”Natural” Natural Language-Based Human-Computer Interaction
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What does it mean for a human-machine interaction paradigm to be natural? Certainly it means to take into account what man has developed filogenetically as his devices for interacting with his similars: natural language in the first place. We are well aware that natural language is not only the main vehicle for such communication, but also that it has the dual role of being the device through which we organize our thought. This makes natural language communication a window on the mind as many human scientists have told us so convincingly, but also implies that natural language communication does not need “cognitive transducers”. If often we do need some conscious phase in organizing what we want to communicate, this depends on planning our communicative actions, deciding what we want to say and optimizing our rhetoric strategies; it does not depend much on the lower level of expressing ourselves through words. So, for human-machine interfaces, natural language has an unmatchable potential. On the other side we are facing an extraordinary revolution that touches all levels of our life. Computers and telecommunication are really part of our ecological system.
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