Public Lecture
77th Lecture - Language and its Investigations
[第七十七講] 語言和語言研究
Abstract
 
People take their mother tongue for granted, as they use it effortlessly every day.  Even the computer can now converse and write in a human language.  On June 7, 2014, a computer program or “chatterbot” given an identity christened “Eugene Gootsman” made judges at the Royal Society in London believe that they were talking to a real human being online, thereby supposedly passing the Turing test, which is named after Alan Turing, the mathematical genius whose life was portrayed in the 2014 movie The Imitation Game.  Also in the same month, Associated Press (AP) started to adopt “robot journalism” in reporting just-in news and generating corporate earnings reports.  Perhaps more importantly, multilingual artificial intelligence seems to be beating the monolingual human brain, as translation apps and the “translate” button are readily available on the screen nowadays and often used by people unquestioningly.  Is language unique to humans after all?  Are children taught to speak a mother tongue, just like a robot being indebted to its programmers?  Furthermore, must the language, thinking and culture of an ethnic group be intertwined?  As one thinks about language academically or philosophically, simple questions turn out to be difficult to answer.
 
Speaker(s) Dr. Walter W T NG (吳和德博士)
Date 29 Nov 2015 (Sunday)
Time 3 - 5 pm
Venue Lecture Hall, G/F, Hong Kong Museum of History
Language Cantonese
Sponsor Hong Kong Museum of History
Remarks Free Admission; first come, first served
Further Information