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Offloading cognition onto the Web

Offloading cognition onto the Web
Offloading cognition onto the Web
In modeling human cognitive capacity there is a question of what needs to be built in and what can be left out, because we can offload it onto cognitive technology, such as a google web search. Word meanings can be represented in two different ways: sensorimotor and verbal. Verbals definitions and descriptions can be offloaded, sensorimotor representations cannot. Dictionaries have a "grounding kernel" of words from which all other words can be reached through recombinatory definition alone. The words are learned at an earlier age and are more concrete. We tested conjunctive and disjunctive google search for target terms that had their own wikipedia entries, using either the target terms themselves, or the three words that had the highest co-occurrence frequency (latent semantic analysis) with the target words in Wordnet. The highly co-occurring words were surprisingly ineffective in retrieving the target word, even in joint conjunctive and disjunctive searches and there was no significant correlation with age of acquisition or concreteness. This raises some questions about the similarity between human associative memory and google-based associative search.
cognition, search, memory
1541-1672
33-39
Carr, Les
0572b10e-039d-46c6-bf05-57cce71d3936
Harnad, Stevan
442ee520-71a1-4283-8e01-106693487d8b
Carr, Les
0572b10e-039d-46c6-bf05-57cce71d3936
Harnad, Stevan
442ee520-71a1-4283-8e01-106693487d8b

Carr, Les and Harnad, Stevan (2011) Offloading cognition onto the Web. IEEE Intelligent Systems, 26 (1), 33-39.

Record type: Article

Abstract

In modeling human cognitive capacity there is a question of what needs to be built in and what can be left out, because we can offload it onto cognitive technology, such as a google web search. Word meanings can be represented in two different ways: sensorimotor and verbal. Verbals definitions and descriptions can be offloaded, sensorimotor representations cannot. Dictionaries have a "grounding kernel" of words from which all other words can be reached through recombinatory definition alone. The words are learned at an earlier age and are more concrete. We tested conjunctive and disjunctive google search for target terms that had their own wikipedia entries, using either the target terms themselves, or the three words that had the highest co-occurrence frequency (latent semantic analysis) with the target words in Wordnet. The highly co-occurring words were surprisingly ineffective in retrieving the target word, even in joint conjunctive and disjunctive searches and there was no significant correlation with age of acquisition or concreteness. This raises some questions about the similarity between human associative memory and google-based associative search.

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More information

Published date: January 2011
Venue - Dates: Web Science Conference: Society On-Line, Greece, 2009-03-18 - 2009-03-20
Keywords: cognition, search, memory
Organisations: Web & Internet Science

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 271030
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/271030
ISSN: 1541-1672
PURE UUID: 256c7e2c-973e-4b7a-87d3-96e050d32d6b
ORCID for Les Carr: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-2113-9680
ORCID for Stevan Harnad: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-6153-1129

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 07 May 2010 11:35
Last modified: 06 Jun 2018 13:19

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