RE: Pattern recognition and qualia

From: Mike Williams (
Date: Mon Oct 06 2003 - 23:23:29 MDT

Communication is easier when there is a common core of experience and
the conversation is understood to be within that common framework.
Relating this to the question of whether an AI must have qualia to
understand human pain, I think if the AI were to have qualia, it would
provide that common core of experience that would allow it to understand
humans better.

-----Original Message-----
From: [] On Behalf Of Ben
Sent: Monday, October 06, 2003 7:07 PM
Subject: RE: Pattern recognition

Ambiguity exists in natural language because natural language involves
*lossy* compression of thoughts and percepts. Lossy compression is
necessary because to communicate our thoughts and percepts in detail
would take waaaaay too much time and effort, given practical realities.

Precise, unambiguous language exists: it's called formal logic.
Formulating thoughts and percepts in such terms may be valuable, but is
extremely difficult and time-consuming. The Mizar project
( shows that formulating even *mathematics* in purely
unambiguous terms is surprisingly difficult (though quite possible).

The ambiguities of natural language are haphazard in their
particularities, but in overall design they are well-tuned to provide
lossy compression within error bounds found useful in everyday human

-- Ben G

-----Original Message-----
From: []On Behalf Of Perry E.
Sent: Monday, October 06, 2003 9:26 PM
Subject: Re: Pattern recognition

Robin Lee Powell <> writes:
> On Mon, Oct 06, 2003 at 07:46:07PM -0400, wrote:
> >
> Wrong;
> > A language that conveyed all information unambiguously, say Ferrer i

> > Cancho and Sol?, would have a separate word for every thing, concept

> > or action it referred to. Such a language would be formidably
> > complicated for the speaker: the green of grass, for example, would
> > be represented by a totally different word to the green of sea, an
> > emerald or an oak leaf.
> That is so mind-numbingly asinine I feel no need to read the rest.

Is it? There are human languages which have different color distinctions
in them than English does. It is also unclear where certain distinctions
should be drawn. What is a book vs. a magazine, at the edge? (If you
subscribe to "Granta", this is a quarterly question in one's mind.)

Anyway, I strongly doubt it is possible to produce a language without


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