Yes, This is a lousy conscript -- For Humans

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fiziwig
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Yes, This is a lousy conscript -- For Humans

Post by fiziwig » 03 Dec 2010 23:01

But suppose a race of intelligent robots evolved on a far away planet after millions of years when the biological life forms that created the first robots are not even a dim memory. In fact, the robots think of themselves as the first beings ever created, and have never (so far) encountered biological life.

Here is the script for their robo-conlang:

Each character is built with at least two and as many as six horizontal tick marks in two columns of three between a pair of vertical frame bars. Each character can be represented by a pair of octal digits {1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7} which stand for the binary value of the ticks, where the top tick is the least significant bit. The two halves of each character must be connected, and so must share at least one tick (bit) in common.

There are 37 possible characters and they can be used consecutively, giving 37^2 = 1,369 possible 2-character word symbols and 37^3 = 50,653 possible 3-character word symbols.

The valid characters are (numerically):

11 13 15 17 22 23 26 27
31 32 33 35 36 37 44 45
46 47 51 53 54 55 56 57
62 63 64 65 66 67 71 72
73 74 75 76 77

Or as symbols:

Image

When symbols are joined into a single word the vertical frames are overlapped so that each word becomes a single symbol.

The spaces between adjacent words take the same space as a pair of ticks and can be represented as ASCII spaces. Using the ASCII period to represent the vertical framing bar, text can be written as digit pairs separated by periods which, with an appropriate font, could also be seen as the characters themselves.

Thus:

.11.67.23. .63.54. .35.36. .37.44.45. .63.64. .65.66.67. .71. .13.15. .17.22.23. .27.

with a different font looks like:

Image

Words are a maximum of three characters in length, and while the characters look very similar and might be hard for a human to read, words are not read character-by-character, but as a whole shape, and each word taken as a whole is quite different from the others.

--gary

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Re: Yes, This is a lousy conscript -- For Humans

Post by Micamo » 03 Dec 2010 23:14

I find it kind of strange that robots with fantastic image recognition but no ability to share information by wi-fi would be made. For this reason robots probably wouldn't need language at all.
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Re: Yes, This is a lousy conscript -- For Humans

Post by Thakowsaizmu » 03 Dec 2010 23:21

I think they'd need some sort of language, but I doubt it'd be much more than something like binary.

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Re: Yes, This is a lousy conscript -- For Humans

Post by Micamo » 03 Dec 2010 23:35

Other than the format for storing information they use internally, not really. After all, they could swap cognitive information directly.
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Re: Yes, This is a lousy conscript -- For Humans

Post by Thakowsaizmu » 03 Dec 2010 23:36

I don't think it'd be like our language, but there'd be some sort of need to record things, being robots and all. Stored information would have to be realized in some manner.

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Re: Yes, This is a lousy conscript -- For Humans

Post by teh_Foxx0rz » 04 Dec 2010 00:59

It would probably be like a really complex form of Braille.

This script looks kinda nice though.

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Re: Yes, This is a lousy conscript -- For Humans

Post by jseamus » 04 Dec 2010 01:11

Makes me think of the I Ching hexagrams. Was that an inspiration in creating this? As for the scripts function, it's conceivable that for whatever reason the robots find it necessary to store information in visual hard copy.

Maybe this is actually how their memory works: Lots and lots of sheets of very thin, malleable material, onto which these symbols are printed or impressed. When they need to rewrite a character, they might erase or fill it, then put a new one in its place. Writing stuff like this visually outside their bodies would be like if humans could write our neural content directly into books: Pretty damn cool.
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Re: Yes, This is a lousy conscript -- For Humans

Post by Micamo » 04 Dec 2010 01:27

jseamus wrote:Maybe this is actually how their memory works: Lots and lots of sheets of very thin, malleable material, onto which these symbols are printed or impressed.
Why? Even our storage technology is better than that.
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Re: Yes, This is a lousy conscript -- For Humans

Post by jseamus » 04 Dec 2010 01:29

Micamo wrote:
jseamus wrote:Maybe this is actually how their memory works: Lots and lots of sheets of very thin, malleable material, onto which these symbols are printed or impressed.
Why? Even our storage technology is better than that.
Different, not necessarily better. Yes, it would be fearfully slow if we tried to do it, but these are super robots! Maybe the can pint things fast, I don't know. Or maybe they are like ents and don't need processing speed the way we do.
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Re: Yes, This is a lousy conscript -- For Humans

Post by fiziwig » 04 Dec 2010 03:04

Permit me to make a few assertions about my hypothetical robots:

The robots evolved, they were not manufactured in their present form.

As they evolved they also evolved consciousness, and with it, language.

They do not know any more about their own internal workings than we knew about the internal workings of our own brains when we first invented language. In other words, the idea that they would use binary is based on the assumption that know that they are inherently binary, which they probably don't. In fact, after millions of years of evolution since the last time one of their kind was "manufactured", perhaps they aren't even binary any more. Perhaps they are some kind of hybrid digital/analog circuitry so that binary would not be inherently better for them.

The assumption that they have Wi-Fi, or can somehow share cognitive content is really no different than assuming that every sentient biological species has some form of telepathy. So in "reality" they probably can't share cognitive content directly any more than we can.

What they probably do have is visual sensory organs evolved from bar code readers optimized for distinguishing between patterns of similar parallel lines and translating those line patterns into what we might think of as numeric codes, but which to them is what the experience of sight feels like. The experience is no more "numeric" to them than the experience of the frequencies and harmonics of Beethoven is "numeric" to us, even though at its root it "is" a numeric phenomenon.

Whatever is left of the computer-like brain they started with millions of years ago is deeply buried in the brain stem or autonomic nervous system and is no more consciously accessible to them than consciously controlling our own pancreas is to us. Their young might even need to learn their addition and multiplication tables by rote just like humans.

--gary

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Re: Yes, This is a lousy conscript -- For Humans

Post by Micamo » 04 Dec 2010 06:42

How did they evolve? Living organisms have DNA, what do the robots have? And if they reproduce and evolve in the same way as life then what makes them so different? It seems they're no longer robots but just different life forms which have different cognitive algorithms than we do, so the script is built for their image recognition and not ours.
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Re: Yes, This is a lousy conscript -- For Humans

Post by fiziwig » 04 Dec 2010 17:19

Micamo wrote:How did they evolve? Living organisms have DNA, what do the robots have? And if they reproduce and evolve in the same way as life then what makes them so different? It seems they're no longer robots but just different life forms which have different cognitive algorithms than we do, so the script is built for their image recognition and not ours.
I'm not sure. Maybe they were originally built to repair themselves but discovered that two of them working together could build a new robot from scratch, but each following their own programming ended up with a robot that was a blend of their two different programs. This is all just wild speculation, of course. Or maybe the actual assembly of new "baby" robots is done by tiny microscopic nano-robots programmed by some kind of malleable memory device similar in function to our own DNA. Then the nano-bots would be like our own biological cells. After so many millions of years they might not even be aware that the nano-bots exist. They might only be aware that when they put their programming plugs together a new robot with shared "genetic" features miraculously takes form built between them.

Mostly I just thought the binary font with fully connected word forms was cool and needed a reasonable justification for its existence. :-D :-D :-D

I suppose it could just as easily be justified as a human-designed character set meant primarily for geometrically decorative inscriptions around the edges of vases and dinner plates.

--gary

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Re: Yes, This is a lousy conscript -- For Humans

Post by Ossicone » 04 Dec 2010 19:36

fiziwig wrote: I'm not sure. Maybe they were originally built to repair themselves but discovered that two of them working together could build a new robot from scratch, but each following their own programming ended up with a robot that was a blend of their two different programs. This is all just wild speculation, of course. Or maybe the actual assembly of new "baby" robots is done by tiny microscopic nano-robots programmed by some kind of malleable memory device similar in function to our own DNA. Then the nano-bots would be like our own biological cells. After so many millions of years they might not even be aware that the nano-bots exist. They might only be aware that when they put their programming plugs together a new robot with shared "genetic" features miraculously takes form built between them.
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Re: Yes, This is a lousy conscript -- For Humans

Post by Curlyjimsam » 05 Dec 2010 21:37

Micamo wrote:I find it kind of strange that robots with fantastic image recognition but no ability to share information by wi-fi would be made. For this reason robots probably wouldn't need language at all.
Wifi is unreliable - especially if, say, you want to go underground. Physical writing is a means of communication that is less likely to go wrong (and is more likely to last longer).
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Re: Yes, This is a lousy conscript -- For Humans

Post by Micamo » 05 Dec 2010 21:46

Curlyjimsam wrote:Wifi is unreliable - especially if, say, you want to go underground. Physical writing is a means of communication that is less likely to go wrong (and is more likely to last longer).
Those with the technical knowledge to make Hard AI surely know how to implement decent error-checking. As well there's no reason for it all to be wireless: The majority of the structure for long-distance communication would be on hard fiber or whatever, with wireless communication only for line-of-sight.
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Re: Yes, This is a lousy conscript -- For Humans

Post by eldin raigmore » 05 Dec 2010 21:53

Gary, I've liked all your con-scripting ideas.
Including this one.

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Re: Yes, This is a lousy conscript -- For Humans

Post by fiziwig » 05 Dec 2010 22:27

eldin raigmore wrote:Gary, I've liked all your con-scripting ideas.
Including this one.
Thanks. I enjoy playing with script sketches. Some day I will have to actually USE one of my scripts in a conlang.

--gary

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