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Jost Gippert: Our Featured Linguist!

"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more



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What is English? And Why Should We Care?

By: Tim William Machan

To find some answers Tim Machan explores the language's present and past, and looks ahead to its futures among the one and a half billion people who speak it. His search is fascinating and important, for definitions of English have influenced education and law in many countries and helped shape the identities of those who live in them.


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Medical Writing in Early Modern English

Edited by Irma Taavitsainen and Paivi Pahta

This volume provides a new perspective on the evolution of the special language of medicine, based on the electronic corpus of Early Modern English Medical Texts, containing over two million words of medical writing from 1500 to 1700.


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Title: The Turing Test
Subtitle: Verbal Behavior as the Hallmark of Intelligence
Edited By: Stuart M. Shieber
URL: http://mitpress.mit.edu/promotions/books/FL20040262692937
Series Title: Bradford Books
Description:

The Turing Test is part of the vocabulary of popular culture--it has
appeared in works ranging from the Broadway play "Breaking the Code" to the
comic strip "Robotman." The writings collected by Stuart Shieber for this
book examine the profound philosophical issues surrounding the Turing Test
as a criterion for intelligence. Alan Turing's idea, originally expressed
in a 1950 paper titled "Computing Machinery and Intelligence" and published
in the journal Mind, proposed an "indistinguishability test" that compared
artifact and person. Following Descartes' dictum that it is the ability to
speak that distinguishes human from beast, Turing proposed to test whether
machine and person were indistinguishable in regard to verbal ability. He
was not, as is often assumed, answering the question "Can machines think?"
but proposing a more concrete way to ask it. Turing's proposed thought
experiment encapsulates the issues that the writings in The Turing Test
define and discuss.

The first section of the book contains writings by philosophical
precursors, including Descartes, who first proposed the idea of
indistinguishablity tests. The second section contains all of Turing's
writings on the Turing test, including not only the Mind paper but also
less familiar ephemeral material. The final section opens with responses to
Turing's paper published in Mind soon after the paper first appeared. The
bulk of this section, however, consists of papers from a broad spectrum of
scholars in the field that directly address the issue of the Turing test as
a test for intelligence. Contributors include John R. Searle, Ned Block,
Daniel C. Dennett, and Noam Chomsky (in a previously unpublished paper).
Each chapter is introduced by background material that can also be read as
a self-contained essay on the Turing Test.

Stuart Shieber is Harvard College Professor and James O. Welch, Jr. and
Virginia B. Welch Professor of Computer Science, Division of Engineering
and Applied Sciences, at Harvard University.

Publication Year: 2004
Publisher: MIT Press
Review: Read the review
BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Computational Linguistics
Issue: All announcements sent out by The LINGUIST List are emailed to our subscribers and archived with the Library of Congress.
Click here to see the original emailed issue.

Versions:
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 0262692937
ISBN-13: N/A
Pages: 336
Prices: U.S. $ 35