Sunday, November 29, 2015

online psycholinguistics demos 2015

I was asked recently about an old post from 2008 that listed a variety of online psycholinguistics demos. All of the links are dead now, so I was asked if I knew of any updated ones. This is what I can find. Any suggestions would be welcomed.

  • Harvard Implicit Associations TaskProject Implicit is a non-profit organization and international collaboration between researchers who are interested in implicit social cognition - thoughts and feelings outside of conscious awareness and control. The goal of the organization is to educate the public about hidden biases and to provide a “virtual laboratory” for collecting data on the Internet.
  • webspr - Conduct psycholinguistic experiments (e.g. self-paced reading and speeded acceptability judgment tasks) remotely using a web interface
  • Games With Words: Learn about language and about yourself while advancing cutting-edge science. How good is your language sense?
  • Lexical Decision Task demo: In a lexical decision task (LDT), a participant needs to make a decision about whether combinations of letters are words or not. For example, when you see the word "GIRL", you respond "yes, this is a real English word", but when you see the letters "XLFFE" you respond "No, this is not a real English word".
  • Categorical PerceptionCategorical perception means that a change in some variable along a continuum is perceived, not as gradual but as instances of discrete categories. The test presented here is a classical demonstration of categorical perception for a certain type of speech-like stimuli.
Paul Warren has a variety of demos at the site for his textbook "Introducing Psycholinguistics"


  • McGurk demo

  • Various other demos from Warren's textbook


  • Saturday, November 14, 2015

    Google's TensorFlow and "mathematical tricks"

    TensorFlow is a new open source software library for machine learning distributed by Google. In some ways, this could be seen as a competitor to BlueMix (though much less user friendly). Erik Mueller, who worked on the original Watson Jeopardy system (and has a vested interest in AI with his new company Symbolic AI), just wrote a brief review of TensorFLow for Wired.

    Google’s TensorFlow Alone Will Not Revolutionize AI

    Unfortunately, it's not really a review of TensorFlow itself, but rather makes a general point against statistical approaches, which I basically agree with, but the argument requires a much more comprehensive treatment.

    Some good quotes from the article:

    • "I think [TensorFlow] will focus our attention on experimenting with mathematical tricks, rather than on understanding human thought processes."
    • "I’d rather see us design AI systems that are understandable and communicative."

    Putting the Linguistics into Kaggle Competitions

    In the spirit of Dr. Emily Bender’s NAACL blog post Putting the Linguistics in Computational Linguistics , I want to apply some of her thou...