Organised by The Brainstorms, this monthly neuroscience meet-up brings curious people, students, academics, and professionals together for one reason: fascination of the most complex machine ever existed – the human brain.
Language: Machines vs Biology
Over thousands of years, our language evolved from simple natural sounds to a complex system of communication, enabling us to express imaginative, conceptual ideas and creating artistic masterpieces of literature. It’s a phenomenon that only our recent technological advancements enabled us to find long-sought answers to questions such as how we process, store, and re-use sensory inputs in the brain to communicate with each other. In fact, not only with each other, but also with computers since the informational revolution. Have you ever wondered how Alexa, Amazon’s virtual assistant can understand you and carry out your commands?
To know more about these seemingly similar processes, the biology of learning and using language versus communication with computers using human languages, Brainstorms invited Elisabeth Dokalik-Jonak and Tristan Miller. Elisabeth is a linguist with neuroscience background, who developed a tool for stroke patients to help language rehabilitation. Tristan is a computer scientist, specialised in natural language processing and computational linguistics, working at the Austrian Research Institute for Artificial Intelligence.