The Linker Systems Answer page allows you to use both the JCB-English language, and Just-Plain English to have questions answered for you. Both the JCB-English system and the Just-Plain English system are in their learning phases, in which they're learning about the world. Be patient with them. If they don't have your answer immediately, they'll mail you back when they do have the answer.
The Answer page allows you to enter a question, submit the question to JCB-English or Just-Plain English, and to see the answer. You'll see that you need to enter an account name and a password. For both the account name and the password, enter the word "Guest", without the quotation marks. You'll also be asked for an eMail address, so that when you ask a question and the system doesn't know the answer (remember, they're still learning), the system can then eMail you back.
Just-Plain English is a database system, with the ability to run programs as needed. When you talk to Just-Plain English, phrase your question in normal English.
JCB is a powerful Artificial Intelligence system. It's far more than a data-base system. A data-base system needs to have schemata, tables, procedures, and data records defined for it. Even then, a data-base system can look things up, and execute programs stored in it, but it can't make anything approaching a general, well-reasoned decision. JCB, being an "AI", doesn't use any of what a data-base uses. JCB uses specific facts and rules of logic as presented to it.
Both systems are built to give factual answers. Don't ask either for life advice, or for answers to hypothetical questions.
You now have all the information you need for using Just-Plain English. To learn how to use JCB-English, read on.
Since you already know how to ask questions in English, the rest of this document deals only with the JCB-English language, which is so close to English that a lot of people may not notice the differences at first.
Classes of Users
JCB has three classes of users. The top class consists of "operators", who can control how the system works, who gets onto the system, and the like. Operators can also speak with the voice of absolute authority, in which anything they say is taken by JCB as unarguable truth. The next class consists of standard users. Standard users may make statements, give rules of logic, and ask questions. Standard users have a certain amount of credibility, but their opinions are never absolute. One user may have an opinion, which JCB may or may not take into consideration when formulating an answer for another user. Last, JCB allows guest users. Guest users are not allowed to make statements or give rules of logic, but may ask questions. Guests can't change their password.
If you buy a copy of JCB-English (price not set as of this writing), and run it on your server, you can set up accounts as you like.
When you ask a question, you can receive your answer in strict JCB-English, or in loose JCB-English. The latter may be a bit easier to understand at first, but the looser form of the language can be ambiguous. Not as ambiguous as spoken English, but it can happen.
Now, on to the JCB-English language...
Every time you enter a question, statement, or command onto the Answer page and click on "Send to JCB", whatever you typed is sent as a "transmission". Each transmission should contain a single command, statement, or question. However, you can send multiple items in the same transmission by separating them with the execute command. For instance, you can ask two questions in separate transmissions, like this:
"Kermit" is a what?
(Send to JCB)
"Miss Piggy" is a what?
(Send to JCB)
You could also ask the same two questions like this:
"Kermit" is a what?
"Miss Piggy" is a what?"
Keywords, Context, and Asterisks
Certain words have special meanings to JCB. These are called "key-words". JCB's key-words are individual letters, days of the week, months of the year, words representing numbers, and the words according, adjective, affects, after, all, also, am, and, antonyms, anything, at, authority, bce, before, beginning, believe, between, blank, both, by, certainly, century, centuries, class, consider, decade, decades, difference, does, drop, during, either, emphasis, end, ending, event, exclusively, execute, exist, exists, facts, false, far, for, forget, from, good, guess, hour, hours, how, if, implied, is, item, jointly, last, least, likely, little, located, many, me, meter, meters, midnight, millennia, millennium, minute, minutes, month, months, most, must, my, near, neither, next, noon, nor, not, now, number, of, on, only, opinion, or, password, please, pm, potentially, product, property, quantity, quotient, second, seconds, set, shall, some, statement, sub, such, sum, synonyms, tense, than, that, then, there, this, through, to, today, tomorrow, true, trust, up, user, week, weeks, what, when, where, which, who, with, year, years, yesterday, you, and your. For instance, you can say
"Barack Hussein Obama" is the president.
even though JCB doesn't immediately know what "president" is. Don't worry about that, though, because like other intelligent beings, JCB will learn from contextual use. However, you can't say
I like the class.
because "class" is a special word that means something to JCB other than a classroom setting. It's the lead-in for a class of things. So, JCB lets you put an asterisk in front of a word. When you do, that word is freed of its predefined meaning (if any), and thus you can use any word. So, these two sentences
"Barack Hussein Obama" is the *president.
I like the *class.
both work, since as shown, *president, like, and *class are regular words that JCB will learn in context.
What You Can Skip
Below, you can learn the complete JCB language, or skip some items, and only learn what you need to know to ask questions. If you want the fast version, skip the shaded areas.
Let's handle JCB's commands first, because they're easiest to understand.
What to Consider
You can tell JCB that you want to consider only hard-and-fast facts when answering a question, using
You can tell JCB that you want to consider everything it knows, from any source, using
JCB scores statements and sources, and so gives each statement or fact it holds a score. These scores range from 0 (absolutely untrusted) through 1 (absolutely trusted). Other numbers, such as 0.5, mean various levels of trust. You can set the trust setting anywhere you like. For instance,
Consider opinion at 0.5.
User Accounts and Passwords
Rules of Logic: Chaining
Vocabulary Restriction, Dictionary, and Thesaurus
Sets, Hierarchies, and Exclusivity
Before we can talk about questions, we first need to understand how JCB interprets statements. That's because questions are special forms of statements.
The simplest form of a statement is the Subject-Verb. In the Subject-Verb form, a subject appears, then what English-speaker call the "verb. The simplest form of a subject, in JCB, is a name, enclosed in double-quotes. Pronouns are also allowed. Here's a sample Subject-Verb sentence:
"I" is the subject, and "go" is the verb. Here's another sentence in Subject-Verb form, although not as obvious:
"Barack Hussein Obama" president.
Now, in English, "president" is not exactly a verb. In logic, and in some other languages, rather than true verbs, we have "predicates". A predicate is a verb or a noun, depending on how it's used. In "I go", "go" is the predicate, and "I" applies to it. The predication is true if I go, and false if I don't. Similarly, ""Barack Hussein Obama" president" is true if Mr. Obama is president, and false otherwise. Because people don't talk that way, JCB has some give in its grammar, and will understand
"Barack Hussein Obama" is the president.
in the same way it understands the simpler sentence.
We can expand from the Subject-Verb form to the Subject-Verb-Object form, by adding more to the sentence. For instance, I could say:
I go to the store.
Sentences (really predications) can have as many objects as you like. If they make sense to you, JCB will learn from context, and be able to use them in sentences.
Besides the usual English order of Subject-Verb-Object, we can also enter a sentence in Verb-Subject-Object format, so that "I go to the store", "Go I the store", and "Go I to the store" match each other, and ""Barack Hussein Obama" is the president", ""Barack Hussein Obama" is the president", and "president "Barack Hussein Obama"" match each other. In general, in subjects and objects, to, from, than, is, and is the are optional.
Very simple adjectives can be expressed as in English. For instance,
I go to a small school.
Special Logic Tests
In regular English, we can negate a sentence by placing "not" somewhere in the sentence. The rules for where the "not" goes are rather complex. In JCB-English, the rules are very simple. Not goes at the beginning of the sentence:
Not I go to the store.
Robotics and Planning
Specific and Quantified Subjects and Objects
Usually, when you want to refer to a person or named thing, you place their name in double-quotes. However, when you want to refer to normal unnamed nouns, you place a or the in front of a predicate (nouns, for most practical purposes). For instance, "a house", or "the store".
Actually, you can place any number in front of a predicate. Numbers can be numbers like 1 or 3 or 0.5, or can be number words, like one or three or half. Numbers can be followed by of if it makes more sense to you. You can also use number-like words, like all, little, most, and some.
Other Subjects and Objects
There are a number of special subjects and objects that can appear in a sentence.
Single-quoted strings refer to literal text, as shown above.
Subjects and Objects with Subjects and Objects of Their Own
Where English has only time tense, such as past, present, and future, JCB-English has time-tense, location-tense, and belief-tense.
Any sentence can have a tense or time-context in front of it.
Thee tenses have lead-ins like at, during, on or after, on, after, beginning after, beginning, on or before, before, ending before, ending, through, from, and before.
These can be followed by a date, a time, or both, in either order. Words that can be used in forming dates and times are Sunday through Saturday, January through December, second through millennium, seconds through millennia, this, next, last, today, tomorrow, yesterday, now, am, pm, noon, midnight, and BCE.
Many date and time formats are supported to input, including year-month-day, month day, year, day month, hour:minute:second, and hour:minute.
All times are GMT. Output is always in the same format.
So, a more complete restatement of the presidency statement would be,
Beginning 5 pm January 21, 2009 ending before 5 pm January 21, 2017, "Barack Hussein Obama" is the president.
There is also a special time-tense, potentially. When potentially is used, it means that the thing potentially happens, but is not a statement that it does happen. For instance,
Potentially, a wooden object burns.
For most users, this is the most important part of JCB-English. You can form a question in two ways. You can form a fill-in-the-blank question by replacing the appropriate form of speech with one of the question words or phrases, how many, what, when, where, which, or who. You can also use the word blank to fill in for any predicate word (noun, verb, or adjective), or use the word tense any place a tense of any sort can appear. You can form a yes/no question by using the word is before a statement. For example:
Who is the president?
"Barack Hussein Obama" is the what?
Is "Barack Hussein Obama" the president?
Capitalization and Punctuation
In general, capitalization and punctuation marks exclamation point ("!"), semicolon (";"), comma (","), period ("."), and question mark ("?") are irrelevant in JCB-English, except within single-quoted text quotations. Items required as shown are single-quotes, double-quotes, and colon.
©2013 Linker Systems, Inc. Some or all of this document may be covered by issued or pending patents.