What language will Fledgeling speak?
Not precisely your language, unfortunately. On the other hand, no one speaks anyone else’s language precisely. From an early age we both conform to others linguistic oddities and invent them ourselves. Thus arise “dialects” and “slang” and a host of other linguistic structures which continue to concern both young and old (though, usually, in different capacities)
So, Fledgeling will have a language as well. It will likely be a written language first (for understandable text is easier for a computer than understandable speech). And, at first, it will likely be based heavily on English (since that is a very common language at the time of this writing, more than a billion people speak it by most accounts).
But, to save on effort, complexity, time, and boredom, I expect Fledgeling’s language will be greatly simplified. Perhaps a few of the exceptions and oddities will survive the transformation, but that is not the point. The point is to make it barely (and only just barely) fully understandable.
So, just for fun, here’s an example of the kind of “English language” I foresee “Fledgeling” will “speak”. Flenglish, if you will…
Do you want describeing Fledgeling’s language?
(Feeling Sad) Not close your language. No languages close to different languages. When young we use other languages. We makeing new languages. “Dialect” is haveing different languages. “Slang” is makeing new languages. Many words describeing languages. Young and old (but they ideaing not samely) speak ideas about words.
Thus, Fledgeling holding language. It texty (talking text is easyer for computers than talking voice). First, it will be Englishy (since English language is common now. All say “More than one billion Englishy people”).
Language of Fledgeling will be simple because less things: work, complexy, time, boredy. Maybe language of Fledgeling not very Englishy. But it small (but good) talk.
There you go! That wasn’t so bad was it? Of course Fledgeling’s language will probably not be stored as plain text in this way, but instead as a structure of ideas, which it will (hopefully) be capable of parsing into (barely) comprehensible text as per the above. However, since this idea structure exists apart from the text, it can likely just as easily be parsed into other forms, such as a visual concept web, or an animation, or a series of pictograms, or even something as abstract as a song, or a slight distortion of the sight.
Another thing that Fledgeling will be able to do with its language is easily summarize or expand on a topic. Instead of providing a fixed block of text, Fledgeling could sum up this whole article with “Fledgeling’s native language will dynamically translate ideas into text and other forms of communication.” Or, it could expound at great length on each point of this article, providing examples, diagrams, and offering even further details on request. In this respect, the language of Fledgeling may resemble Wikipedia… written in pidgin English by children.
Of course, by the time any of this is well developed, I expect that translations into other languages will be underway. We have no intention of keeping Fledgeling an English Speaking Only piece of software. However, unlike most software, such translation will require more than a simple re-mapping of terms. The entire structure of ideas will likely need to be re-arranged to reflect (or at least mimic) the corporate mindset of the language to which Fledgeling is adapted. Not being a philologist, I am not aware of the magnitude of the effort required to translate an exhaustive idea-matrix from one language to another, but I suspect it is more than trivial.
In any case, it will probably take individuals some time to become comfortable “speaking” the language of Fledgeling, just as any interface takes time to adjust to. We hope to make that process as easy as possible, while still maintaining efficient transparency for the inevitable developing core of SI dialogue experts. For the experts are always expanding their jargon (the adult form of a slang dialect), and Fledgeling will likely be no exception.
It would be nice if it spoke pictures!