Good article, it should be required reading for those who rave about the wonderful era of artificial intelligence that is about to overwhelm us. Having worked with computers for almost 30 years myself I find it difficult to understand how people who work with them can fail to understand computers have no means of extracting meanings from data. And even if we had a common language used by everyone in the world, because as you rightly point out, words can mean subtly different things to different people even those who have lived their lives within the same cultural community, it would be impossible to programme a computer to understand context.
Our ability to communicate complex and abstract ideas is one of the things that separates us from animals, and language is the chief means of communicating complex ideas.
And of course we would have no way of telling our machines what we want them to do. C++, Java and PERL are languages are the second step in a hierarchy of tasks that will transform a solution into something a computer can work with.

Opted for comfortable retirement before I was fifty due to health problems and burn out. Now spend my time writing and goofing around. Home: northern England..

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