Oct 23, 2019

Have you ever wondered how people talk? They all understand what other people are talking about. And sometime, they also understand what other people mean by not telling the topic at first.

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Exempli gratia, when two people are Manchester United fans and last night was MU vs Newcastle match. And the next day, they met and one of them said, “I didn’t watch, how?”. The other replied, “Huh, fucked up”.

As a friend and have in common a favourite football club, the conversation like that is very easy for them to understand. But, not for us or anyone other than them. Like from the question: “I didn’t watch, how?”, what have you watched? How what?

In my work at Bahasa.ai, I and colleagues research for it. And we agreed so far only 3 + 1 reasons why humans can easily understand what other people are saying.

Intention

A human brain seems to have a dictionary of intentions and somehow when people say something, our brain can classify it to an intention. For example, when someone say “Hi” or “Hello”, we can recognize that as a greeting intention.

From birth we’re trained from the social environment to add every intention of everyone we met. So, to classify a sentence into an intention from someone is usually very dependent on the social environment.

Parameter

This is very interesting. An intention from a sentence can change based on what parameters it contains. Look at these 2 sentences:

Those sentences seems very similar. Just because Jokowi was replaced by Liverpool, an intent of that changed. From an intention about presidential election to football match. Again, somehow we as humans can recognize it.

Context

Have you ever heard about decision tree? Or watched Black Mirror: Bandersnatch? Unconsciously, we can answer a question or respond to a statement based on a current active conversation context. What is it? Look at these conversations: