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Procedures as a Representation for Data in a Computer Program for Understanding Natural Language

Winograd, T. (1971). Procedures as a Representation for Data in a Computer Program for Understanding Natural Language. dspace.mit.edu. [online] Available at: https://dspace.mit.edu/handle/1721.1/7095

Methodology:
Winograd proposes formal procedures consisting of prompt-response pairs as a representation for natural language understanding systems. The prompts match against input phrases to trigger reasoning responses.

Key Contributions:

Introduced idea of prompts triggering procedural responses for language understanding.
Developed an early prototype system based on chained prompt-response pairs.
Established strong connections between prompts and automated reasoning.
Main Arguments:
Winograd argues procedural representations based on prompt-response pairs provide a robust model for natural language understanding and can simplify the reasoning process.

Gaps:
As an early conceptual work, details on learning or adapting prompts are limited. Dynamic chaining of prompts is also not addressed.

Relevance to Prompt Architecture:
This seminal paper established prompts as a mechanism for controlling reasoning in NLP systems. Winograd’s prompts served as precursors to modern techniques like chain-of-thought prompting. The prompts and procedures link underpins more recent prompt programming approaches.

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Updated on March 31, 2024