Towards the Cognitive Informatics of Natural Language: The Case of Computational Humor

Towards the Cognitive Informatics of Natural Language: The Case of Computational Humor

J. M. Taylor, V. Raskin
DOI: 10.4018/ijcini.2013070102
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This paper deals with a contribution of computational analysis of verbal humor to natural language cognition. After a brief introduction to the growing area of computational humor and of its roots in humor theories, it describes and compares the results of a human-subject and computer experiment. The specific interest is to compare how well the computer, equipped with the resources and methodologies of the Ontological Semantic Technology, a comprehensive meaning access approach to natural language processing, can model several aspects of the cognitive behaviors of humans processing jokes from the Internet. The paper, sharing several important premises with cognitive informatics, is meant as a direct contribution to this rapidly developing transdisciplinary field, and as such, it bears on cognitive computing as well, especially at the level of implementation of computational humor in non-toy systems and the relationship to human cognitive processes of understanding and producing humor.
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2. Humor Research And Cognition

The idea of studying humor for serious purposes, especially for computation and cognitive studies, may be somewhat new and paradoxical for computer scientists and engineers. Increasingly, however, the high-powered multidisciplinary area of humor research has attracted the attention of cognitive scientists of various specializations, and scholars of artificial intelligence, as for instance, the recent AAAI 2012 Fall Series Symposium on the Artificial Intelligence of Humor, co-organized and co-chaired by the authors in Arlington, VA (Raskin & Taylor 2012), has abundantly demonstrated. The rapid development of the social and socially intelligent computing, along with studies in computational creativity, have also put humor on the agenda of computational sciences. The proliferation of humor, both newly created and rehashed, on the social networks offers a rich plethora of material for analysis in many areas of research, including the psychology of personality, cognitive strategies, optimization of education for diverse audiences, public and personal use of humor for special purposes, and several others, including those which will continue to emerge.

The paper is intended as a direct contribution to the cognitive informatics of natural language (see Wang 2003, 2007, Wang et al. 2009a,b), sharing with it such basic premises as:

  • Conceptualization as a theoretical principle and methodology based on ontology (see Nirenburg & Raskin 2004, Raskin et al. 2010, Taylor et al. 2010)

  • Mathematicalization to the computing level (Raskin 2012), based on the formalizing the unformalizable approach (Taylor & Raskin 2010)

  • Complete awareness of the cognitive status of each element of the theory and methodology (Raskin 2012)

  • Acute interest in human cognition and dedication to its emulation and verification by computer (Nirenburg & Raskin 2004, Raskin 2012)

  • Transdisciplinary approach (Taylor & Raskin 2013b)

  • Fusion of multiple knowledge resources (Sun et al. 2013, Paolercio et al. 2013)

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