Figurative Thinking

  • Yang Cai


Charles Darwin believed that language was half art, half instinct. Languages originated from sharing survival skills in ancient times. In the Stone Age, people learned to make tools through observation, mimicry, and gestures, eventually developing verbal languages. What makes human languages unique are the written languages that have been passed down over time. Figurative thinking is our instinct. It follows the principle of least effort as George Zipf predicted for words. Future intelligent systems are moving toward more figurative thinking with more figurative contents and interactions. In this Chapter, we explore the origin of figurative languages, digital encoding methods, and applications in passcode, programming, and social media.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yang Cai
    • 1
  1. 1.Carnegie Mellon UniversityPittsburghUSA

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