This is an interesting discussion: Norvig vs. Chomsky and the Fight for the Future of AI.
This one is relevant to the link above and interesting as well: Thinking In Network Terms.
I see huge advances coming in politics, economics, environment, and so on from the Big Data or network approach, so it makes sense to me that this sort of approach will also yield significant results in AI and language studies.
For politics, why not get rid of elections and replace them with tests? Anyone who can score well on a reasonably hard test will automatically become a member of the Senate or House of Representatives. Set the test curve so both branches together have around 30-50 million members.
There are many ways issues could be funneled through an organization like this. I’d be surprised if it did not function much better than the Congress we have now.
A Big Data or network approach to getting good information and finding the important nodes within it would replace the “elegant” ways we do things now, which are largely based on individual morality, weak rules, gut feelings, and vanity.