Unambiguous Language WAS: MEME: A.I.: Artificial Intelligence

From: Durant Schoon (durant@ilm.com)
Date: Mon Jun 18 2001 - 10:27:48 MDT

> From: "Patrick McCuller" <patrick@kia.net>
> To make this an SL4 topic, we could talk about the possibility of a language
> that cannot be misinterpreted. Is such a language possible? Computer languages
> are a good candidate, but most fail to live up to it. Ada is perhaps a good
> start. But such artificial languages are targeted, and I think are unsuited
> for generalized, arbitrary communication of ideas.
> Comments?

I think (modified) English would be sufficient for unambiguous communication.
Instead of saying "commoner", though, I'd have to say "commoner(MWOCD,ed7,2)"
which could be short for Merriam-Webster's Online Collegiate Dictionary,
seventh edition (made that up), definition 2, which we would all have to
memorize as meaning: "a student (as at Oxford) who pays for his own board".

If we had larger memories to keep track of more precise definitions, this
might work. However, jokes might not seem as funny.

Suppose Theodore is an Oxford student and he asks: "What runs through the
forest and puts everyone to sleep?", Bill, his classmate, replies "I don't
know, Theodore, what does run through the forest and put everyone to
sleep?". Thodore replies "A Wild Boar(MWOCD,ed7,1) cf.Bore(MWOCD,ed3,2),
of course!". See, it's just not as funny and it would leave Bill bored.

Durant Schoon

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