Currently, I am reading Sapiens, a book that takes the reader on a journey exploring man’s evolution. After reading a section of the book I was gently reminded of an old lesson that many of us learn in grade school. And, that is the first language, Cuneiform, was developed by Sumerian accountants. Written language developed not as a way to record dramatic ballads or bedtime stories, but instead to develop a counting system that allowed civilizations to keep track of goods and services. Which in turn, allowed commerce between cultures to blossom. In the 5,400 years since accounts first ushered in the written word thousands of words have been chipped on tablets, bound in books, and virtually placed on the internet.
I find it interesting that math (or the accounting of things) lead to the development of written language. Today, as we begin the great AI revolution, it seems that math will once again advance language – that is, robot language. It will be curious to see the influence this new language has on our world.