Natural Language Processing and Artificial Intelligence
The research is directed namely to: text corpora and corpus tools, syntactic and semantic analysis of natural language, dialogue and question-answering systems, computer lexicography together with machine readable dictionaries, and last but not least, machine translation. The field of Natural Language Processing is closely related to the issues of AI and it intertwines with knowledge representation which comprises semantic networks, logical calculi (deduction systems) and various types of ontologies. Current issues of the Semantic Web also belong here.
From the methodological point of view this is an attractive area, in which we encounter difficult problems, however, their solution can make human-computer communication easier. Presently it can be characterized as exclusively 'one-way', i.e. it means that humans have to have the sufficient knowledge about the structure of the software to be able to use computers on a reasonable level. The goal we want to reach, however, is rather a 'two-way' communication, which will make computers closer to humans who do not possess the mentioned knowledge. The contemporary research paradigms exploit rule-based and statistical approaches, or the hybrid ones.
The topics of the dissertations in this area are oriented to the solutions of the problems mentioned above. In the dissertations the students are expected to seek for new theoretical approaches and techniques in Natural Language Processing as well as their implementation having the form of the tools usable in further research or in practical applications.
Those topics have been developed in the framework of the NLP Laboratory which came to the existence at the Faculty of Informatics in years 1997-8. Presently the Laboratory is named the Natural Language Processing Centre which cooperates with the Seznam.cz Company for longer time, thus topics can be formulated that are suited to this cooperation. Another interesting opportunity is a research cooperation with the British Company Lexical Computing Ltd. The papers based on successful dissertations can be published in the proceedings of the international conferences and reviewed journals related to NLP and AI.