Scientific challenge

Feel free to open or download this challenge document as PDF, in English or Dutch (updated: March 26, 2022):

Introduction

Everything in nature is bound by natural laws, and proceeds according to natural laws. However, scientists are unable – or unwilling – to define intelligence as a set of natural laws (while I succeeded). Not being based on laws of nature, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is not an artificial implementation of natural intelligence. Therefore, AI is not a fundamental science, but a field of engineering.

A fundamental science delivers generic solutions, while a field of engineering is limited to specific solutions to specific problems. And engineered solutions are limited to perform routine tasks. So, being a field of engineering, AI is limited to perform routine tasks.

However, it is possible to uplift this field of engineering towards a fundamental science, similar to the field of electromagnetism, which is based on laws of nature. Thanks to research on the natural laws of electromagnetism, we are able to close the loop for electricity, magnetism, light and movement. As a result, we are able to apply these conversions to daily life. We are able:

  • to convert electricity to magnetism, and to convert magnetism back to electricity;

  • to convert electricity to light, and to convert light back to electricity;

  • to convert electromagnetism to movement, and movement back to electromagnetism.

I am using fundamental science / basic research (logic and laws of nature) instead of cognitive science (simulation of behavior), because:

  • Autonomous reasoning requires both natural intelligence and natural language;

  • Intelligence and language are natural phenomena;

  • Natural phenomena obey laws of nature;

  • Laws of nature and logic are investigated using fundamental science.

By defining intelligence as a set of natural laws – and researching Laws of Intelligence that are naturally found in the Human Language – I am able to close the loop for natural intelligence and natural language, which extends Aristotelian Logic. As a result, my system is able:

  • to convert readable sentences – with a limited grammar – to a logic that isn't described by scientists yet;

  • to autonomously derive new knowledge from previously unknown knowledge, using my extended logic;

  • and to express the derived knowledge in readable and autonomously – word by word – constructed sentences, with a limited grammar.

 

The logical rules of my autonomous reasoner are (almost) language-independent. So, I can add any language, just by configuring my reasoner for this new language, and a little programming. As such, my reasoner is already able to read, to autonomously reason and to autonomously write the derived knowledge in English, Spanish, French, Dutch and Chinese, while scientists are unable to develop a proper multilingual reasoner.

 

Through this document, I defy anyone to beat the simplest results of my Controlled Natural Language (CNL) reasoner in a generic way: from Controlled Natural Language, through algorithms, back to Controlled Natural Language, in multiple languages, without programmed knowledge, without human-written output sentences, and without the use of extensive words lists.

 

Of course, this reasoner is available free of charge, and published as open source software.

 

Autonomous reasoning

Autonomous reasoning requires both natural intelligence and natural language. Without knowing, Aristotle applied natural intelligence to natural language roughly 2,400 years ago:

Given:

  • All men are mortal.

  • Socrates is a man.

Logical conclusion:

  • Socrates is mortal.”

 

Roughly 200 years ago, such reasoning constructions were formalized through Predicate Logic. And since the start of this century, these reasoning constructions are implemented in software through Controlled Natural Language (CNL) reasoners. CNL reasoners are able to autonomously derive new knowledge from previously unknown knowledge, and to express the derived knowledge in readable sentences (with a limited grammar).

 

Problem description 1: Reasoning in the past tense

The reasoning example mentioned above was true during the life of Socrates. But now, after the ultimate proof of his morality – his death in the year 399 BC – we should use the past tense form:

Given:

  • All men are mortal.”

  • Socrates was a man.”

Logical conclusion:

  • Socrates was mortal.”

 

The tense of a verb tells us about the state of the involved statement:

  • Socrates is a man” tells us that Socrates is still alive;

  • Socrates was a man” tells us that Socrates isn't amongst the living anymore.

In regard to the conclusion:

  • Socrates is mortal” tells us that the death of Socrates is inevitable, but that his mortality isn't proven yet by hard evidence;

  • Socrates was mortal” tells us that his mortality is proven by hard evidence.

 

In the past 2,400 years, scientists have "forgotten" to define algebra for the past tense. So, reasoning in the past tense form is not described in any scientific paper, while it is implemented in my CNL reasoner.

 

Problem description 2: Possessive reasoning

Also possessive reasoning – reasoning using possessive verb “has/have” – is not supported by predicate logic (algebra):

Given:

  • Paul is a son of John.”

Logical conclusion:

  • John has a son, called Paul.”

Or the other way around:

Given:

  • John has a son, called Paul.”

Logical conclusion:

  • Paul is a son of John.”

Why doesn't predicate logic (algebra) support possessive reasoning in a natural way? Why should any predicate – that can’t be expressed using verb “is/are” in the present tense – be described in an artificial way, like has_son(john,paul)? Why is algebra still not equipped for natural language, after those centuries of scientific research?

 

Problem description 3: Generation of questions

There is even more: Algebra describes the Exclusive OR (XOR) function in a natural way, while CNL reasoners still don't implement its linguistic equivalent: conjunction “or”. CNL reasoners are therefore unable to generate the following question:

 

Given:

  • Every person is a man or a woman.”

  • Addison is a person.”

Logical question:

  • Is Addison a man or a woman?

 

Everything in nature is connected. However, it seems as if linguists and mathematicians have never wondered how their respective fields are connected. Because almost 2400 years after Aristotle, scientists haven’t made any progress in understanding the Logic of Language.

In my experience, linguists, philosophers and mathematicians are unable to understand the Logic of Language, while the Logic of Language is about natural intelligence that is naturally found in for example natural language.

 

Like a programming language, also natural language has structure words and variables. The structure words of language – which in this document are printed in blue – have a naturally intelligent, logical, structure-providing function in language. The following structure words of language will be illustrated in this challenge document:

 

Possessive verb “has/have” (Block 1, Block 2 and Block 3), past tense verbs “was/were” and “had” (Block 4), conjunction “or” (Block 5) and definite article “the” (Block 6).

 

Generally accepted workaround

The generally accepted workaround in the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and knowledge technology (NLP), to enter knowledge containing verb “have”, is to program it directly into a reasoner, like: has_son(john,paul). However, this is not a generic solution (=science), but a specific solution to a specific problem (=engineering). Because it requires to program each and every noun directly into the reasoner (has_daughter, has_father, has_mother, and so on), and for each and every new language. As a consequence, there is no technique available to convert a sentence like “Paul is a son of John” to “John has a son, called Paul” in a generic way – from natural language, through an algorithm, to natural language – by which noun “son” and proper nouns “Paul” and “John” don't have to be programmed into the reasoner. It is just the first example of this challenge (see Block 1).

 

Below, a contribution I received from a student, in an attempt to solve this problem. With his permission, his Excel implementation for the English language:

= IF(ISERROR(SEARCH("has a";A1));MID(A1;SEARCH("of";A1)+3;999) & " has a" & IF(ISERROR(SEARCH("is an";A1));" ";"n ") & MID(SUBSTITUTE(A1;"is an";"is a");SEARCH("is a"; SUBSTITUTE(A1;"is an";"is a"))+5;SEARCH("of"; SUBSTITUTE(A1;"is an";"is a"))-SEARCH("is";SUBSTITUTE(A1;"is an";"is a"))-6) & " called " & LEFT(A1;SEARCH("is";SUBSTITUTE(A1;"is an";"is a"))-1);MID(SUBSTITUTE(A1;"has an";"has a");SEARCH("called";SUBSTITUTE(A1;"has an";"has a"))+7;999) & " is a" & IF(ISERROR(SEARCH("has an";A1));" ";"n ") & MID(SUBSTITUTE(A1;"has an";"has a");SEARCH("has a"; SUBSTITUTE(A1;"has an";"has a"))+6;SEARCH("called"; SUBSTITUTE(A1;"has an";"has a"))-SEARCH("has";SUBSTITUTE(A1;"has an";"has a"))-7) & " of " & LEFT(A1;SEARCH("has";SUBSTITUTE(A1;"has an";"has a"))-1))

 

This solution doesn't check for word types, as explained in paragraph 1.6.2. The function of word types in reasoning of my fundamental document. Besides that, this logic needs to be copied for each language, while a generic solution has only one logical implementation. Moreover, this implementation can't be expanded to process for example multiple specifications words, like in: “Paul is a son of John and Anna” or “John has two sons, called Paul and Joe”. So, this implementation is not flexible. Therefore, it is not generic, and thus not scientific.

 

The field of AI and NLP is “inspired by nature”. But it has no foundation in nature. Therefore, this field is limited to deliver specific solutions to specific problems (=engineering), like Excel implementation mentioned above. However, this challenge is about uplifting this field of engineering towards a fundamental science, by developing generic solutions, based on a foundation in nature, like I am developing.

 

My fundamental approach shows that verb “has/have” is complementary to verb “is/are”. So, verb “has/have” can also be used in predicate logic. In order to utilize the naturally intelligent function of structure words, I have defined natural intelligence first. Then I have identified a few Laws of Intelligence that are naturally present in Language. And by implementing these laws of nature as a set of structuring algorithms is my system able to structure the knowledge of the system autonomously.

 

The rules of this challenge

  • There are 6 blocks to beat the most basic techniques of my system. Your implementation should deliver the results of at least one block listed below;

  • Your implementation should not have any prior knowledge. Instead, it should derive its knowledge from the input sentences of the examples listed below, from natural language, through an algorithm, to natural language;

  • Preferable: The nouns and proper nouns of the listed examples are unknown upfront. (I use grammar definitions and an algorithm instead of a words list);

  • Your implementation should be implemented as generic as can be, in such a way that all examples of this challenge can be integrated into one single system. The screenshots of my CNL reasoner illustrate how multiple reasoning constructions reinforce each other. At the end of each block, a screenshot is added to illustrate how my software handles the examples of this challenge;

  • Your implementation should be published as open source software, so that its functionality is transparent. My software is published as open source software too;

  • Your implementation should be accepted by a scientific committee (conference or journal);

  • In case your results are slightly different, you need to explain why you have chosen differently;

  • It is an on-going challenge, until all blocks have been scientifically accepted;

  • I am the jury.

Your rewards:

  • A small gesture from me: € 250 for each scientifically accepted block. So, € 1,500 in total, for all 6 blocks;

  • You will be the first one to have described in a scientifically accepted way, the logic of language that I have discovered.

You can contact me via LinkedIn.