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People seem to believe that the ability to talk developed in order to improve communication beyond mere gestures and grunts. But perhaps the ability to talk developed in order to allow people to lie more effectively. Once you can talk, you can deny what seemed transparent about you to other people. That must be a great evolutionary advantage. [But which came first, the liar or the listener?]

I’m sceptical of machines really understanding human language. Language is used just as much to miscommunicate, to mislead, to project a false image of yourself, as it is to convey information. Every time you talk you’re thinking about how what you say will be received.

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