Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Using my Computer

This seems like a good place to start; after all, your average primate doesn’t usually carry a laptop!

Some years ago, primatologists discovered that gorillas communicate using a complex vocabulary of both sounds and gestures ... whereas captive gorillas had already noticed that about humans some decades earlier!

Since then, several primates, (gorillas, chimps and orang-utans mostly), have been taught ASL (American Sign Language), some amassing a vocabulary of several hundred words. However, I learnt to communicate by pointing to symbols on a pictogram board. As my vocabulary grew, the pictograms were stored in a specially adapted gorilla-proof computer, divided into various menus, all accessible via a huge touch-sensitive screen.

A clever human then designed a computer program capable of converting any pictograms I choose into audible words. Since then, technology has advanced so much that my primitive messages can now be converted into typed words, (automatically adjusting grammar and syntax), virtually allowing me to type like anyone else.

If you leave a comment, my PC is also programmed to convert on-screen text into the picture symbols I can easily read ... so please be sure to say HELLO!

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