Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Stovepipe NLP Research

The National Science Foundation is sponsoring research into NLP designed to help government clerks get a handle of the information overload coming from the glut of public comments pouring into www.regulations.gov. The site allows officials to solicit and consider public comments while creating rule and regulations concerning things like organic food labeling and media ownership consolidation. It seems to be a success, as far more comments are submitted than can be effectively sorted through by hand. While it seems reasonable to apply NLP techniques to this problem, should the research money be directed at something like the more general problem of information overload than such a narrow application as this?

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