The Blog of Dabido (the Baka one). Everything in this blog is copyrighted. Copyright 2004, 2005, 2006 by D. Stevenson.

30 March, 2005

Hugo's Amazing Research

Today I came across something interesting (between a meeting this morning, designing a company logo and looking into factories to buy ... okay, I can't afford a factory ... hee hee). This is the site of research being done by Hugo Liu at MIT. Hugo's Research I was particualarly amazed by Metafor, which translates simple English into the skeleton of a program. Eventually, they are hoping to construct something which will be able to translate normal English into programs, circumventing a lot of the rigid structure needed in making programs. Looking into the things which Hugo has done, I am pretty amazed at his imagination. Of course, he is a PH.D student of Media, Art and Science (and not just science). Obviously his creative side mixed with his scientific side is being put to good use. Many people I know tend to be either one or the other. Either creative, or scientific. Maybe this is why Einstein said Imagination was more important than knowledge. After all, knowledge is only what we already know. Imagination leads us into fields we haven't yet explored, which increases our knowledge. Some of Hugo's tools (like MontyLingua) are freely available. I'm hoping the Metafor will become available freely one day. Then again, maybe I should write my own in the meantime. Reading what Hugo wishes to accomplish with Metafor is pretty interesting, and the possibilty of it eventually leading to computers which can just be programmed via standard English woudl be pretty cool. (Though I think the possibilty of computers understanding the nuances of implication within language would be a drawback. It's something which holds back language interpretation software. After all, the software wasn't there during previous conversations between the two conversers in order to understand every little piece of infered knowledge. The software can only use programmed logic to help it place some things within context, which won't be correct without the references infered within the conversation!) Gees, hope that made sense! lol It reminds me of the time Margaret Thatcher tested a piece of Japanese translation software. They (Japanese inventors) asked her to say something to be interpreted. She said, "To be, or not to be! That is the question." They ran the sentence through the Japanese software, and it replied, "It is, it isn't. What is it?" The reason for this was the Japanese verb 'desu' means "it is". There is no "to be" in Japanese. The closest you can come is "it is" or "it exists". So obviously when they punched "To be" into the software, it translated it to "desu" in Japanese. When it was translated back into English, the 'desu' translated into 'it is'. Of course, even without Metafor developing into something whcih can translate English 100% into programming code, it can come pretty close. I'm looking forward to seeing how it develops.