Artificial Believers: The Ascription of Belief

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Psychology Press, 1991 - Computers - 285 pages
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Modeling of individual beliefs is essential to the computer understanding of natural languages. Phenomena at all levels -- syntactic, semantic, and pragmatic -- cannot be fully analyzed in the absence of models of a hearer and of the hearer's model of other believers. The heart of this text is the presentation of an artificial intelligence (AI) program intended to simulate certain aspects of a human believer. This book provides a prolog program, Viewgen, that maintains belief structures about the world and other believers, and is able to ascribe beliefs to others without direct evidence by using a form of default reasoning. The authors contend that a plausible model such as this can -- in the best cognitive science tradition -- shed light on the long-standing philosophical problem of what belief is.

The issues presented here will be of considerable interest to an informed general reader as well as those with a background in any of the disciplines that make up what is now called cognitive science: philosophy, linguistics, psychology, neuropsychology, and also AI itself.
 

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Contents

Preface
2
Plan of this Book
5
Introduction
14
Preliminaries on the Nature of Belief
44
Belief Ascription
136
Experiments in Belief ViewGen
183
Global Issues Reasoning with Viewpoints
200
Further Extensions and Speculations
230
References
259
Index
277
Copyright

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About the author (1991)

Yorick Wilks is Professor of... in the Department of Computer Science, University of Sheffield

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