Special Topics in Media Technology (Computational Semantics) OpenCourseWare: Graduate Level Computational Semantics Course by MIT

Published Jan 08, 2009

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Three theories of semantics are considered as they relate to how computers interact with language in this free graduate-level OpenCourseWare from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. From MIT's master's degree program in Media Arts and Sciences, 'Special Topics in Media Technology: Computational Semantics' is suited for advanced students of engineering, computer science or linguistics.

Special Topics in Media Technology (Computational Semantics): Course Specifics

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Special Topics in Media Technology (Computational Semantics): Course Details

Semantics is the study of the meanings of words. This special topics lecture course, MAS 962, examines the relationship between language and computers. Special attention is paid to three broad classes of semantic theory and how they apply to machines. The first two theories examined in 'Computational Semantics' discuss potential methods by which machines obtain language. Examining relational theories, students look at how a computer might understand the meaning of natural language by looking at relationships within its own database. Learning about external grounding theories, students consider how machines may acquire semantic understanding from sources outside the computer's system. The third theory takes the perspective of the machine trying to understand, examining how an entity labels its own perceptions. An extensive reading list forms the backbone of this lecture-based course, with the goal of fusing the three theoretical approaches into a useful whole with applications in artificial intelligence, search engine improvement and human-machine interfaces. The class is taught by MIT professor Deb Roy.

This OpenCourseWare offers readings and assignments, including study and discussion questions based on those readings. If you are interested in this class, read the media technology: computers and semantics course Web page.

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