JOIN: Norm Wilson

From: Norm Wilson (
Date: Thu May 08 2003 - 06:47:07 MDT


After several years of lurking, I'm happy to be finally joining your list.

I first encountered the idea of the Singularity a few years ago, when I clicked on an innocent-enough looking link in Yahoo labeled "What is the meaning of life?" Of course, the ensuing content was *not* what I expected. Since then, I've kept a passive eye on the subject by occasionally browsing the SL4 archives. I recently read LOGI and was quite impressed by the ideas expressed therein. The paper has renewed my interest in GAI, and I would like to contribute directly in areas that are related to my field of expertise.

I'm the founder of NorKen Technologies, a small company that specializes in parsing technologies. Since parsing is a generic field having numerous applications, I invite SL4 members who are working on GAI related projects to contact me if you feel that my experience with parsers might benefit your efforts.

In addition to the obvious relationship between parsing and programming languages, there are other applications that can benefit from using parsers. For example, certain problems can be simplified by defining a formal grammar (or "mini-language") that is tailored towards the particular problem domain (e.g., SQL, Prolog, markup languages, command and control languages, communications protocols, etc.) As the adage goes, once you've properly expressed a question (or problem), you're half of the way towards answering it. Having a formal syntax in which relevant questions and facts can be expressed in an intuitive manner is quite useful, both as a communication tool and because of the mental exercise involved in rigorously representing queries and assertions. Further, a rigorous syntax lends itself to automation. By mapping language symbols to their semantic interpretations (which are implemented as callable code), you can create an executable language that interacts with the user, manipulates internal data
structures, and performs domain-specific operations.

In an immediately practical sense, I can be helpful in building experimental programming languages, defining knowledge representation and manipulation languages, and in building small interpreters to invoke the semantics of those languages. Of course, parsing is also quite useful for data import and conversion utilities.

If you find that any of this relates to what you're doing, feel free to contact me.


Norm Wilson

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