Cognitive Computational Science Seeks to Let Computers Communicate Like Humans


Javier Urtasun of Basque Research reports, "In order to carry out research into a highly complex aspect of the link between the brain and language, such as the ambiguity of words, Canadian Blair Armstrong, researcher at the Basque Center on Cognition, Brain and Language (BCBL), on a fellowship from the prestigious European Marie Curie Foundation, has put forward a new approach to the study of this field – a synthesis of psychology, neuroscience and computational science – what is known as 'cognitive computational science'. Scientists hope that in the future the advances made in this combination of disciplines will enable machines to communicate with humans in the same way as we do amongst ourselves. Amongst other applications, these studies signify a step forward in the creation of a semantic web in which search engines will be more capable of comprehending misunderstandings, double meanings, nuances and ironies, and in a natural manner as in communication between humans."


He continues, "The aim of this field of study is also to find out the optimum manner of teaching the brain new skills, for example, in learning languages or in re-teaching basic skills subsequent to health problems such as a stroke. According to Mr. Armstrong, 'ambiguity can facilitate or hinder the comprehension of a message. The brain is very good and quick in processing the general meaning of a word, but it requires much more time to process its specific meaning. This is why ambiguous words such as 'mark' (which can refer to a score or a stain) are initially easier to process than others which only have one interpretation'."


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