Title:
A Functional Theory of Creative Reading

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Moorman, Kenneth Matthew
Ram, Ashwin
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Abstract
Reading is an area of human cognition which has been studied for decades by psychologists, education researchers, and artificial intelligence researchers. Yet, there still does not exist a theory which accurately describes the complete process. We believe that these past attempts fell short due to an incomplete understanding of the overall task of reading; namely, the complete set of mental tasks a reasoner must perform to read and the mechanisms that carry out these tasks. We present a functional theory of the reading process and argue that it represents a coverage of the task. The theory combines experimental results from psychology, artificial intelligence, education, and linguistics, along with the insights we have gained from our own research. This greater understanding of the mental tasks necessary for reading will enable new natural language understanding systems to be more flexible and more capable than earlier ones. Furthermore, we argue that creativity is a necessary component of the reading process and must be considered in any theory or system attempting to describe it. We present a functional theory of creative reading and a novel knowledge organization scheme that supports the creativity mechanisms. The reading theory is currently being implemented in the ISAAC (Integrated Story Analysis And Creativity) system, a computer system which reads science fiction stories.
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Date Issued
1994
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299310 bytes
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Text
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Technical Report
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