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I would like to know your opinion about the suitability of Perl for AI tasks. Iīm currently writing a bigger NLP application in Perl and came to a short discussion with tilly in the chatterbox where he/she stated, that Perl is unsuited for AI.

Now tilly knows Perl most probably much better than me, but perhaps I know AI much better than tilly and I have a pretty different opinion about the issue.

Sure: Perl hasnīt made much ado in the AI world. At least not as much as Common Lisp or Scheme have. But on the other side: havenīt the results AI has produced so far been worth a laugh?

I will try not to make this node an advocacy for Perls AI fitness. Lets just state, that there are people thinking perl is good for solving AI problems and there are people thinking perl is not suited.

I have stumbled across some links that connect perl to AI in one form or another and I would like to present them here. None of those shows significant usage of perl, that couldnīt be done with almost any othe programming language also. But in my opinion that could be because of the lacking perl KnowHow amongst AI scientists in this special CS discipline.

If you search for NLP (Natural Language Processing) on Perlmonks, youīll find exactly one node asking for some references. There are some references, many of them outdated, others working but very rough, like David MacKays AI perl tidbits

The Perl @ Cannon Research Centre link holds some interesting code for crawler and metatext applications, but nothing that couldnīt be found on CPAN also.

If you search directly for AI, you find the homenode of the user AI who never logged in. All in all it seems, like Perl hasnīt made it into the AI world. Until you search Google - that is: Then youīll find General Problem Solver, Chatterbots,... and you also find there some emulations of Lisp-Functionality in Perl.

Unfortunatedly, the Perl for artificial Intelligence Mailinglist is not working. I will try to find out if it died or just moved.

One reason why I would like to talk about this issue here is, that I read the Slashdot discussion about Lisp or Perl and thereīs an interesting article there, titled: "couldn't have picked a worse forum to ask in"

But perhaps all this talk about which language suits better is complete nonsense and one should program in that language he feels most comfortable with. Perhaps - as Iīve even read somewhere at perlmonks - the language itself is not so important as the libraries it comes with. And most probably the used language for a given task is not half as important as the skills of the person using it.

Give me your input.


In reply to How good is Perl for AI? by PetaMem

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