What is languageness? Is there something unique to natural language that distinguishes itself in the 'signal universe'? Can unsupervised computational analysis of a signal's surface structure, detect the lingua ex machina signatures of cognitive, orthotactic and ontological constraints in which a natural language operates? The problem goal is therefore to separate language from non-language without dialogue, and learn something about the structure of language in the passing. The language may not be human (animals, aliens, computers...), the perceptual space can be unknown, and we cannot assume human language structure but must begin somewhere. We need to approach the language signal from a naive viewpoint, in effect, increasing our ignorance and assuming as little as possible.
Other SETI research initiatives focus on
- detecting a signal signature that would indicate an ET technology.;
- the impact of such a signal on humanity;
- protocols for information discemination and replying to contact.
This research focuses on developing methods that will detect if a signal has intelligent-like structure, categorise the type of structure detected and then decipher its content.
This is hard science that has the potential to impact significantly on the areas of language understanding and machine translation for both terrestrial and extra-terrestrial communication.
Also known by the acronym CETI
CETI (Communication with Extraterrestrial Intelligence) is a branch of SETI research that focuses on composing and deciphering messages that could theoretically be understood by another technological civilization.
CETI research has focused on four broad areas: mathematical languages, pictorial systems such as the Arecibo message, algorithmic communication systems (ACETI) and computational approaches to detecting and deiphering 'natural' language communication.