Do you think it’s possible for a machine to turn your thoughts into words?
Chomsky: It would first of all have to have a way of determining where our thoughts are. Nobody knows how to do that. You and I, for example, when we introspect into what we’re now doing, producing complex sentences, we can’t access the thinking that’s lying behind it. There’s no known technology that can do it, either.
What you can do, maybe, is find ways to determine whether an organization of motor activity in the brain could, say, move a level or something. That’s conceivable. Anything like finding out what our thoughts are is just beyond science fiction.
What if instead of trying to turn your thoughts into some representation, this technology just connected your mind to someone else’s mind?
Chomsky: We have something like that. It’s called language. Language enables you to express your thoughts in a form which I can understand. That’s an astonishing property unique to humans, and trying to figure out where it came from is a deep problem of science.