Interpretation in Generation

Eduard H. Hovy

The computer maxim garbage in, garbage out is especially true of language generation. When a generator slavishly follows its input topics, it usually produces bad text. In order to find more appropriate forms of expression, generators must be given the ability to interpret their input topics. Often, newly formed interpretations can help generators achieve their pragmatic goals with respect to the hearer. Since interpretation requires inference, generators must exercise some control over the inference process. Some general strategies of control, and some specific techniques geared toward achieving pragmatic goals, are described here.

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