Can you come up with another one?
I don’t remember how often I heard “natural language is vague and ambiguous” during my studies. Just believe me when I’m telling you, it is one of the most often used phrase in computational linguistic lectures – and there were many examples, and I never doubt it.
But – always these buts – when I started working on radiology reports for Balzano Informatik AG, I thought “medical reports should have a clear language” and “my only challenge will be different structures”. Well… No, at this point, I think the structure is my smallest issue on my long list of challenges.
Radiology reports, as any other natural language text, is ambiguous and sometimes vague. Even worse, they are written in German and this language loves the variety and allows, for example, to string words together to create new word. And that is done a lot in the reports – and on top of it, they also use sometime the English words (e.g. “disk” instead of the German word “Bandscheibe”).
Link to full blog post.