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In ten years or less, virtually every device in our environment will have a computer in it. In order for people to communicate flexibly with the devices in natural language and for the devices themselves to communicate with each other at a very high, semantic level, a common conceptual framework that mediates between language and the devices, and among the devices is necessary.

Artifact Theory is the effort to constuct such a framework. It consists of the development of commonsense theories of, among other things, scalar notions, space and time, causality, the structure of events and processes, force, and the properties of materials. The aim in all of the theory construction is to make them reflective of the semantic structure of language and adequate for high-level device description. We believe it is possible to achieve both these goals because devices are made by people and reflect their conceptions of how to realize goals in physical and computational processes. An essential part of the development is to connect the theories at every point along the way with actual devices, such as a smart fridge or a smart car.

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