Re: UPL: Language in octopodes
Fri, 3 Dec 1999 19:18:14 EST

In a message dated 99-12-03 16:39:49 EST, you write:

<< I'm talking about just plain old uplifting. It's another matter whether language ability is necessary for intelligence or sentience. I imagine for the latter it might be though for the former I'm not sure.>>

Language ability may or may not be necessary, but it sure would make it easier to judge how successful the uplift was.

<<Octopodes already do have pretty elaborate means of communicating which
are visually based. The form of communication they have, however, seems to be one of communicating inner (emotional?) states -- not symbolic like human speech, writing, and art.>>

So we tweak it to expand to symbolic usage. Sorta like using sign language.

<<As for me, surely it would be nice to have an uplifted octopus able to
in English, but I think that sort of project would take too long. I think before we got to that point in the project, we'd had some form of sentience, then it would be up to individual members the uplifted species to decide whether they wished to have that ability. (I still assume before uplift choice does not exist.:)>>

I thought it might be nice to do it all at about the same time (of course, I'm thinking more along the lines of genetic engineering than breeding). And before a sentient uplifted species could decide whether they wished that ability, they would first need some means of communication with us. It doesn't have to be spoken English, but I suspect we'll design for a communications system with many commonalities to our own.

Glen Finney