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New Mathematical Model to Enable Web Searches For Meaning

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Daoud Clarke

University of Hertfordshire computer scientist Daoud Clarke

Credit: Courtesy of University of Hertfordshire

University of Hertfordshire computer scientist Daoud Clarke has developed a mathematical model based on a theory of meaning that could revolutionize artificial intelligence technologies and enable Web searches to interpret the meaning of queries.

The model is based on the idea that the meaning of words and phrases is determined by the context in which they occur. "This is an old idea, with its origin in the philosophy of Wittgenstein, and was later taken up by linguists, but this is the first time that someone has used it to construct a comprehensive theory of meaning," Clarke says.

The model provides a way to represent words and phrases as sequences of numbers, known as vectors. "Our theory tells you what the vector for a phrase should look like in terms of the vectors for the individual words that make up the phrase," Clarke says. "Representing meanings of words using vectors allows fuzzy relationships between words to be expressed as the distance or angle between the vectors."

He says the model could be applied to new types of artificial intelligence, such as determining the exact nature of a particular Web query.

From University of Hertfordshire
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