Expert to Expert: Natural Language and Computational Linguistics

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Ever wonder what it takes to compute language (language in this case refers to what we humans speak and or/write)? From WikipediaComputational linguistics is an interdisciplinary field dealing with the statistical and/or rule-based modeling of natural language from a computational perspective. This modeling is not limited to any particular field of linguistics. Traditionally, computational linguistics was usually performed by computer scientists who had specialized in the application of computers to the processing of a natural language. Computational linguists often work as members of interdisciplinary teams, including linguists (specifically trained in linguistics), language experts (persons with some level of ability in the languages relevant to a given project), and computer scientists. In general computational linguistics draws upon the involvement of linguists, computer scientists, experts in artificial intelligence, cognitive psychologists, mathematicians, and logicians, amongst others.

Here, we meet some of the scientists in Microsoft Research who work on computational linguistics. The great Erik Meijer conducts the interview. Special guests are: Researchers Chris Quirk, Michael Gamon and Lucy Vanderwende. This is a great Expert to Expert since the Experts in this case are from different domains of expertise (Erik is a programming language specialist. The scientists Erik converses with are specialists in natural language computation, linguisitics and mathematics). This is a fascinating conversation that spans topics from natural language processing to computing understanding (Yes. AI comes up...).

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