8 Replies - 956 Views - Last Post: 28 October 2008 - 07:51 PM

#1 zf222  Icon User is offline

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Is this possible?

Posted 27 October 2008 - 05:47 PM

I have a question for you guys:

I've been in touch with Robert Hoffer, the man behind the AOL robot hit(Smarterchild)and who pushed for its controversial patent in 2002. He continues to work for Colloquis, and his input has been extremely helpful. My idea consists of taking Hoffer's bot technology to the next level.

I want to create a writing tool, something that could take a sentence and rewrite into different sentence that means the same as the first. Think of it as a sentence thesaurus. This program could use the words originally typed in as well as new ones. For example, if one typed in: "Sea Spiders are only found at the ocean floor, where there is little to no sunlight." It could rearrange the sentence into something like this: "Sea Spiders are only located where there is barely sunlight; the ocean floor."

I understand it is difficult for computers to understand written language, which is why I'm unsure if this is even possible. I know that the particular bot/program I'm thinking of must do the following:

-Identify sentence type
-Identify Subject and Verb
-Find synonyms for verb, and use them appropriately
-rearrange sentence
-grammar check sentence
-correct grammar
-Return finished product.

Is this achievable? Any answer I would receive is much appreciated, thank you.

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Replies To: Is this possible?

#2 jacobjordan  Icon User is offline

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Re: Is this possible?

Posted 27 October 2008 - 06:11 PM

That is all possible, and it is very ambitious too. What you are saying is basically for the computer to know what a person is telling it in the form of a sentence. Using this same concept, it would theoretically be possible to make a program to recognize sentences typed in by the user, break down that sentence into it's individual parts, interpret the meaning of each word, form a general idea of what the user is saying to it, formulate a reply to what has been said, construct that reply into sentences, and reply to the user. The user could then respond to what had been said, and say something else. Thus, you could literally have a computer that could hold a conversation with a person, and that's kinda getting into the realm of sci-fi things like the computer core off Star Trek. Granted, what you are trying to do is less complicated than that, but it still must recognize sentences, which is a daunting task for a computer programmer. I know of no reason why this would not be possible, computer technology is certainly advanced enough. However, asking a programmer to do that is basically like asking a human to program another human, as when you are dealing with things like that, you are kinda starting a debate of weather or not that computer is an intelligent life form or not. Of course, our brains are nothing more than computers that work by electrical impulses, the same way computer technology today works. Granted, the human brain is a far more powerful computer, if you give a standard computer today a super-powerful program to talk with the user, and no time limit on how fast it must recognize what was said and reply, then this is certainly all possible. I wish they had programs like that today, i could be best friends with my computer!

Wow, i've gotten a bit off topic here. You were simply asking about computer's recognizing the main idea of sentences said to it, and i got way off talking about computer talking to us. Anyway, i see no reason why this isn't possible, however it is such a daunting task it is probably improbable that anyone could develop software that could understand what we say to it, even if it is just finding synonyms for sentences.

This post has been edited by jacobjordan: 27 October 2008 - 06:12 PM

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#3 Hyper  Icon User is offline

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Re: Is this possible?

Posted 27 October 2008 - 07:16 PM

jacobjordan, That was one long reply.

zf222, The spell checking and grammar correction have been implemented from long ago. Look at MS Word Documents, with the little "spell check" garbage.
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#4 jacobjordan  Icon User is offline

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Re: Is this possible?

Posted 28 October 2008 - 01:58 PM

I believe he is trying to do something a bit more than a spell and grammar checker. He is saying he wants a program to re-word a sentence; any sentence. That would have to be a very complicated program, as it would have to identify the sentence parts (verb, subject, prepositions, adjectives, ect.), and not only that, but it would have to have a general idea of what is being said, and then have the intelligence to create a human-readable sentence from a dictionary of words that is saying the same as that one given. That is very complicated.

Oh, and my post was so long because i get into this subject of computers understanding sentences.
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#5 Moonbat  Icon User is offline

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Re: Is this possible?

Posted 28 October 2008 - 02:08 PM

This idea reminds me a lot of a thing in a book called Patriot Games by Tom Clancy. Basically, it creates almost 1000 different version of a sensitive government document and changes the wording of the paragraphs of each document. Then, based on what wording is used in a leak to the press, they can find out who leaked it.

I don't know if the program could be 100% accurate, but it is doable. You can have just have words be replaced by a built in thesaurus. But some things, such as figurative language ("He got the heck out of Dodge City") might end up horribly messed up, like "He took the heck and left Avoid Town" :D

Syntax checking would also be required for words that can be used as different parts of speech. And lastly, you'd have to check for slang in some cases, like "outta" instead of "out of".
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#6 zf222  Icon User is offline

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Re: Is this possible?

Posted 28 October 2008 - 02:29 PM

Thanks for the answers guys! Yeah I see what you're saying, and I was just curious because I think this is a great idea. If pulled off correctly, it could be a huge hit! But the problem of actually doing it still persists... I wonder how one would go about doing this... haha.
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#7 Locke  Icon User is offline

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Re: Is this possible?

Posted 28 October 2008 - 03:06 PM

Carefully.

:)
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#8 zf222  Icon User is offline

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Re: Is this possible?

Posted 28 October 2008 - 03:29 PM

View PostLocke37, on 28 Oct, 2008 - 03:06 PM, said:

Carefully.

:)


Haha, of course. I want to work on something like this... I just have no idea to begin.

This post has been edited by zf222: 28 October 2008 - 03:30 PM

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#9 Locke  Icon User is offline

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Re: Is this possible?

Posted 28 October 2008 - 07:51 PM

Well, I took on a project under, kind of, the same principle. Calculus operations with equations. I had to figure out how to manipulate the equation without changing variables around. I achieved a small part of this, but I've kind of given up on it. :unsure:
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