Human Languages and Their Cognition(s)

Session Date: 
Mar 3, 2023
Speakers: 
The emergence of language is routinely regarded as a major (or even the main) evolutionary transition in our species’ history. Much less attention and awe has been dispensed to the fact that humans evolved the capacity to successfully create, learn, and use a myriad of different languages which, while similar in some aspects, are radically different in many others. In this presentation I will argue that these differences have observable consequences for non-linguistic aspects of cognition and behavior. Finally, I will discuss how these effects play out in the design, testing, and deployment of AI, as the linguistic peculiarities of behemoth languages like English are extrapolated to the world’s languages.