computer should simply simulate human behavior in any way practical. Whether or not that is the way people think.

In linguistic terms the debate boils down to whether the grammar that machines use to communicate should be actual grammar of the language or any kind of grammatical system that gives acceptable results. All computer activities result from programs usually written by human, but sometimes written by the computer itself. The question arises how an artificial intelligence program differs from non-artificial intelligence. It is not always easy to differentiate between them but computer scientists usually agree that an artificial intelligence program is designed to process knowledge and that such processing includes inferencing- the ability to derive additional knowledge from the original base.

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Most computer programs, designed for natural language communication, exploit artificial intelligence techniques. In speech understanding, e.g., knowledge may be stored in the form of acoustic patterns for recognizing sounds, grammatical rules for determining sentence structure and semantic rules for determining meanings. Inferencing capabilities are required to fulfill the task of determining phonemes from variable sound or allophones. Phoneme underlines an alveolar stop, whose voicing in the input signal is indeterminable—a/t/d/ can be inferred if the sound occurs at the beginning of a word whose other segments are /i/g/. It must be a/d/ since “tig” is not a word but “dig” is. Similarly, an intelligent person would choose the word sea in “The/si:/was…” instead of see as he knows that the presence of the article infers that the noun must follow and the main verb is never followed by an auxiliary verb.

Semantic Inferencing has been widely inferred since the 1960’s. Suppose, there is a knowledge base-information stored in the computer memory that included such facts as:

“Tweety is a canary.”

“Canary is a bird.”

“A bird is an animal.”

“Most birds can fly.”

The above mentioned lines can be reproduced by the following semantic net:

Tweety is a Canary is a bird is an animal

An intelligent program will use Inferencing to deduce the facts that Tweety is a bird, Tweety is an animal and it is likely that Tweety can fly. None of which facts are representing the original knowledge base. If intelligent computers are ever developed or if artificial intelligence ever approaches human intelligence, it is clear that languages should play a major role in these developments, because human linguistic ability is the single and most prolific manifestation of intelligence that computers can process language. They can be programed to translate from source language into a target language. They can also communicate with people by speaking human language.

The use of language by machines to communicate with humans is one of the most important manifestations of artificial intelligence.

© 2014 Muhammad Rafiq

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