Linguistics, Psycholinguistics and Semantics

Language, in other words the storehouse of all human Knowledge is represented by words and meanings. Language by itself has an Ontological structure, Epistemological underpinnings and Grammar. Across languages, even though words /usages differ, the concept of meanings remain the same in respective communications. Yet the "Meanings" are understood by human beings based on Contextual, Relative, Tonal and Gestural basis. The dictionary meanings or 'as it is' meanings are taken rarely into consideration, thus human language is ambigious in one sense and flexible in other.

Computers on the other hand are hard-coded to go by the dictionary meanings. Thus teaching (programming) Computers to understand natural language (human language) has been the biggest challange haunting Scientists ever since the idea of Artificial Intelligence (AI) came into existance. In addition this has lead to the obvious question of "What is intelligence" from a Computation perspective. Defining intelligence precisely being impossible, this field of study has taken many shapes such as Computational Linguistics, Natural Language Processing and "
Machine Learning" etc. Artificial Intelligence instead of being used as a blanket term, is now being used increasingly as "Analytics" in many critical applications.

Sanskrit being the oldest is also the most Scientific and Structured language. Sanskrit has many hidden Algorithms built into it as part of its vast scientific treatises, for analysing "Meanings" or "Word sense" from many perspectives since time immemorial. "It is perhaps our job to discover and convert the scientific methods inherent in Sanskrit into usable Computational models and Tools for Natural Language Processing rather than reinventing the wheel" - as some Scientists put it. This blog's purpose is to expose some of the hidden intricate tools and methodolgies used in Sanskrit for centuries to derive precise meanings of human language, to a larger audiance particularly Computational Linguists for futher study, analysis and deployment in Natural Language Processing.

In addition, Sanskrit even though being flexible as a human language, is the least ambigious as the structure of the language is precisely difined from a semantical and syntactical point of view. From a Psycholinguistic perspective this blog could also give us a glimpse of the advanced linguistic capabilities of our forefathers as well their highly disciplined approach towards the structure and usage.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Disruptive Nature of Technology

The idea that IT disrupts only the others is wrong – the biggest victim (or beneficiary) is the IT industry itself – why? Read on... In the beginning of the millennium along with Dot-com hype people were making a hue-cry about convergence of TMT (Tech /Media /Telecom) or ICT- money flowed and the whole thing disappeared from the limelight - does it - NO. It is really happening now - AppleTV,  Smart TV (Samsung), Amazon TV, Googleplay /Cube /TV, 3D TV, all these are indeed proofs that it wasn't a hype. Rather it has gone one step above by including games, cloud, education, user content (YouTube) and social networking - which weren't part of the original ICT.  With technology, these giants have overtaken the old giants (the mainstream media).

I meant the mainstream media is quoting the opinions and views from the Electronic media and increasingly depending on the facebooks and twitters to get real pulse of the masses. The power of Electronic media very evident in the recent American elections, Anti-corruption protests in India, Wiki-leaks,  Occupy wall st. movement, Arab Spring, Uprising for justice on New Delhi rape incident, etc. All originated in the Electronic media – which mainstream media just echoed.

Similarly some time back Web 2.0 Technologies were making noise - at least in the tech community people are aware of that - was it just a hype, No, certainly not. Facebook, Twitter, Wikipedia, Google (all services including the original search /email are in Web 2) Amazon (all services including the original ecommerce of books are in Web 2 ) - Now these companies are occupying the mind space in consumers’ minds and not traditional ones. Similarly Apple very quickly transformed itself and not just adopted Web 2 concepts (embraced the concepts not the technologies per-say) and innovated on those.

Now with this background, the subject "disruptive nature of tech" we'll look at - Currently who are stirring the waters are (some are known and some not) - ARM and Nvidia - on the CPU front, Samsung on the larger convergence space; Google on the Tech space;  Eclipse not just on the VDE platforms also on the Open-Source biz applications; WolframAlpha on the Web 3 Search space; Chromebook on the Laptop market; Ubuntu on the Consumer Linux; Tizen on the Tablet OS space; and new technological innovations in 4D-Optical storages, Speech recognition and Machine translation and most importantly - Semantic Web /Web 3.0 technologies – Sanskrit Computational Linguistics can play a major part here.

Samsung - is using a larger convergence model - TV (SmartTVs), Smartphones, Tablet, Laptops, Game console (on the cards), Chromebook, Web connected Digi-Cams, (Hardware) and on with (Software) Tizen (alternative to Android), TouchWiz, Samsung-cloud, etc.
Amazon - it is really amazing as how this company showing losses since inception except only the past few years - is able to take on Google and Apple? And that too the transformation from selling books to now Technology Eco-system powerhouse is Amazon oops amazing
Apple - to penetrate into larger mass market - planning cheaper iPhone and iPad. The best strategy that could alter the landscape further - Social web is the missing link.
Sony - has everything in its disposal - Sony Pictures, Music, Game consoles, Phones, Tablets, TVs, Laptops, Cameras, and what not?... yet is in a catch-up game for the past few years with respect to key technologies. Except Blu-ray no substantial launch. Lost the top spot to Samsung in consumer electronics space in some countries – lack of foothold in the Software space could prove to be a setback.
Google - This technology powerhouse has the capacity to do many things - but I wish more things are done - Integration of Android and Chrome OS (Chromebook), Orkut and Google plus both Social webs aren't fully integrated, downloadable and locally usable Google Docs are some.
Microsoft - except Kinect none of the recent launches has really made an impact with the masses, yet the formidable combination of MSN, Zune, Skydrive, Surface,  Outlook, WindowsPhone, Windows 8, etc. - collectively as an eco-system packs a strong punch.
IBM and Oracle, SAP, CA, HP, Dell and the other giants are focusing on the Enterprise application space or Information Services space and not participating on the consumer ICT world - however the enterprise world and consumer world are actually 2 sides of the same coin. The same user who uses the iOS /Android in the so called mass IT (market) is the one who uses Blackberry in the so called enterprise IT (market). Ease of use /experience of comfort, dictates the winner in the long run. Microsoft till WindowsNT wasn’t a big force in the enterprise IT market. Others like Facebook is fully focussed only on Consumer. The ideal is to be present in Consumer ICT /TMT experience and on Information services /applications wrt. Enterprises.

Finally the David(s) who is standing in front is the – Open-Source Community – the one who has capability to disrupt everything in the Technology world.  Beware - not just in Software, Open-Source is now into everything that touches R&D - New Drug Discovery,  Solar photovoltaic technology, Alternative energy technologies, Education (KHAN Academy), Education tools (Moodle), Knowledge (Wikis, Developer works), Laptops (VIA Openbook), etc. Open-Source will eventually force all spheres of IT into commoditization.

Growing ethical investment community and the Green money is flowing towards this direction. Remember in the browser war (IE vs Netscape) the final victory is achieved by Open-Source /Free products (Firefox, Chrome, Opera, Android). Similarly in the enterprise Server OS category Linux is increasing its market share as is with Smartphone OS - Android.  Eclipse (IDE), Wikis, MySQL (Database), Joomla (CMS), Apache - Powering 100 million+ websites, Hadoop (Apache) - Big Data /Data Mining, Ubuntu - Consumer Linux, Genome - GUI, etc. are few of the examples of the disruptive nature of the Open-Source technology. If one notices Java and Google were actually born in the Open-Source cradles.

It is also evident that if the corporations want to survive long, then they need to have an Open-Source program - IBM with Linux & Apache Derby and Google with Android, Adobe with Apache Flex, etc.

It is really amazing that the same industry which rose to heights and responsible in some way for the economic inequalities in the world is the one correcting itself, though slowly - the best possible Social responsibility.  IT industry has the reputation of bringing out maximum number of Entrepreneurs, Innovators and Social entrepreneurs who are into Alternative Energy, Education, etc.  Like everything Alternative – Education, Food, Energy, Economy, Open-Source is the alternative of mainstream IT.  “Open-Source” and “Native Language Computing” (Sanskrit plays a major role here) are the two main pathways to bridge the digital divide as it can make Technology “Affordable” and increase the “Reach”.

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