Cognition Technologies' new Semantic Map lets computers -- and, conceivably, evil robots -- "understand" the English language in much the same way humans do, based on word tenses and context in a sentence. With this technology, a computer or search engine can understand virtually every word in the English language -- for a vocabulary about ten times that of a typical American college graduate. The system is already being employed in search engines, allowing people to ask questions in human-phrasing instead of unnatural, machine formatted word strings. Researchers say the ability to understand language is an important building block of the nascent Semantic Web, and will make the Replicants of the future extremely difficult to detect.

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