The Crux of Understanding Written Text - Text reading and inference

post by JohnCheese · 2021-02-20T22:20:53.875Z · LW · GW · None comments

This is a link post for Hazard's Gödel's Legacy: A game without end

This is a question post.

What are the neural/brain faculties in humans which enable us to read and understand text/messages/thoughts of others by reading and unconsciously processing them whilst inferring their meaning from what we already know ? (knowledge of the language being processed, the usual/generic meaning of its words as well as the point of the question/topic is understood)

Especially poetry, adages "Little strokes fell great oaks." and useful and insightful texts which doesn't actually state/give direct and blunt advice in the spirit of "Do not overthink every decision or move you make, both in everyday tasks and specific projects , just do it with full force and witness/bear the results." kind of advice versus something like this - Gödel's Legacy: A game without end [LW · GW]. That is, how do you (fellow humans, don't know about ML NLP or whichever way machines use to understand human-generated text) understand what I am asking you despite me not being more direct or cryptic with my written request?


Edit: Changed the title from "The Crux of Intelligence and Understanding - Text reading and inference" to "The Crux of Understanding Written Text - Text reading and inference" <- I do think this ability alone is the most advanced faculty of learning about the world in general and thinking about it with goal-seeking motivation in mind is the pinnacle of human ability and intelligence. Feel free to correct me/criticize me if I am overstating or if this kind of thoughts generally get on your nerves. :)


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