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The talented parrot Arielle

Subject: The talented parrot Arielle
From: "Dan Dugan" dandugan_1999
Date: Fri Nov 30, 2007 4:25 pm ((PST))
>Michael Dalton:
>>  The bird's site has been posted here before, the present
>  >NOT-up-to-date site is www.ParrotSpeech. com There are currently
>  >seven speech clips that show that people are not very good at
>>discerning their own language when spoken by another creature (other
>>than cliches).

Dan Dugan:
>Or how tempting it is to make up what you think she's saying!

Michael Dalton
>   I sent a rebuttal to Dan Dugan=92s snipe at my
>work yesterday, but it appears to have been
>deleted because of the length. I should hope
>that he has thoroughly listened to the samples
>of my birds speech on her web site. Assuming
>that he listened, I am a little confused why he
>would not have contacted me directly to discuss
>the matter. I had high hopes that this group had
>above average listening skills to permit an
>appreciation for the bird=92s achievement.

I accept your argument that trained listening is
necessary to fully appreciate your bird's
utterances. The assertion that the bird has
cognitive speech is much more important than the
clarity of the speech.

>   Beyond that, it is really discouraging to have my work attacked

Skepticism isn't an attack. It's the stuff of
science. Obviously you have a great animal, and I
hope that your book does well. But you say you're
doing "research." I'd like to tweak you a bit
into a more scientific attitude.

Collecting instances that support your
hypothesis, no matter how many you collect, isn't
science, at least not since the mid-twentieth
century. The philosopher Karl Popper crafted a
definition to make a demarcation between rigorous
science and wishful thinking.

In order to do real science, you must seriously
attempt to kill your hypothesis. You must devise
a critical test, an experiment or experiments
that attack the credibility of your hypothesis as
strongly as possible.

In this case we're talking about something like a
Turing Test--an attempt to determine whether the
entity on the other side of a communication link
is a sentient being or a clever imitation.
Something that's reproducible by others.

What do you think about that?

-Dan Dugan

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