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Letters to the World

07-Nov-2010

A glorious example of NLP gone wrong

Filed under: General — codeman38 @ 11:04 pm

I was just checking Zap2it’s page on Doctor Who to see if that show was going to be running on anything other than BBC America, which isn’t on the cable tier I have… and found out it wasn’t going to be, alas. However, I did find this hilarious example of natural language processing gone horribly wrong:

Screenshot from Zap2it's "Doctor Who" show page.

(Description: A screenshot of a listing of Doctor Who-related news, in which the first story is “Elvis Presley’s doctor, who was accused after the legendary singer’s death of over-prescribing barbiturates, sleeping pills, hormones, narcotics to his famous patient, now says that Elvis died from chronic constipation.”)

It took me a while to figure out even how this was relevant, and then I realized it was a naïve keyword-matching algorithm that even ignores punctuation. ::facepalm::

Though I do admit, an episode in which the Doctor and his companion go to visit Elvis could definitely be entertaining!

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