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Ohayou, please i wanted to understand the exact meaning of this definition-like sentence:

何か、機械とかに人間っぽいことをさせる、知能を持たせるみたいなまあ広い枠組みのことをAIと言って

And because I found it difficult to really grasp the "のこと" part. Is it like "a thing of wide frame" or "things about a wide frame". Arigatou

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2 Answers 2

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It is literally "a thing about a broad framework like...".

The usage of の is "concerning", but you could treat のこと as a whole meaning "about".


The relevant definition is the following:

12〔…に関する〕on; of; in

熱帯植物の本
a book on tropical plants

児童心理学の権威
an authority on child psychology

化学の先生
a chemistry teacher

魚の研究
a study of fish/research on fish

剣道の達人
a fencing expert/an expert in fencing

歴史の試験
a history examination/an examination in history

小さいころの話をしてください
Please tell me about your childhood.

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  • Oh so is it like describing "こと" giving it the identity of a wide framework ?
    – Z Ea
    Commented Oct 10, 2022 at 15:01
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"何か、機械とかに人間っぽいことをさせる、知能を持たせるみたいなまあ広い枠組みのことをAIと言って"

I think the "のこと" here is referring to/summing up everything that came before it in that sentence as what constitutes/defines this thing called an AI.

I would interpret the entire thing as

"AI is this broad term that has to do with making machines human-like, giving them intelligence and things like that."

But something closer to "verbatim" would be like

"Let's see, something like making machines human-like, giving them intelligence, well, it's a broad field, this thing called AI."

のこと doesn't really change the meaning of the sentence, and in this scenario, it broadly functions like the phrase "this sort of thing" would in English.

I don't think there is really an "exact" translation here, and there often isn't. A single Japanese phrase might even be more open to interpretation even with full context because the language itself is heavily contextual. English is linguistically a lot more precise and detail-driven, and this distinction is what makes translation so hard sometimes, which is why we use the term localization to go beyond translation toward contextualized interpretation in order to generate meaning.

I think a good approach here (and always with Japanese, for me) is to try to grasp the overall meaning first and then zoom in on the parts for the exercise if you need to, but not immediately for meaning.

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  • I thank you all for those explanations . I found the video of the japanese saying this sentence : youtube.com/watch?v=s5_Pk3CjhNA&t=33s
    – Z Ea
    Commented Oct 10, 2022 at 18:52
  • @ZEa yeah he says it like I imagined. He started by saying AI is a broad field. Then he started giving some examples of what it encompasses (granting human-like qualities to machines and so on) and then after the second example, the 「知能を持たせるみたいな」part ("allowing them to have" intelligence), he digresses with 「まぁ」and then reiterates that it's a broad field. The 「のこと」is not very important in understanding his meaning. This「こと」is often translated as "thing" (in a general sense and non-tangible), and this「の」is a possessive marker. He's just summarizing what AI refers to in that 「のこと」 Commented Oct 11, 2022 at 0:39

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