Thursday, January 27, 2011

can a machine learn jazz?

There's a contest dedicated to trying to answer that question: ISMIS 2011 Contest: Music Information Retrieval.

Computer scientists and engineers have long used contests and bake-offs to stimulate cutting edge research in linguistics (e.g., MUC), but linguists have lagged in this department. You rarely if ever hear about contests that pit one linguistic theory against another using a standardized data set (or maybe I've just missed them).

Nobel prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz argues here that prizes are good for stimulating academic research. I agree whole heartedly and would like to see more direct competition between theorists. Exactly how a contest would be constructed is up for debate (I have a vague memory of some group trying to devise criteria by which to evaluate linguistic theories, maybe out of UCLA, but I can't seem to track it down; it's a remarkably difficult Google query to form).

HT: Jochen L. Leidner


CoffeeTeaLinguistics said...

Someone could take up the Minimalist parser challenge. Lock a few syntactic theory folks with some CS/NLP programmers.

Chris said...

Yes, parser challenges are a nice way to go.

NLPers: How would you characterize your linguistics background?

That was the poll question my hero Professor Emily Bender posed on Twitter March 30th. 573 tweets later, a truly epic thread had been cre...