As a theoretical linguist specialising in the semantics and pragmatics of natural language, I spent most of my university career investigating how people fabricate, interpret and adapt to, their environments, in particular how they decide what is relevant and how their use of tools impacts on that process. For many years I taught computer science undergraduates to design human-computer interfaces that were easy to use.

My own research passion has always been placed elsewhere. If indeed tools, especially digital ones, could augment humans and their intelligence in a profound way, and I believe they will and do, brain/mind-technology-world interfaces ought to be humane. A search for design methodologies to construct such interfaces became internationally known as Cognitive Technology (CT). In that context the quintessential question has always been: Which human characteristics ought to be preserved at all cost?


University education

1987  Postgraduate Diploma in Artificial Intelligence and Knowledge-Based Systems from the Knowledge-Based Systems Centre at the Polytechnic of the South Bank, London
1985 PhD in General Linguistics from University College London
1976 MPhil in English and Education from the Institute of Education of the University of London
1972 MA in English Philology from the University of Warsaw, Poland

  Full-Time Employment History

1990- 2002 Associate Professor in Computer Science, City University Hong Kong
1987- 1990 Postdoctoral Research Fellow, CMS, Oxford-Brookes University


University affiliations

2002- 2004 Affiliated Visitor, Department of Social and Political Sciences, University of Cambridge


Significant contributions

(In collaboration with Roger Lindsay, Jonathon Marsh and Jacob Mey)

Extended Theory of Relevance

Cognitive Technology (CT) as a scholarly discipline

Seminal, international, CT conferences

Special journal-issue on CT

International Journal of Cognition and Technology (subsequently a part of the Pragmatics and Cognition journal)


Publications most reflective of my interests and research

Gorayska, Barbara, 1998. Cognitive Technology. In: Jacob L. Mey, ed., Concise Encyclopedia of Pragmatics, 132-134. Oxford: Elsevier Science Ltd. (Extended version, 2nd edition 2009, 78-79)

Gorayska, Barbara and Jacob L. Mey, 1996. Of Minds and Men, an Introduction. In: Barbara Gorayska and Jacob L. Mey, eds, Cognitive Technology: In Search of a Humane Interface, 1-27. Amsterdam: North Holland.

Gorayska, Barbara and Jonathon P. Marsh, 1996. Epistemic Technology and Relevance Analysis: Rethinking Cognitive Technology. In: Barbara Gorayska and Jacob L. Mey, eds. Cognitive Technology: In Search of a Humane Interface, 27-41. Amsterdam: North Holland.

Gorayska, Barbara, Jonathon P. Marsh and Jacob L. Mey, 2001. Cognitive Technology: Tool or Instrument? In: Meurig Beynon, Christopher L. Nehaniv and Kerstin Dautenhahn, eds, Cognitive Technology: Instruments of Mind, Proceedings of the 4th International Conference, CT 2001, 1-17. Berlin: Springer-Verlag.

Lindsay, Roger and Barbara Gorayska, 2004. Relevance, Goal Management and Cognitive Technology. In: Barbara Gorayska and Jacob L. Mey, eds, Cognition and Technology, 63-109. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.