The Role of Converging Technologies NBIC and Biological Language Modeling

The strength of the analogy between biology and language lies in its ability to bridge across scales — atomic, nanostructural, microstructural, and macroscopic — enabling profit from the convergence of other disciplines (Figure F.7). Ideally, we would like to correlate complex biological systems, including their most complex abilities — the cognitive abilities of the brain, such as memory — with the individual atoms that create them. Rapid advances currently occur at all scales because of the convergence of technologies, allowing us to collect more data on natural systems than we were ever able to collect before. The data can be analyzed using information technology at all levels of the hierarchy in scale. Furthermore, mapping can involve any levels of the hierarchy, e.g., atomic ^ macroscopic or nanostructural ^ microstructural. The language analogy is useful here because of the hierarchical organization of language itself, as manifested by words, phrases, sentences, and paragraphs.

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