Towards Universal Semantic Communication
Speaker: Madhu Sudan , MITContact:
Date: February 13 2007
Time: 4:15PM to 5:30PM
Location: 32-G449 (Patil/Kiva)
Host: Ronitt Rubinfeld, MIT
Alexandr Andoni, email@example.comRelevant URL: http://theory.lcs.mit.edu/theory-seminars/calendar.html
Consider the following fantastic scenario: Earth has
just started receiving some signals from outer space.
These signals don't seem like usual cosmic noise.
Potentially an intelligent alien civilization is trying to make
contact. How should Earth respond? How can we
(earthlings) tell if the aliens are receiving our response
and reacting to it? Are they really intelligent, or are we
talking to sunspots? If they are intelligent, will we ever
be able to achieve meaningful interaction in this setting?
The classical theory of communication, typically
ignores the issue of semantics of communication,
and has focussed principally on quantitative measures
in syntactic settings. Increasingly, however, it is
becoming clear that practical challenges to communication
arise due to semantic gaps between senders and receivers.
The fictional problem above, merely, carries this gap
to the extreme.
In this talk, I will describe what complexity theory has
to say about such interactions. Most of the talk will
focus on how some of the nebulous notions, such as
intelligence and understanding, should
be defined in this setting. We'll also show how
interactive proofs, randomness and one-way functions,
can play an enabling role in establishing some meaningful
communication. Among the outcomes of our investigation
are some proposals for mathematical tests of intelligence.
Joint work with Brendan Juba (MIT).
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