Using Common Sense to Recognize Cultural Differences

Júnia Coutinho Anacleto SilvaHenry LiebermanAparecido Augusto de CarvalhoVânia Almeida NérisMuriel GodoiMarie TsutsumiJosé H. EspinosaAmérico Talarico NetoSilvia Zem-Mascarenhas

This work focuses on evaluating whether cultural differences can be recognized in knowledge bases that store common sense. We are studying this issue using knowledge bases in different languages that contain thousands of sentences describing people and everyday activities, collected from volunteer Web contributors, in three different cultures: Brazil, Mexico and the USA. We describe our experiences with these knowledge bases, and software which automatically searches for cultural differences amongst the three cultures taking into account the eating habits of those cultures, alerting the user to potential differences. Though preliminary, we hope that our work will contribute to software that takes better account of such differences, and fosters inter-cultural collaboration.

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