FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Subjective Software

For all it's capable of doing, modern computer software is remarkably stupid at times. For instance, while a word processor can spell check and even offer grammatical help, it can't understand what you're writing, and can't distinguish subtle nuances in language. If you say something is "cool," the software can't tell whether you like that thing very much or it's at a cold temperature. Or, in the case of your favorite ice cream, you might mean both.

Now, researchers at Cornell University are attempting to develop software that can understand context and interpret subjective statements. The software will search for subjective words such as "wonderful" or "terrible," and separate subjective from objective statements. The end goal is to produce software that can detect human emotions that come through in speech and text, such as irony, sarcasm and humor -- prerequisites for artificial intelligence.

Source: TRN Newswire