Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

US Metaphor-Recognizing Software System Starts Humming

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the bright-ideas dept.

Government 105

coondoggie writes "An innovative project, called Autonomous Dynamic Analysis of Metaphor and Analogy, or ADAMA, aims to build a software system that can automatically analyze metaphorical speech in five different languages by analyzing huge quantities of online data got off the ground this week when the U.S. Army Research Laboratory awarded a $1.4 million contract to the team conducting the research. The research is backed by the US Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA), which develops high-risk, reward research projects for the government, and is intended to build a repository of speech metaphors from American/English Iranian Farsi, Mexican Spanish and Russian speakers. ADAMA could have immediate applications in forensics, intelligence analysis, business intelligence, sociological research and communication studies, researchers stated."

cancel ×

105 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

First Post Metaphor (But this isn't First Post) (1, Interesting)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 2 years ago | (#39945483)

The First Post is a metaphor for testing the beginnings of censorship.

Re:First Post Metaphor (But this isn't First Post) (2)

swx2 (2632091) | more than 2 years ago | (#39945503)

so is that meta-first?

Re:First Post Metaphor (But this isn't First Post) (1)

s.petry (762400) | more than 2 years ago | (#39945907)

The problem as someone points out below is that metaphor is brute force, not natural language. It can't be done naturally. Here is an example: If I said "Installing your code is like gently pulling teeth with a screw driver" most people would get the metaphor. It's not common, so has to be brute forced into a search. Now if I change "screw driver" to "gentle tug" there is a whole new meaning.. and the Metaphor dictionary would have to be updated.

Metaphor is constantly changing, and there is no way to invent software that can keep up. Why? Our use of language changes rather drastically in very short times. How fast for example did the metaphor for a BJ change to and from "Lewinski"?

This means, someone is going to have to constantly scan text and find and log all of the metaphors. This is not just a massive task itself, but someone also has to remove the old shit metaphors that clog up the pipes.

So how do we get all of these hands on the Metaphor database without intruding on every piece of text possible? Well, illegally of course.. or at least by breaking several rules according to the US Constitution.

Re:First Post Metaphor (But this isn't First Post) (1)

bennomatic (691188) | more than 2 years ago | (#39945983)

I thought a "Lewinsky" involved a cigar, which most definitions of "BJ" do not.

Re:First Post Metaphor (But this isn't First Post) (2)

Darinbob (1142669) | more than 2 years ago | (#39946035)

Sometimes a cigar is not a cigar.

Re:First Post Metaphor (But this isn't First Post) (1)

s.petry (762400) | more than 2 years ago | (#39946221)

There was a different metaphor for the cigar being a Lewinski. Again, one of the many problems trying to build AI to handle metaphor. Language is very fluid, context sensitive, and tone sensitive. You can not build AI to do this, given what we have now at least.

Next, I guess we will have to pass laws that restrict all new metaphors and variations from "approved" language.

One thing I did not point out is that to do this as an anti-terrorist measure as it's being masked, you need to have the same massive database in every language. While I don't put it past some of the current political regimes to share their metaphor databases with each other (I.E. China and N. Korea) and don't discount their will to create laws restricting speech, I do not believe they would be very apt to share their metaphor databases with the US.

Re:First Post Metaphor (But this isn't First Post) (1)

alexborges (313924) | more than 2 years ago | (#39947023)

Well I think "can't build" is too strong a phrase. You sure may be able to produce some very good aproximation of an AI that can handle metaphor with a huge database.

Re:First Post Metaphor (But this isn't First Post) (1)

thomasw_lrd (1203850) | more than 2 years ago | (#39946039)

So this is why they allowed warrantless wiretapping. So they could build a huge database of voice data.

At least it makes sense now.

Re:First Post Metaphor (But this isn't First Post) (1)

swx2 (2632091) | more than 2 years ago | (#39946065)

Well, i don't think just building a repository will be too hard. The AI doesn't have to understand it, it just has to be there stored somewhere. Maybe you can get something like reCaptcha for the analysis part?

Metaphor or Idiom (1)

Giant Electronic Bra (1229876) | more than 2 years ago | (#39946247)

Are you maybe confusing metaphor with idiom? Idiomatic speech could truthfully be impossible to interpret without knowledge. A metaphor OTOH is a type of analogy. It operates on the basis of similarity or likeness with something else. It is thus amenable to logical analysis. Take your example, would someone who has not heard this example before understand it? I think it is self evident the answer is yes. It is therefor proven that this metaphor is open to computational analysis.

As language changes some metaphors could become incomprehensible or nonsensical, sure. This is just a problem for all linguistic analysis at some level. Again, the question is are you confusing metaphor with idiom. Most idiom arises somehow out of logical association, but it can be so idiosyncratic that it isn't really amenable to much analysis. Still, I think analysis of these kinds of speech constructs is possible.

Re:Metaphor or Idiom (1)

s.petry (762400) | more than 2 years ago | (#39946653)

Idiom would have to be included, but that is not my main point of reference.

Let me simplify the thought a bit, and take out all of the computer jargon for a minute.

Humans that natively speak language can not properly map the language. There is no circuit that can be built to do so, hence why we have so many Linguists and Language professors and students. Look at the complexities in language rules (let alone metaphor) between say Texas and Virginia. We can not properly map those out, and without the ability to make the maps we can not create circuitry to do so.

I'll agree that some parts may be possible, but this is what has to be done in brute force. Given my first example, we could get something like.

if(statement = $some-massive-ass-db-of-strings){similar_to = 'difficult'};

Okay, but you think the computer can comprehend that my statement was sarcasm based on the conversation? How about if it was a humorous response and nonsense? or to a Mechanic it meant 'easy'? Does this mean anything at all to an Arabic language interpretation? This is why we employ lots of language experts in lots of fields outside of Education.

Re:Metaphor or Idiom (1)

Giant Electronic Bra (1229876) | more than 2 years ago | (#39949693)

I think the assumption that there's anything impossible about doing it is what is wrong. I also think we are definitely reaching the levels of processing power necessary to meaningfully attack these sorts of problems. Nothing will every do it exactly like a human, but the path to doing it better than the best human is clearly open ahead of us. I can see a world where you can have EVERYTHING parsed for you into an ideal form for you particularly to understand it best. Is the govt going to get a super-human system out of this? No, probably not, it will be a few more generations. The work is interesting though and will lead to even better stuff. It may well be usable as-is too.

Re:First Post Metaphor (But this isn't First Post) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39946795)

Your face looks like someone tried to put out a forest fire with a screwdriver.

Re:First Post Metaphor (But this isn't First Post) (1)

stainlesssteelpat (905359) | more than 2 years ago | (#39948083)

: If I said "Installing your code is like gently pulling teeth with a screw driver" most people would get the metaphor. >

Simile not a metaphor. Using 'like' is a simile. You mean 'i enjoy the sensation of pulled teeth so much i will happily install your code!'

Re:First Post Metaphor (But this isn't First Post) (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 2 years ago | (#39949497)

If I said "Installing your code is like gently pulling teeth with a screw driver" most people would get the metaphor

Well, except that's simile [wikipedia.org] not a metaphor.

How fast for example did the metaphor for a BJ change to and from "Lewinski"?

That's a euphemism [wikipedia.org] . Again, not a metaphor.

So hopefully the people writing this remember a little more of high school literature. ;-)

Re:First Post Metaphor (But this isn't First Post) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39950027)

So hopefully the people writing this remember a little more of high school

I did, and I was going to post the same corrections. Then I remembered how I got beaten up at high school for being a pedant...

Re:First Post Metaphor (But this isn't First Post) (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39945945)

The First Post is a metaphor for testing the beginnings of censorship.

If you want to test that try using the word "nigger".

Lots of people say they believe in free speech. Until they're offended. Then they want to shut down the guy saying nigger, nigger, nigger. Course they have a million "good" reasons why that's totally not like censorship at all.

For a bunch of childish busybodies not being offended is more important than anything else.

hard AI (1)

Iamthecheese (1264298) | more than 2 years ago | (#39945485)

Every time a task like this is mastered it's suddenly not considered human level intelligence anymore. I can't believe it's long now...

Re:hard AI (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 2 years ago | (#39945593)

Indeed.

The only thing slowing this down is a thundering existential issue unlike anything we've ever seen. Suddenly we're gonna need to be reviewing the "Science Fiction" section of the lit world for some advice how to handle the rise of sentient AI.

And notice it's *only* 1.4 million. That's all? That's like a 4 person team plus a building plus equipment. It's the "Damn with faint praise" department - it's so it can make news but purposely underfund it for external meta reasons.

We would have had hard AI already if we had spent the last 10 years and the trillion dollars on it like we pushed for the moon. But no, Beating People Up is more fun.

Re:hard AI (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39945721)

Is this coded in meta-forth.

Re:hard AI (1)

durrr (1316311) | more than 2 years ago | (#39945903)

I don't think anyone would code anything in something that is an anagram for meat froth.

Re:hard AI (1)

lennier (44736) | more than 2 years ago | (#39948111)

I don't think anyone would code anything in something that is an anagram for meat froth.

Vocalise for yourself, ugly bag of mostly water.

Re:hard AI (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39946029)

We would have had hard AI already if we had spent the last 10 years and the trillion dollars on it like we pushed for the moon. But no, Beating People Up is more fun.

As long as labor is cheap, however, it isn't cost-effective to develop AI over getting a real human being for quite a bit of tasks.

Which...is where the government and DARPA and such comes in to fund projects which are either not cost-effective, or not profitable in the short or medium term.

Despise military spending as much as you like, but you've gotta admit that the military industrial complex is doing damn well at funding useful research. Imagine how much more difficult it would be to secure funding if you had to convince the politicians to fund straight science instead of the military. Seems like it would be an exercise in futility.

(Yes, that is not how the world should be, but that is how the world is. Realpolitik as fuck.)

Re:hard AI (1)

lennier (44736) | more than 2 years ago | (#39948045)

Suddenly we're gonna need to be reviewing the "Science Fiction" section of the lit world for some advice how to handle the rise of sentient AI.

Kubrick 1968 suggested "screwdriver" while Cameron, 1984 gave a persuasive argument in favour of "shotguns and homemade pipe bombs".

We would have had hard AI already if we had spent the last 10 years and the trillion dollars on it like we pushed for the moon. But no, Beating People Up is more fun.

Who's to say you can't have both? That's why it's called the Defense Advanced Projects Agency!

But seriously, DARPA did in fact sponsor pretty much exactly the kind of "moon shot" program you are arguing for, throughout the 1980s. They spent a billion dollars and it was called the Strategic Computing Initiative [wikipedia.org] (as a marketing phrase to compete with Strategic Defense Initiative, DARPA's other big baby). The results in VLSI chip manufacture were impressive; the results in general-purpose AI, which was mostly Lisp-based, not so much. The collapse of SCI funding led to the AI Winter [wikipedia.org] and arguably the loss of a whole generation of software development techniques. DARPA's focus switched to making computers dumb and fast rather than making them self-aware. Lisp and logic programming fell, TCP/IP and C++ rose, and the results are the Internet as we know it: fast and massively scalable, yet riddled with security flaws and logical inconsistencies.

It turns out that even with all the money in the world, we really don't have an idea of how the human mind-brain works. At best we have a bunch of disconnected algorithms and partial models, but no way to wire them together. At least, that was pretty much the conclusion of the book [mit.edu] I read; ironically for a program focused on AI theories revolving around connection between communicating subsystems, SCI itself failed on its lack of communication between its participants (academic, commercial and military). That seems significant.

Could another SCI happen in the 2010s? Maybe. But I doubt that the results would be any more impressive than what we've already achieved with Google, Cyc, Wikipedia and Watson.

Re:hard AI (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 2 years ago | (#39950021)

we did not spend trillions pushing for the moon, mere hundreds of billions scaled to today's dollar. Over ten trillion on our nuclear arsenal, yes.

Re:hard AI (1)

Frogg (27033) | more than 2 years ago | (#39945725)

agreed: slowly but surely a.i. is getting there :)

Re:hard AI (1)

nbauman (624611) | more than 2 years ago | (#39945735)

Actually, it's not artificial intelligence. It's cheap computers. Peter Norvig said that people were trying to write programs that would understand language, so they could translate it. It didn't work. At Google, they gave up on trying to understand the language, and figured out how to do it with brute-force algorithms. No need to understand what you're translating. http://www.stonetemple.com/search-algorithms-with-google-director-of-research-peter-norvig/ [stonetemple.com]

Most of what you read is nonsense anyway. http://norvig.com/reporters-and-parrots.html [norvig.com]

Re:hard AI (1)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 2 years ago | (#39945969)

See also: the Chinese Room argument [wikipedia.org] .

Re:hard AI (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 2 years ago | (#39945863)

Every time a task like this is mastered it's suddenly not considered human level intelligence anymore. I can't believe it's long now...

Oh please. It's better than human intelligence. A computer will recognize "Man, that's the bomb!" in the context of a conversation as a statement of approval or respect. A person would dial 911, then shoot the guy 16 times for waving a suspicious looking bag of candy. -_-

Re:hard AI (1)

tilante (2547392) | more than 2 years ago | (#39946055)

"A TSA agent would dial 911, then shoot the guy 16 times for waving a suspicious looking bag of candy."

There, fixed that for you.

Well, isn't that... (1)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 2 years ago | (#39945487)

...a kick in the pants!

Re:Well, isn't that... (5, Funny)

gawaino (1191849) | more than 2 years ago | (#39945549)

Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra?

Re:Well, isn't that... (3, Funny)

sconeu (64226) | more than 2 years ago | (#39945627)

Sokath! His eye open!

Re:Well, isn't that... (1)

Netdoctor (95217) | more than 2 years ago | (#39947787)

Alamaray!
  one two three;
Alamaray!
  if you can see,
Alamaray!
  then come with me.

Re:Well, isn't that... (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#39951693)

Well, I'll be a monkle's unkie. Parse that out, bitch!

Re:Well, isn't that... (3, Insightful)

SpockLogic (1256972) | more than 2 years ago | (#39945683)

Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra?

But, but, but .... with the project called ADAMA it should be from Battlestar Galactica.

Re:Well, isn't that... (3, Funny)

bwoneill (1973028) | more than 2 years ago | (#39946445)

Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra?

But, but, but .... with the project called ADAMA it should be from Battlestar Galactica.

Shaka! When the walls fell.

Re:Well, isn't that... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39945779)

Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra?

Barack and Mitt at the crossroad.

Re:Well, isn't that... (1)

Killall -9 Bash (622952) | more than 2 years ago | (#39949613)

Mitt at Washington. When the walls fell.

Re:Well, isn't that... (1)

EdBear69 (823550) | more than 2 years ago | (#39946901)

Oh, you beat me to it!
If only they had this system in the 25th century...

Temba, his arms wide.

Re:Well, isn't that... (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | more than 2 years ago | (#39947659)

I can't remember them all.

His eyes open; his sails unfurl.

He jerks to Bailey Jay on Tuesdays?

Re:Well, isn't that... (1)

lennier (44736) | more than 2 years ago | (#39948197)

Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra?

Chell, with a potato.

the cats pajamas as useful as hip pockets on a hog (1)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 2 years ago | (#39946961)

or

...a kick in the pants!

by a one legged man at an ass kicking contest.
Metaphors can be hard to interpret but similes can be obscure.

So Much For ( Score: +4, PatRIOTic ) (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39945507)

Freedumb [youtube.com] .

Yours In Minsk,
K. Trout, C.I.O.

LOL niggers (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39945509)

Niggers
Jews
Bad news!

Even the hardcore liberals know this hence whynthey live in heavily-white, gated communities away from the "riff-raff". Oh and guns are bad except for their protection.

Re:LOL niggers (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 2 years ago | (#39945751)

I'm not sure whether to modify this troll or insightful.

ADAMA, what do you think?

$1.4 million isn't all that much for a study (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39945535)

But it should be enough to identify some low hanging avocado.

Busy... (2)

flibbidyfloo (451053) | more than 2 years ago | (#39945553)

I bet that computer is going to be busier than a one-legged humanoid robot in an ass-kicking contest.

Re:Busy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39950245)

That was a simile, not a metaphor.

Censorship of microblogging (2)

JLDohm (741501) | more than 2 years ago | (#39945559)

I imagine this would be extremely useful to recognize and block new ways of referencing forbidden topics in countries that censor the internet and text messaging.

Re:Censorship of microblogging (1)

Strawser (22927) | more than 2 years ago | (#39945771)

Or for scanning social media, as our (US) government does ( http://yro.slashdot.org/story/12/02/29/144257/what-the-dhs-is-looking-for-in-your-posts [slashdot.org] ). I guess scanning for specific keywords isn't particularly useful since no one actually uses those keywords. "Stick it to the man" (or whatever) is more likely than "use high explosives to target key government infrastructure, such as bridges and airports" (or whatever).

Seriously, who's going to tweet something like that?

Re:Censorship of microblogging (1)

JLDohm (741501) | more than 2 years ago | (#39945987)

Seriously, who's going to tweet something like that?

or post it on the internet...

I suppose it would be useful for scanning social media, but I still have a hard time believing that scanning social media will ever be useful. Too many false positives.

Re:Censorship of microblogging (1)

Strawser (22927) | more than 2 years ago | (#39946345)

I suppose it would be useful for scanning social media, but I still have a hard time believing that scanning social media will ever be useful. Too many false positives.

I think they would ultimately be looking less for specific threats than trying to profile individuals for follow-up snooping. Ie.: Someone who's politically extreme, associated with radical groups, uses aggressive language, obsesses over politics, FB "Likes" survivalist sites, extremist groups, etc. -- just to collect individuals names' to later use more focused forms of snooping. This kind of DB would be useful in spotting "problematic" demographic groups.

Re:Censorship of microblogging (1)

JLDohm (741501) | more than 2 years ago | (#39946473)

I suppose the sum of many individual communications could make such a system work. A pattern of communications could provide enough specificity to target a small enough number of individuals that would make more targeted snooping feasible.

Re:Censorship of microblogging (1)

Strawser (22927) | more than 2 years ago | (#39947933)

Yeah, that's what I was thinking. Take the existing social media scanning code, mix it with this type of language processing code, and let a group of psychiatric professionals define "problematic" personality profiles to build some kind of scoring system for. Like an MBTI for terrorists (or whoever the latest boogie man is, once they have it in place).

Re:Censorship of microblogging (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 2 years ago | (#39947353)

Seriously, who's going to tweet something like that?

In the context of metaphors, some clueless UK [slashdot.org] tourists?

Re:Censorship of microblogging (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39946271)

The thing is metaphors often evolve into something completely nonsensical, like Cockney rhyming or Simpsons Quotes, eventually to censor everything you'd have to abolish all nouns and verbs for any given language. (Though I suppose it would make Twitter load a lot faster...)

Punctuation would also have to be tightly controlled, as I do "love" censorship so much I would certainly, hate, to see anything disrupt it.

Mixed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39945567)

Can it determine when you are mixing metaphors?

Re:Mixed (1)

cmiller173 (641510) | more than 2 years ago | (#39946109)

My mother-in-law can help with that. She is a veritable Blendtec of mixing metaphors. My wife gets pissed when I correct her, but I will not have my daughter speaking like that.

Poor you (1)

formfeed (703859) | more than 2 years ago | (#39946905)

Having in-laws like that is definitely not eating cake in the park.

Punctuation (2)

DanTheStone (1212500) | more than 2 years ago | (#39945609)

Sometimes punctuation is important. "American/English Iranian Farsi, Mexican Spanish and Russian speakers" doesn't make any sense.

Re:Punctuation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39945659)

But could that ADAMA thing make sense of this?

Re:Punctuation (2)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 2 years ago | (#39945747)

It makes perfect sense: This program is written for speakers of American Iranian Farsi, English Iranian Farsi, Mexican Spanish, and Mexican Russian.

At least, that's what most NLP would probably make of it.

ADAMA? (1)

sconeu (64226) | more than 2 years ago | (#39945657)

I assume it's used in conjunction with the

Generic Automatic LAnguage Connector and Translator Improving Context Analysis (otherwise known as GALACTICA)?

Re:ADAMA? (1)

HeckRuler (1369601) | more than 2 years ago | (#39947259)

FUND IT!

Sadly, it'll face constant harassment by the Counter-Yelling Language Obscuring Nodes. Chat bots that yell obnoxiously at people using Frankenstein mash-ups of language colloquialisms. Of course this is slashdot, so it'll be hard to tell them apart from humans.

Oblig (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39945671)

C is contrafibularity:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hOSYiT2iG08

bigdata & !idle (1)

Frogg (27033) | more than 2 years ago | (#39945673)

why is this story categorised as 'idle'?? it's a perfectly valid news story about artificial-intelligence/machine-learning & big-data, the kind of story that is becoming more and more common as time progresses -- this is the future!

i've added the tag 'bigdata' to the story more than once, but it keeps getting removed -- why are people so clueless?

i even logged for the first time in years, just so i could set the correct tags. meh.

Re:bigdata & !idle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39945767)

Based off your low UID and frustration you describe, you must not be aware that the smart has been removed from this stagnant turd of a site. You won't find any more intelligence here than you will in the front page posts on reddit.

Re:bigdata & !idle (2)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 2 years ago | (#39945847)

Wait. This isn't reddit? My internet explorer must be broken.

Summary (2)

Translation Error (1176675) | more than 2 years ago | (#39945691)

And what software wrote that summary? Ouch, that thing was painful to read. And I have no idea why the title says the software has 'started humming'. Doesn't anyone go over these things to make them a bit more readable before putting them on Slashdot's front page?

Re:Summary (2)

HarrySquatter (1698416) | more than 2 years ago | (#39945749)

Doesn't anyone go over these things to make them a bit more readable before putting them on Slashdot's front page?

Of course not. Are you new here?

Re:Summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39945793)

Yeah, I was all excited after reading the title because I assumed that it started humming like a human would hum, which would be both incredible and creepy.

Re:Summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39945917)

And I have no idea why the title says the software has 'started humming'.

The question is whether the software is better at identifying metaphor than the average human.

I once knew a guy who ... (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 2 years ago | (#39945717)

I once knew a guy who never meta4 he didn't like.

Re:I once knew a guy who ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39945883)

If intelligence' reach does not exceed it's grasp, then what's a meta for?

Re:I once knew a guy who ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39946269)

Did he like mooses and squirrels, and did he graduate from What'sa Meta U?

Iranian Farsi? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39945733)

Farsi is what they call their language. We call it Persian. We don't refer to German as Deutsch do we? Also, there is little use in specifying that it is Iranian Farsi, as the dialects within the country vary as widely as between the different countries that use the language.

I think it's clear where this is headed... (2)

Jeremi (14640) | more than 2 years ago | (#39945797)

... and as is so often the case, Douglas Adams predicted it decades in advance:

------

"Well," [Richard] said, "it's to do with the project which first made the software incarnation of the company profitable. It was called Reason, and in its own way it was sensational."

"What was it?"

"Well, it was a kind of back-to-front program. It's funny how many of the best ideas are just an old idea back-to-front. You see there have already been several programs written that help you to arrive at decisions by properly ordering and analysing all the relevant facts so that they then point naturally towards the right decision. The drawback with these is that the decision which all the properly ordered and analysed facts point to is not necessarily the one you want."

"Yeeess ..." said Reg's voice from the kitchen.

"Well, Gordon's great insight was to design a program which allowed you to specify in advance what decision you wished it to reach, and only then to give it all the facts. The program's task, which it was able to accomplish with consumate ease, was simply to construct a plausible series of logical-sounding steps to connect the premises with the conclusion.

"And I have to say that it worked brilliantly. Gordon was able to buy himself a Porsche almost immediately despite being completely broke and a hopeless driver. Even his bank manager was unable to find fault with his reasoning. Even when Gordon wrote it off three weeks later."

"Heavens. And did the program sell very well?"

"No. We never sold a single copy."

"You astonish me. It sounds like a real winner to me."

"It was," said Richard hesitantly. "The entire project was bought up, lock, stock, and barrel, by the Pentagon. The deal put WayForward on a very sound financial foundation. Its moral foundation, on the other hand, is not something I would want to trust my weight to. I've recently been analysing a lot of the arguments put forward in favour of the Star Wars project, and if you know what you're looking for, the pattern of the algorithms is very clear.

"So much so, in fact, that looking at Pentagon policies over the last couple of years, I think I can be fairly sure that the US Navy is using version 2.00 of the program, while the Air Force for some reason only has the beta-test version of 1.5. Odd that."

"Do you have a copy?"

"Certainly not," said Richard. "I wouldn't have anything to do with it."

Somtimes... (1)

tgetzoya (827201) | more than 2 years ago | (#39945827)

You have to roll the hard six.

how about acronym recognizing software first? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39945871)

seems like we're going to need that just to read summaries anymore

Pointing down... (3, Interesting)

bennomatic (691188) | more than 2 years ago | (#39945961)

I've got your metaphor analysis system *right here*!

Personally, I think such a system should be called the "Innuendo Engine" as sexual references would end up being the underlying context for the vast majority of decyphered metaphors.

Re:Pointing down... (1)

Sqweegee (968985) | more than 2 years ago | (#39946101)

Say no more... say no more! wink wink nudge nudge

Re:Pointing down... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39948429)

Innuendo... and out the other?

Re:Pointing down... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39951599)

I've got your metaphor analysis system *right here*!

Personally, I think such a system should be called the "Innuendo Engine" as sexual references would end up being the underlying context for the vast majority of decyphered metaphors.

Oh goodness, all anyone here seems to think about is innuendo and worrying about the size of their metaphor. We're obsessed. We see a girl come on here, and maybe she's got a nice simile or she's really witty, but all everyone seem to care about is the size of her devices, whether they could get her to give them a euphemism, and imagining if she'd be up for a double entendre.

Interesting strategy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39945991)

....getting the taxpayer to pay again for a project completed nearly 20 years ago....now that takes balls.

Really bad title (1, Funny)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 2 years ago | (#39946103)

When you write a story about an AI system and say it is "humming" then by God, the story had better contain a YouTube video of the AI humming a Beatles tune or something through a tinny PC speaker.

Merely being turned on does not mean it's singing.

Re:Really bad title (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | more than 2 years ago | (#39946163)

I think it was the submitter's slightly misjudged (considering the audience) attempt at a metaphor.

Re:Really bad title (1)

mooboy (191903) | more than 2 years ago | (#39946315)

yep, you nailed it.

Re:Really bad title (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39948057)

I'm not sure if you've just never heard that turn of phrase before or if you're an actual retarded person, in which case I'm disappointed in your handler for allowing you online unsupervised.

ADAMA is a CYLON (1)

tekrat (242117) | more than 2 years ago | (#39946373)

Holy crap, we are well on our way to Skynet and Cylons. Too bad we all can't escape to the 13th colony because we're already on it.

Re:ADAMA is a CYLON (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 2 years ago | (#39950029)

no worries, it's all cyclical. this 13th colony also will someday be the 26th, which is to say the future 13th

ADAMA will perform... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39946705)

... with all the grace of a one-legged cat trying to bury a turd in a marble floor.

Test results on literature? (1)

EdBear69 (823550) | more than 2 years ago | (#39947005)

I'd love to see how this handles Shakespeare. Or Joyce, for that matter. Also, it would be really cool if you could translate to idiomatic metaphors that make sense in the target language.

I get this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39947105)

It's an automated UrbanDictionary!

That's as slick as... (1)

jweller13 (1148823) | more than 2 years ago | (#39947801)

Well that's as slick as a baby sliding across a greasy, frozen over pond in January. Chew on that metaphor Mr Algorith!

Nice! (1)

sootman (158191) | more than 2 years ago | (#39948475)

A computer with metaphor-recognizing software is like a... wait, sorry, I was thinking of simile-recognizing software.

Ah, but... (1)

Caerdwyn (829058) | more than 2 years ago | (#39949001)

Google Translate: English Cockney

ADAMA analyzing Metaphore and Analogy (1)

layer3switch (783864) | more than 2 years ago | (#39949331)

So say we all...

This could help us deal with CYLON... (1)

AngryDill (740460) | more than 2 years ago | (#39950687)

...the Contemporary Youths' Lexicon Of Neologisms!

Bad Proverb Man (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39951519)

I wonder how well it would fare againist any "Bad Proverb Man" from any one of those supposed-to-be-fun movies...

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?