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Poll: Does language (as a strategy for getting stuff done) imply self-awareness?
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2 20.00%
I think so
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I doubt it
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1 10.00%
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On creating the kind of AI that humans imagine
I think I have figured out something. Thank you stevebowers for the words that sort of knocked the idea loose in my brain.

Language is a strategy, but it's more than just a strategy. As you said, it's an important part of the 'shape' of human consciousness.

I've thought a lot about the shape of human consciousness, and what I finally realized, after you knocked the idea loose, is that language isn't just something that a pre-existing symbolic intelligence invented. It's something that is such a powerful added value for our survival strategy (social animal with individually adaptive specialization) that it gives an intelligence a powerful reason to BE a symbolic intelligence.

Apes can handle protolanguage. They're not very adept with symbols but they can use symbols. We humans THINK symbolically. There's a difference. The greater the degree to which we think symbolically the better we are at communication using symbols. The better we are at communication using symbols, the more 'traction' we get in our survival strategy. And symbolic consciousness has, as we all know now, lots and lots of transfer uses. It's what got us logic and math, for starters. But language is not just something we eventually reached after we took off. It is the launch ramp that provides the powerful survival advantage that drives non-symbolic animal intelligence to become human-style symbol-using intelligence.

Individually adaptive specialization means learning to do any of a huge variety of different things. So huge a variety that symbols to communicate what we're capable of doing and what we need others to do to cooperate with us become a huge advantage.

TLDR; people didn't invent language. Language invented people.

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RE: On creating the kind of AI that humans imagine - by Bear - 01-25-2017, 04:22 PM

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