Computers can be made a lot smarter when they are programmed to deal with natural language. The creation of computer programmes that deal with natura language is called language technology, or computational linguistics.
Language technology makes use of dictionaries, grammars, formal semantics, language heuristics, dialogue patterns, and the like, in fact all the types of linguistic knowledge that people use when they speak or write to each other, and that can be formalised. Language technology is extremely complicated, because natural language is only partly regular and structured, and has many sorts of vagueness, irregularities and ambiguities.
A good example of this complexity is the current status of automatic translation. Despite the promises made from even the fifties of last century, automatic translation is still cumbersome. Irion’s ambitions are more modest than automatic translation. We strongly focus at the use of language technology for the improvement of knowledge and information management.