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Showing posts from March, 2017

Universal Translators or Visual Synthetic Telepathy?

How do you communicate in a multilingual galaxy?




quick means of universal communication would be convenient if galactic interspecies encounters were common and frequent - that is to say if "warp-capable" alien civilizations (or those possessing comparable technologies) exist in our galaxy. On the other hand, if only slower-than-light travel is possible, alien encounters would be rare and memorable and likely gradual. For now, let's assume the first scenario is true.


In Star Trek, the universal translator can decode a language by simply listening to a fragment of alien speech. This would imply that all languages, all forms of verbal communication, are calculable and share a universal code or pattern. Yet, if this assumption doesn't hold true, synthetic visual telepathy might come in handy. On Earth "Complex, image-forming eyes evolved independently some 50 to 100 times." (Land, M.F. and Nilsson, D.-E., Animal Eyes, Oxford University Press, Oxford (2002)). If…