But ask a computer scientist for the meaning of meaning, for an algorithm that can extract the meaning of a sentence and you will either elicit a blank look, or an obfuscating discourse that, in fact, boils down to a set of rules, of heuristics, that yield an acceptable approximation. As times goes by, the rule book gets thicker, but meaning remains elusive. Google Translate, an algorithm that many consider to be the most prominent Machine Learning engine on the planet, stumbles on a simple sentence such as “les poules couvent au couvent” (“hens hatch in the convent”), tripped up by a grade school word equivalence
A good read (which I’ve had hanging about in a tab for far too long), on the battleground where solutions to the attention crisis are devised and tested…
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