Natural Language Generation Essay

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Natural Language Generation

Abstract

Natural language generation is a relatively new field in computer science. The two main questions to be solved are "what to say" and "how to say it." What to say includes answering questions not specifically asked by the user, and remembering previous statements made by the user and by the program itself. How to say it involves construction of logical sentences, use of pronouns, and sentence fragments. When speech synthesis is used, it also involves producing intelligible word rhythm, emphasis, and pauses. A new, exciting extension of speech synthesis is the inclusion of "emotion" in speech.

User:

ELIZA:

Men are all alike

In what way?

They’re always bugging us
…show more content…
Natural language generation can also be used in some expert systems. Another application is in translation programs. It is probable that many new applications will be developed as natural language programs are refined. The two main issues in natural language generation are determining what to say, and determining how to say it.

The issue of determining "what to say" quickly spills over into other areas of Artificial Intelligence, however, a few issues are especially interesting. The basis of these issues is that natural language is so "natural" to users that they expect, or at least desire the computer to "think" like a human. This causes users to use imprecise language when communicating with natural language systems. For example, the following questions were typed to PLANES, which is a question and answer system delivering information regarding aircraft flights and maintenance:

1. I request the number of flight hours… 2. I need to know the number of flight hours… 3. Want number of flight hours… 4. Find the number of… 5. Was any work performed on Plane 3…

The user does not desire the literal interpretation of the above statements. Literal interpretation would be as follows: 1) No response by the program: the user is making a statement about what he/she is doing: he/she is requesting information. 2) & 3) No response by the program: the user is making statement about his personal desires. 4) No
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