Publication 5324

Winograd T. & Flores F. (1987) On Understanding Computers and Cognition: A New Foundation for Design: A response to the reviews. Artificial Intelligence 31(2): 250–261. Fulltext at
Excerpt: In Understanding Computers and Cognition, we presented a theory of language, on which we base our understanding of cognition and of computers. It includes some basic assertions about how language works […] The reviews collected here offer a striking validation of this theory. The same piece of language (in this case, our book) produced four widely different understandings, each generated within the background of a particular listener. The important issue is not that different reviewers “liked” the book more or less, but that they heard it as addresing different concerns in different ongoing conversations. We will begin our response by examining their interpretations and the backgrounds in which they arose.

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