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Computers may be evolving, but are they intelligent?

Computers may be evolving, but are they intelligent?

The final in our Computing-turns-60-series, to mark the 60th anniversary of the first computer in an Australian university, looks at how intelligent the technology has become. The term “artificial intelligence” (AI) was first used back in 1956 to describe the title of a workshop of scientists at Dartmouth, an Ivy League college in the United States. At that pioneering workshop,…

How are learning languages and music linked?

How are learning languages and music linked?

Will learning piano or violin make you better at French?   Music is what penetrates most deeply into the recesses of the soul, according to Plato. Language has been held by thinkers from Locke to Leibniz and Mill to Chomsky as a mirror or a window to the mind. As American psychologist Aniruddh Pattel writes: “Language and music define us…

Catchphrase to cliché: how corporate-speak became common in our daily lives

Catchphrase to cliché: how corporate-speak became common in our daily lives

Should you ever wish to be reminded of those irritating workplace catchphrases, the internet abounds in news features and helpful sites – “26 Annoying Business Clichés You Should Stop Using Immediately”; “The Most Annoying, Pretentious And Useless Business Jargon”, to name just two. There is even ClichéSite.com, which claims to be the largest collection of such linguistic pinpricks. When they…

Why is sarcasm so difficult to detect in texts and emails?

Why is sarcasm so difficult to detect in texts and emails?

This sentence begins the best article you will ever read.

Chances are you thought that last statement might be sarcasm. Sarcasm, as linguist Robert Gibbs noted, includes “words used to express something other than and especially the opposite of the literal meaning of a sentence.” A form of irony, it also tends to be directed toward a specific individual.