Reading Assignment 4 COMP 550


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Read the following paper and write a critical summary of it:
Bender and Koller. Climbing towards NLU: On Meaning, Form and Understanding in the Age of
Data. In Proceedings of the 58th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational
Your summary should include a description of the paper’s contents, its strengths and limitations, and
any points that you did not understand. I expect that there will be concepts that you do not understand!
Do not worry, and document this in your write-up. Note that this is a position paper. This means that the
goal of the paper is to present an opinion or argument and provoke thought or discussion, rather than
to propose a new method or to describe a new discovery.
Also, discuss the following issues in your write-up:
1. This paper presents a particular definition of meaning and understanding. How do these agree
with or contrast with other definitions of these terms that we have encountered in the course?
2. State how you agree or disagree with the main points of the paper, with justification and
drawing on examples where applicable.
Your summary should be at most 1 page. It will be graded on the basis of its coverage, linguistic quality,
and clarity of argumentation.
• Jason Eisner’s guide to reading papers: