RE: Languages and AI

From: Ben Goertzel (
Date: Fri Jul 20 2001 - 15:52:59 MDT

Why on earth do you folks want logical control to be expressed in XML,

I mean, XML is definitely too awkward for humans to want to use it for

And it's not really going to be efficient for internal processing either.

I suppose that, in theory, if different prog. languages all used XML
internally, then program fragments could be exchanged between programs
written in different languages. But this would require far, far more than
just use of XML, it would require that XML be *used* in a standard way.
Standardized representation of complex control procedures is much harder
than standardized representation of declarative semantics, and the W3C
hasn't even been able to carry out the latter in spite of Tim Berners-Lee
mouthing off about it for quite some time.

Two examples of programs expressed in XML:

For instance, we can dump all WM nodes and links to XML using KNOW, and we
can dump schema (procedures) into KNOW too since they're represented as
SchemaNodes with DataFlow and Precedence links between them. But, well, so
what? One has a nice textual version of procedures that can be read by
*highly trained* humans and that is fairly invariant with respect to WM
version changes. But the representation of procedures is nothing like what
would be used by other languages if they chose to dump their internal
representations of processes into XML.

Valentin Turchin has shown how Refal, an AI language well-known in Russia
(which he invented), can be trivially mapped into XML. This may not be
published anywhere.

-- Ben

> -----Original Message-----
> From: []On Behalf
> Of Durant Schoon
> Sent: Friday, July 20, 2001 5:21 PM
> To:
> Subject: RE: Languages and AI
> > From: Ben Houston <>
> >
> > Hi Eliezer,
> >
> > Describe the feature that you want and I'll bet that I can find
> an existing
> > language that has that feature.
> This challenge might be for Eli only, but if you know of any languages
> based on XML (compiled or interpreted that handle math and strings and
> basic data structures), I'd be interested. That is, logic and control
> flow are defined in the XML itself and not in some auxilliary language
> like perl or python.
> I remember seeing a web page proposing something like this by Tim
> Berners Lee (I think). But I'm not sure it was ever implemented.
> Curious and without web access at the moment,
> --
> Durant Schoon

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