Tag Archive: philosophy


Natural languages (speech and text) are the way we communicate as species. They help us to express whatever is inside to the outer world.

Natural languages are not designed. They emerge. Thus, they are messy and semi-structured. If they were designed, NLP would be already solved, using context-free grammars and finite automata by linguists 50 years ago.

Today, we are trying to artificially “learn” language from text using state-of-the-art Deep Neural Language Models that behave probabilistically, predicting the next token in a sequence.

Moreover, natural languages are not static. They evolve and change. Different words can be used in different times with different meaning. It is a moving target.

Plato, the Greek philosopher was negative with “languages” -despite the fact the he has written so much- because a language cannot express the fullness of a human mind, of a person. Socrates and many philosophers from the Peripatetic school never wrote texts. The only way they were communicate was by real human communication (body language, eyes, speech, touch). Only with this way, a human mind and heart can evolve and create new worlds.

However, we are living in a century where everything is either digitalised or written and human communication goes to minimum.

Plato

How much AI and Machine Learning are related to ancient Greek Philosophy? More than you imagine!

In this article you will learn about the never ending debate between Platonic and Aristotelian ideas of the reality of the world.

In my opinion, I agree with Plato saying that the world we experience is just a shadow of the real one. One possible interpretation can come from modern physics with theories such a) multidimensional world (e.g. string theory, theory of relativity) b) quantum physics and c) non-Euclidean geometrical spaces. Things are not as they appear in our brains. We see only a projection of the real world and we are totally living in a matrix limited by our physiology.

However, I agree also with Aristotle saying that the forms of entities reside only in the physical world. So, the “ideal” forms are learned by our brains and do not pre-exist.

The article touches the issue of Universals and Particulars in Philosophy and tries to explain them also in terms of Machine Learning. Machine Learning models learn to separate the universal (signal) from the particulars (noise) from observed data of the world.

Plato (left) and Aristotle (right)