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What features does Sanskrit have, which makes it most suitable language for Computers…A detailed report!

When we speak about Indian history and culture, there are so many mysteries and hidden secrets which most people would not even have heard about. Be it Science, Mathematics, Astrology, Astrophysics, Medicine, Ayurveda or Yoga, India has contributed enormously in every field. But unfortunately, the contributions have long been suppressed and remained without publicity due to an intrusion of foreigners from 13th-14th century who destroyed the invaluable treasure of the country and due to ignorance of our own people.

But as Science and Technology advanced, the scientists from all over the world only realised that their discoveries were not new to ancient India and were far better-understood thousands of years back. The invention of the computer was truly a path-breaking moment which took us many years ahead. The biggest challenge for developers was to design a single language that could be understood by the computer system. It was a tedious task to use natural language and convey the message to the computer as most of the language we used were not free of context.

However, Recently the scientists realised that there was one language which was most suitable and easily applicable for computers, the Sanskrit! Yes, the Sanskrit language is the only language which can be easily understood and applied for computer programming.

One would surely ask how is the Sanskrit language applicable to computers. It is because Sanskrit grammar is the only one which is context-free. The language which was described by Panini has described grammars with 4000 rules which makes every word independent of the other and clearly defines the meaning.

Image result for panini sanskrit

Consider this Example described by a Sanskrit Scholar :

‘Fruit flies like Apple’

‘Time flies like arrow’

In the first sentence, the word FLIES is a noun whereas in the second it is a verb. So, while using in a sentence, a human would understand in what context the word ‘Flies’ is used, but a computer which depends on artificial intelligence would not understand the two words which have a different meaning. This means the English language is not context-free and therefore making the computer understand this language is almost impossible with millions of nouns and verbs.

But Sanskrit language solves this problem as the use of words in sentences are described in 4000 rules which are completely context-free. There are two ways in which Sanskrit is used, one is used in literature and spoken language and the other is used in Shastras which uses the scientific approach and has restricted style. This particular language draws a conclusion based on logic rather than using in context. It also considers the meaning of the statement when making the deduction. So the computer will be able to take the real meaning of the statement and conclude logically with the help of Sanskrit language.

In 1985, an article published by Rick Briggs in Forbes “Knowledge Representation in Sanskrit and AI” said…..”On Skt as a possibly optimum model for natural language representation, specifically the semantic networks that were being used by researchers at the time to model approaches to artificial intelligence. Sanskrit is much clearer and more economical when it comes to this kind of modelling, and the grammar elaborated enough that grammarians themselves were virtually engaging in this kind of discourse to begin with. Thus, the emphasis is on modelling knowledge representation and not computer languages per se, although one could certainly take a robust model of the former and apply it to the task of creating the latter.” http://www.aaai.org/ojs/index.php/aimagazine/article/view/466

In order to make people understand, here is an examples comparing how sentences are used in English and Sanskrit as quoted by Rick Briggs in his paper Sanskrit & Artificial Intelligence — NASA, Knowledge Representation in Sanskrit and Artificial Intelligence

In English

Taking a simple example first, one would represent “John gave the ball to Mary”

give, agent, John

give, object, ball

give, recipient, Mary

give, time, past.

Note that grammatical information has been transformed into an arc and a node (past tense)

In Shastric Sanskrit

Out of friendship, Maitra cooks rice for Devadatta in a pot over a fire ”

The semantic net is supplied in Figure 5. The triples corresponding to the net are:

cause, event, friendship

friendship, object1, Devadatta

friendship, object2, Maitra

cause, result cook

cook, agent, Maitra

cook, recipient, Devadatta

cook, instrument, fire

cook, object, rice

cook, on-lot, pot.

The sentence in the Indian analysis is rendered as follows:

The Agent is represented by Maitra, the Object by “rice,” the Instrument by “fire,” the Recipient by “Devadatta,” the Point of Departure (or cause) by “friendship” (between Maitra and Devadatta), the Locality by “pot.”

Since all of these syntactic structures represent actions auxiliary to the action “cook,” let us write %ook” uext to each karakn and its sentence representation:

cook, agent, Maitra

cook, object, rice

cook, instrument, fire

cook, recipient, Devadatta

cook, because-of, friendship

friendship, Maitra, Devadatta

cook, locality, pot.

The comparison of the analyses shows that the Sanskrit sentence when rendered into triples matches the analysis arrived at through the application of computer processing. That is surprising, because the form of the Sanskrit sentence is radically different from that of the English. For comparison, the Sanskrit sentence is given here: Maitrah: sauhardyat Devadattaya odanam ghate agnina pacati.

So, in Sanskrit the inference is complete unlike in other language. Rick describes There is the notion that in an event of “moving”, there is, at each instant, a disunion with a preceding point (the source, the initial state), and a union with the following point, toward the destination, the final state. This calculus-like concept fascillitates inference. If it is stated that a process occurred, then a language processor could answer queries about the state of the world at any point during the execution of the process.”

With these proofs, we may wonder why did Indians try to pursue studies into unambiguous coding of natural language into semantic elements even when there was no computers or any hardware. Given the fact the numbers 0 and 1 were invented by Indians, it makes us think that did the ancient Indians knew the concept of artificial intelligence which they used to transfer data or information.

Credits: All examples and illustrations were taken from Rick Briggs’s paper Sanskrit & Artificial Intelligence — NASA,Knowledge Representation in Sanskrit and Artificial Intelligence.


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