Automatically Paraphrasing Text

By Deane Barker on December 9, 2003

Software Paraphrases Sentences: Microsoft tried something similar to this with their AutoSummarize feature in Word.

Cornell University researchers have tapped a pair of unlike sources—on-line journalism and computational biology — to make it possible to automatically paraphrase whole sentences. The researchers used gene comparison techniques to identify word patterns from different news sources describing the same event.

AutoSummarize, incidentally, has been a legendary failure. There are some funny examples out there of how badly it worked.



  1. There are certain elements that should be present in any work of literature, be it fantasy, mystery, romance, or any other genre. I think many inexperienced fantasy writers forget that the story isn’t about magic or the fantastic, the story is about the people.

  2. Many college administrators were drawn to online programs with the promise of reducing costs by increasing the number of students in a class. Without walls, they reasoned, the “classroom” could be as large as they wanted. Very soon, colleges learned that class size might actually be smaller online. Since every student must interact with the instructor separately online (as opposed to learning what they need by watching the instructor interact with others), online classes often need more limited enrollments. Most studies have concluded that online classes work best with about 20-25 students.

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