Sensory modalities and the possibility of semi-arbitrary additions

From: Stuart, Ian (
Date: Tue Nov 01 2005 - 12:40:21 MST

Having spent some time in the hospital this weekend waiting for my
daughter to be born, I was finally presented with enough downtime to
read Jeff Hawkins' "On Intelligence", and while I disagree with his
dismissal of singularity and grey goo scenarios at the end, I was struck
by the hitherto unknown to me possibility of sensory substitution.
(Generic Description--> This, coupled
with watching a new baby experience the world for the first time got me
thinking about senses generally and the Codic Modality mentioned in CFAI
Since the human neocortex appears to be non-discriminatory when it comes
to processing data streams, could a human substitute an arbitrary
sensory stream (I.e. a codic stream, or an echolocation stream if you've
ever wondered what it's like to be a bat) in such a way as to have an
intuitive sense of code executing? Would this make for a better
programmer? What data stream would be necessary to achieve this level of
codic understanding?
Separately, would it be possible to use this input stream as, say, a
textual modality for the high speed input of text data? Currently we use
our visual modality for this which, to my mind, is killing flies with
sledgehammers. Since the high resolution of the eyes while looking at a
page or screen of textual data is severely under-utilized, could raw
text data be streamed in on another channel without the addition of so
much extraneous white space? I realize that it would be akin to learning
another language at first, but to my mind, once it was aquired, probably
in conjunction with either visual reading or auditory listening, it
could be sped up beyond what either of the other methods are capable of.

As a side note, it appears that the Wiki has been spammed. Unless of
course Viagra is suddenly an existential risk.


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