website describes tridbit technology, an advancement
in natural language processing developed by Custom Technology Ltd.
Natural language processing is the endeavor by computer scientists
to enable computers to understand natural or human languages, such
as English. If computers could understand English, then computer
users wouldn't have to understand computereze.
natural language has been one of the goals of scientists in the
field of artificial intelligence for a long time. It turns out that
many of the things that humans do without even thinking about it,
such as speech, vision and coordinated movement, are some of the
hardest things for computers to do.
Most of the natural language processing schemes up to now have emphasized
grammar, and other artifacts of speech behavior. Tridbit Technology
emphasizes meaning. Meaning involves the way we extract and organize
information from our interactions with the world.
Why the computer is language
Consider for a moment trying to help a person in your company cafeteria
who does not speak your language . He points to a cup and motions
as if pouring something into the cup. You show him where the coffee
is, perhaps saying "coffee" as you point. While you do
not share a language, you do share a common method of understanding
things and events in the world. Computers do not intrinsically
understand about objects, such as cups or coffee, or events, such
as pouring and drinking, or properties like coffee being hot and
dark, or relationships like coffee being in a cup or the difference
between the general concept of cups vs. the specific cup you drink
from. In other words, computers are really dumb. The built in ability
to organize information is probably more language compatible in
a virus than a computer. Fortunately, computers can be programmed.
What are tridbits?
The first step in programming a computer to understand natural language
should be to develop structures and processes that enable the computer
to organize information in a way that is compatible with human language.
At the core of tridbit technology are a set of patented structures
called tridbits, along with a variety of processes that do exactly
that. Tridbits are relatively simple, but highly
constrained knowledge structures that represent the meaning of
natural language. Going between actual sentences and the information
they express is possible only by having an adequate method of representing
that information. The white paper entitled, "Babble:
Simple Conversations with a Computer", describes the development
and use of tridbits in detail.
Who is Babble?
"Babble" is a program that
uses tridbit technology to interact in English with its users.
Babble page on this website provides you the opportunity to
interact with Babble yourself. This interaction takes the form of
a conversation, where you can tell Babble whatever you choose. Babble
processes your input and tries to come up with its meaning. It can
remember, reason and answer questions about what it has been told.
The Sample Dialogs page shows examples
of interactions one might have with Babble.
How far along is Babble?
In its current state, Babble is at the
cusp of providing a useful way for humans to interact with computers.
One might think of Babble as having the language skills of a
strange three-year-old with a perfect memory. At this early stage
of its life, Babble's vocabulary and grammar are limited. But
since Babble learns those things from its interaction with users,
those areas will be continuously improving. However, there are
still some fundamental concepts that must be added to Babble’s
program, such as comparisons, truth and complex speech production.
While not yet implemented, methods for handling these concepts
are discussed in the white paper.
the on-line Babble demonstration, you can play a guessing game
and teach Babble at the same time. In the "Give Me A Clue"
game you think of a person, place, thing or event. Then you give
Babble clues about the thing you are thinking of and Babbles tries
to guess it. Babble uses this information to learn more about the
The future of tridbit technology
As this technology advances, future applications could change
the way we interact with computers. The Future
Uses page describes examples of applications that could be built
with tridbit technology within the next several years and beyond.
Featured applications include voice recognition, adaptive technologies,
smart operating systems as well as many types of information assistants.