About 25 years ago, when Chu was in Brazil working for a
printing company, he experienced vividly how Chinese characters were much more
difficult to manipulate in the printing process, especially after its
computerization. He concluded that if this impediment was not overcome,
characters will become obsolete and Chinese Culture will receive a fatal blow.
that what appeared to be the weak point of the Chinese language-i.e. its
graphic nature, could in fact be a unique strength and resource that no other
language had on the planet.
That’s how Chu started to analyze the shapes of
thousand of characters and produced a classification system that, programmed on
the computer, became the Cang Jie input method, with a typing speed equal to
that of alphabetical languages. Chinese and computers were no longer
In the course of this research, he discovered that most of
the parts of characters that he was using as classification keys,
actually contained the main meaning of
the character. That is to say, the first unit -the "Head"- of the
character could be used as a semantic-key in a classification system,
while the rest of the character (often the phonetic component) would give
indications about the "field of application" of the key component.
appeared to him that about 500 of these “basic key parts” were “meaning
modules” or “genes” representing fundamental
concepts used not only in China but by humans in general in their inter-reaction with their environment. And, as
these “meaning modules” were found in
various combination with other character components to form all Chinese characters,
it appeared to him that ,the Chinese language, properly classified in an order akin
to the Yi-Jing theory, could be used, even better than
alphabetical language, as a base for a computer Natural Language.
Joining this unexpected advantageous feature of the
Chinese language together with the wisdom exhaling from the universal sources of Chinese
culture and philosophy in order to create a benevolent “Understanding
System” is the ultimate goal of Mr. Chu.
Chu describes his theory for such artificial intelligence
program in two books :
1) “Engineering the Basic Elements forming Chinese
The Chinese original version of this book (漢字基因工程)
can be downloaded by clicking
The English translation will soon be completed. In the mean time,
as a working document, the first 4 chapters will soon be downloadable from here.