M. Ross Quillian, Priming, Spreading-Activation and the Semantic Web



This provides a brief history of artificial intelligence theories—in particular, the theories of Alan Turing and his predecessors. Early thoughts how language processes in a human mind can be replicated in a language-learning machine will be shown here. The focus of the chapter is the work of M. Ross Quillian, who developed the key concepts discussed in this book, namely priming, spreading activation and the semantic web and how these can facilitate access to the semantic memory. Quillian describes his creation as “a simulation program”—that is a program that can be taught to understand (process) language. Importantly, it was also meant to be a “theory of language”.


Quillian Spreading activation Priming Semantic web Semantic memory 


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© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of English Language and CultureUniversity of Eastern FinlandJoensuuFinland

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