Statistics vs Semantics for Natural Language Processing with Francisco Webber

EPISODE 10
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Banner Image: Francisco Webber - Podcast Interview
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About this Episode

The podcast you're about to hear is one of a handful of interviews I recorded live from the O'Reilly AI and Strata conferences in New York City. My guest this time is Francisco Webber, founder and General Manager of artificial intelligence startup Cortical.io. Francisco presented at the O'Reilly AI conference on an approach to natural language understanding based on semantic representations of speech. His talk was called "AI is not a matter of strength but of intelligence." To set the stage for my conversation with Francisco, you'll recall that in the last interview Pascale Fung noted how recent advances in natural language understanding have been based largely on ignoring language structure and focusing on statistics. Well, in this interview you'll hear Francisco argue that the next advance in NLU will come from shifting our attention from statistical models to ones based on a more sophisticated model of the brain. A warning in advance, this conversation is fairly technical and moreover, rather abstract. Don't be afraid to listen to it a couple of times to allow the ideas an opportunity to sink in. As is the case with my other field recordings, there's a bit of unavoidable background noise. Sorry for that.
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