10 February 2009

Command line

I've been looking at the browser address bar as the future of the command line (as have others) and Firefox will be upping the ante with natural language in its "Ubiquity" plugin v. 3.2. The Slashdot wonks were particularly pissy seeing as how the dreaded "NL" phrase was dropped (there're a certain group of the technorati that hate the legacy of AI research...). The parser docs for the FF plugin outlines the basic imperative sentence parsing they're working on, with standard verb+subcats (e.g. "find X in Y" or "move X from Y to Z" where "find" subcategorizes for two objects and "move" for three). Similar to how Opera's custom search keywords work, Ubiquity would be able to expand on the simple concept that a web form is equivalent to a verb in an imperative sentence. Web searches only subcategorize on one object ("find X") because there's only one input in most search forms (the text box where search terms are typed). If a form had multiple fields then the form/verb would need to subcategorize for multiple objects. Ubiquity's example uses "translate X from Y to Z". I could also see websites and transports being subcategorized: "order X from Amazon," "IM 'X' to Y via Z," "email 'X' to Y's Z account."

[ posted by sstrader on 10 February 2009 at 3:37:30 PM in Science & Technology ]