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Third Presentation - The Metaphysical Society of America

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So I finally got to give a presentation to someone who matters, it was at the Metaphysical Society of America's annual convention in Atlanta. I was originally not slated to speak but to only comment on someone else's speech. That person informed the president about 7 days before the meeting that he could not come. The president then asked if I would read that person's paper. If I had been intelligent I should have offered to rewrite my own paper so as to fit with the theme of the conference but I wasn't and just asked if I could read my own paper which had nothing to do with the topic of the conference. The president did not want me to read my paper since although it was intriguing it was too off topic. About 4 days before the conference he relented and allowed me to read my paper. So I had to get my software up to snuff in only 4 days. I had made a big breakthrough about 6 weeks beforehand, remarkably expanding the software's vocabulary and eliminating a huge number of bugs but I was still not able to get the software completely working until just 24 hours before I was scheduled to talk. I still had a lot of bugs in my software by the time I was ready to speak but I decided to go ahead and present the software anyway.

Added to my trouble was that I was not entirely certain that I would be able to get my Mac laptop hooked up to the monitor available at the hotel. Even though I had a pretty decent VGA cable converter it still would not hook up to the monitor. There were only 7 people in the audience and one so-called big gun, that is, a philosopher from a major university, but at least 6 of the people in the audience were tenured philosophers. In the next meeting there were 20 people in the audience, so I sort of got unlucky in terms of turn out. In any case, what my software does is it calculates the consistency of sentences using standard metaphysical concepts. The software's current vocabulary is attached. I had the president write down some sentences ahead of time because I've learned from experience that it takes the audience too long to figure out what I want from them if I ask them to form a grammatical sentence from a list of words. It turned out that even this measure did not work, because it still took me about 10 minutes to type the sentences into my computer, so in the future I'm going to have someone email me the sentences. All in all, out of the 12 sentences, I got 4 right and another 3 were wrong due to spelling errors and just forgetting my rules. In the future, I'm going to ask the audience to give me two chances because it turns out that it is very hard to remember what syntax the machine can handle. Also because the monitor was not working I just had to have the audience crowd around a table and have them look at my laptop. Because there were only 7 this was possible. Here are the 12 sentences where the 2nd column represents the output gotten at the conference and the third column represents the output that I later got at home.

It is contradictory that leibniz is an essence. mispelled leibniz right
It is contradictory that personhood smells the dog. right right
It is contradictory that the whole is not grammatical. bug bug
It is consistent that the teacher isʳ ignorant of the thought. right right
It is contradictory that finite space isʳ agnostic about some description. wrong wrong
It is contradictory that some sensation isʳ left of the imagination mispelled is left of right
It is contradictory that some number has energy. right right
It is contradictory that some property prevents some possible world. right right
It is contradictory that the particle occurs dead. bug bug
It is contradictory that the mind is physical. I don't think I tried this one right
It is consistent that the cosmos is not a proposition. wrong wrong
It is contradictory that the symbol think about the beast. wrong wrong

4 Comments On This Entry

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modi123_1 

30 March 2018 - 07:13 AM

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but I was still not able to get the software completely working until just 24 hours before I was scheduled to talk.

There's a point were a few bugs are ok to show fol, but come on.. this sounds like it was still in a fairly broken state. I get the need to be validated with what ever you are doing, but do the right thing and have it presentable. Typically this means having some sort of source control where you can have stable check in points and branches for code you are working on that do not affect a stable build.

This also means getting your code in order. Take the time to fix bugs.. get areas stable before going off on some tangent. Presenting is different than just jamming away in a darken room with only you to impress

Quote

About 4 days before the conference he relented

You weren't badgering him were you?

Quote

give me two chances because it turns out that it is very hard to remember what syntax the machine can handle.

Sounds like an issue right there. If you need specific jank formatting for your input then you better have some basic validation.

Why does misspelling matter?
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bobsmith76 

30 March 2018 - 07:28 AM
I understand what you're saying but let's take a moment to think about how daunting this task is. We're talking about making common sense inferences on natural language. It took Doug Lenat 34 years before he went commercial with his device which can make inferences on common sense sentences. I'm going after much more difficult sentences and have only been at it for 3 years and to top it off I had no programming experience before 2015. Second, there are only 5 metaphysicians that I know of world wide which are trying to do what I am doing and as far as I know they do not have a deterministic decision procedure but are helping the program along the way. So the fact that I only got 4 out of 12 publicly but could have gotten 7 out of 12 on my second try, I think is rather decent. Still, of course, you make a correct point that the machine is still pretty much in a broken state and it needs to be repaired. There is a chance that I might be able to get the correct output ratio up past 90% within in a month.

I did not badger the president and all the words have to be spelled correctly in order for the program to work. I have since fixed it such that the program will ask you to input the correct spelling and then continue on.
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modi123_1 

30 March 2018 - 08:22 AM
Natural language processing has been around for some time, as have inference engines.. but that's besides the point I was trying to make about the presentation. If you don't have stable version to present in a coherent fashion, or you are unclear how your own inputs on your own app go, then dial back the urgency to present.

You certainly don't want to make a first impression as being some movie-trope-kook shambling in with some grandiose claims, bubble gum and shoe string code, and then have it fail on basic input and practices. Folks will attach that stigma and your functional presentations may not attract future folk.

Take time to collect yourself, get a working version, work on input, get some sort of validation, and iron out critical failure bugs.

Which words are critical to being spelled correctly, or is this some sort of dictionary matching of words to grammatical parts of speech?
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bobsmith76 

30 March 2018 - 08:58 AM

modi123_1, on 30 March 2018 - 08:22 AM, said:

Natural language processing has been around for some time, as have inference engines.. but that's besides the point I was trying to make about the presentation. If you don't have stable version to present in a coherent fashion, or you are unclear how your own inputs on your own app go, then dial back the urgency to present.

You certainly don't want to make a first impression as being some movie-trope-kook shambling in with some grandiose claims, bubble gum and shoe string code, and then have it fail on basic input and practices. Folks will attach that stigma and your functional presentations may not attract future folk.

Take time to collect yourself, get a working version, work on input, get some sort of validation, and iron out critical failure bugs.

Which words are critical to being spelled correctly, or is this some sort of dictionary matching of words to grammatical parts of speech?


Thanks for your input. I appreciate your concerns and will keep them in mind. I'm going to let you have the last word on this matter.
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