A bit more on speech

June 26, 2010 in Data,Technology

As if responding to my thoughts on communicating with machines, Isaac Asimov's classic novel Second Foundation provides the following:

Speech, originally, was the device whereby Man learned, imperfectly, to transmit the thoughts and emotions of his mind. By setting up arbitrary sounds and combinations of sounds to represent certain mental nuances, he developed a method of communication -- but one which in its clumsiness and thick-thumbed inadequacy degenerated all the delicacy of the mind into gross and guttural signaling.

[...]

Grimly, Man had instinctively sought to circumvent the prison bars of ordinary speech. Semantics, symbolic logic, psychoanalysis -- they had all been devices whereby speech could either be refined or bypassed.

(I'm taking this half-seriously.)

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