Computational Linguistics as an Applied Science

Pius ten Hacken


An applied science is opposed on the one hand to an empirical science and on the other to technology. It shares with the former its concern for explanation and with the latter its concern for solving practical, real-life problems. A prototypical example is medicine, where the purpose of research activity is both to find cures and to explain how they work. Whereas computational linguistics (CL) can also be pursued as an empirical science or used as mere technology, it is most interesting as an applied science.

An area in CL in which the development towards an applied science is particularly obvious is machine translation (MT). By considering the main stages of the history of MT I will show how they can be analysed in this perspective.
Thursday 12th October 2006, 14:00
Robert Recorde Room
Department of Computer Science