San Diego Poetry Guild

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Software paraphrases sentences

We paraphrase all the time, often without thinking about it. Try to give a computer the means to reword a sentence, however, and it becomes apparent that figuring out how to say it differently is complicated.

Researchers at Cornell University have tapped a pair of unlike sources -- on-line journalism and computational biology -- to make it possible to automatically paraphrase whole sentences. The researchers used gene comparison techniques to identify word patterns from different news sources that described the same event.

The method could eventually allow computers to more easily process natural language, produce paraphrases that could be used in machine translation, and help people who have trouble reading certain types of sentences.


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