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John Murray

John is a PhD Student at the Expressive Intelligence Studio researching natural language generation and authoring tools.

Depicting Relationships: The limits of language

Have you ever considered words to be a bit constraining? I am a self avowed white boarder; I love to take a slab of potential symbols and diagrams and put things there. Able to change, able to be added to at any point. But still fixed, still temporal. Time itself is a bound on language: words occur one after the other in sequence, and despite the eloquence and mellifluence with which they can and have been applied, they do break down. At such points symbols with even more complex meaning come into play, conjuring up the various notations used in science and math to describe not only the relationships under study, but the idea as it is processed. Wikipedia’s solution is to record all changes in a log of edits, but to maintain a “canonical”, current version of the entries visible to users. It hearkens back to a world of order which curated, authoritative knowledge could be contained in neat entries with headings; where you could browse from one topic to another, and eventually the network of relationships, the implicit model of the combined understanding of the contributors would coalesce and you’d go, “Aha.” Online forums are littered with issues of contention where few such epiphanies are found.

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Nick Montfort visits EIS and UCSC

Nick Montfort will be joining us on January 10th-12th and will be giving two talks and a presentation of his literary work. Bio: Nick Montfort writes computational and constrained poetry, develops computer games, and is a critic, theorist, and scholar of computational art and media. He is associate professor of digital media in the Program […]

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