Jon Chamberlain, from Essex's School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering, explains: ‘Human language is not an unconnected series of words, phrases and sentences but a series of people, objects and ideas that refer to each other in different ways.
The complexity of language makes it sound "natural" to a reader but it can be difficult to define the rules that allow us to understand it.
‘Consider the statement: "Mary is a teacher who is 25 years old. She lives in England." A human reader can easily ascertain facts about Mary's occupation, age and residence by, for example, knowing that the word "she" refers to the person "Mary". However, comprehending this type of language referencing is a challenge facing programmers when designing computer systems that try to understand text, such as search, translation and summarisation systems.’
This is where the work of those playing Phrase Detectives becomes important. The game, part of a larger project called AnaWiki, is an attempt to address the bottleneck in creating annotated linguistic resources. By initially investigating anaphoric references (as in the example above) the project aims to develop a resource larger than anything currently available.
Players (or detectives) register at: www.phrasedetecives.org and read through texts, making annotations to highlight relationships between words and phrases. They may be asked to 'name the culprit', so will be given a word or phrase and must look for it appearing earlier in the text. For example: 'Sherlink Holmes went to the shop. He got some tobacco for his pipe.' The word ‘he’ refers to 'Sherlink Holmes'.
Jon added: ‘Players of the game are helping to create a resource that is rich in linguistic information and improves future technology. This project aims to collect a significant amount of data and investigate the possibility of using mass collaboration to train computer systems.
‘The best way to understand a language is to have lots of examples where the meaning has been clarified. Unfortunately creating this type is resource is both time consuming and expensive but the new approach offered by Phrase Detective should address this resource shortage. The same methodology could also be used to create resources for machine translation, semantics and other linguistic phenomenon.’
So far, players have made over 40,000 annotations in four weeks. However, the researchers hope more will join as detectives and that people will add new text to the site for analysis.
Phrase Detectives can be defined as part of a genre of “games with a purpose” (GWAP) that collect data on images, texts and music. The crucial element of these games is that players receive points for agreeing with each other. They are motivated to collaborate with their partners in order to score maximum points. This ensures that players are attempting to provide good quality information, as this will result in the most agreement.
The Essex researchers believe Phrase Detectives is the first attempt to collect linguistic judgements using a fun, collaborative online game. They aim to make the tasks and the texts interesting so it feels more like a computer game than a linguistic task. The data collected can then be used to improve computer systems that try to understand text. For example, it could help search engines find information more relevant to your searches.
So, can networked human computation really solve complex language comprehension tasks on computers? Initial results from the beta version of the game look promising and more detailed analysis will completed in early 2009.
Cloud technology: Dynamic certificates make cloud service providers more secure
15.01.2018 | Technische Universität München
New discovery could improve brain-like memory and computing
10.01.2018 | University of Minnesota
What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...
For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.
Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...
At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.
No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...
Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.
Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...
The oceans are the largest global heat reservoir. As a result of man-made global warming, the temperature in the global climate system increases; around 90% of...
08.01.2018 | Event News
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
16.01.2018 | Materials Sciences
16.01.2018 | Materials Sciences
16.01.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering