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  • Digital Humanities and Cultural Heritage
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  • 2012-2021
  • 0501 psychology and cognitive sciences
  • European Commission
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  • Digital Humanities and Cultural Heritage

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  • Publication . Contribution for newspaper or weekly magazine . Conference object . 2020
    Open Access
    Authors: 
    Jeff Mitchell; Jeffrey S. Bowers;
    Publisher: International Committee on Computational Linguistics
    Country: United Kingdom
    Project: EC | M and M (741134)

    Recently, domain-general recurrent neural networks, without explicit linguistic inductive biases, have been shown to successfully reproduce a range of human language behaviours, such as accurately predicting number agreement between nouns and verbs. We show that such networks will also learn number agreement within unnatural sentence structures, i.e. structures that are not found within any natural languages and which humans struggle to process. These results suggest that the models are learning from their input in a manner that is substantially different from human language acquisition, and we undertake an analysis of how the learned knowledge is stored in the weights of the network. We find that while the model has an effective understanding of singular versus plural for individual sentences, there is a lack of a unified concept of number agreement connecting these processes across the full range of inputs. Moreover, the weights handling natural and unnatural structures overlap substantially, in a way that underlines the non-human-like nature of the knowledge learned by the network.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Albert Kohn;
    Publisher: MDPI AG
    Project: EC | BeyondtheElite (681507)

    In recent years, pre-modern beds have generated extensive scholarly interest. Their social, religious, and economic importance has been rightfully highlighted in the study of domestic piety. Yet, concern has primarily focused on beds in late medieval English homes. This essay uses Hebrew texts from thirteenth-century Southern Germany, primarily Sefer Hasidim, to further this analysis of the role of the bed in shaping medieval domestic devotion. Jewish notions about the social, moral, and sexual significance of the bed reflect those identified in late medieval Christian culture. These ideas inspired numerous rituals practiced in Jewish homes. Yet, the bed and the remnants of sex assumed to be found in it also frustrated Jewish attempts to perform domestic devotion. These findings highlight the complicated nature of the home and how medieval people had to navigate both its opportunities and challenges in order to foster a rich culture of domestic devotion.