UPL: Language in octopodes

Technotranscendence (neptune@mars.superlink.net)
Fri, 3 Dec 1999 16:42:08 -0800

On Friday, December 03, 1999 9:45 AM Glen Finney Delvieron@aol.com wrote:
>> Strictly speaking, that would not be uplifting, though it might be an
>> interesting project in itself.
>> However, I think this would be much harder than just uplifiting octopodes
>> and it's fraught with moral issues, since we already know (or believe:)
>> humans are sentient. The jury is still out on octopodes.:)
> Wouldn't it be uplifting?

I guess you're right. I had in the earlier debate suggested crossbreeding humans and apes.

> For example, let's say I want to develop some form
> of language faculty in Octopodes. I think I would be likely to pattern
> linguistic ability on our own language abilities, rather than develop one
> from scratch based solely on current octopod communication. I would say
> still falls within uplifting, though it does also make the octopod more
> "human-like".

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.

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.

As for me, surely it would be nice to have an uplifted octopus able to speak 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.:)


Daniel Ust