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Thread: Stephan Wolfram?

  1. #1


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    Default Stephan Wolfram?

    Over rated egomaniac or genius?

    Just worked my way through Lex Fridman's 3 hour podcast with him. Interesting bloke who I didnt know much about previously. I never thought that his notions of cellular automata or self organization of complex structures from simple rules, were that original (See Boltzman, Conway's Game of Life or Mandelbrot's & Lorentz's work for example).

    Quite liked his idea about the most unstructured structure being the basis for existence :D

    But I was more interested in his take on compuational contracts & how this idea could potentially distrupt central legislatory bodies. Anyone know more about this?

    Also his ideas about AI ethics, specifically about the Wolfram Alpha project & how do you make decisions about who can be given access to what information.


    Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ez773teNFYA
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  2. #2
    If I die before I wake.. Cullion's Avatar
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    I have no doubt he's extremely intelligent (and effectual, not just a pontificator, he's built a lot of useful stuff).

    I haven't read his 'new kind of science' where he suggested that cellular automata could be used to model fundamental universal laws in some way, I should read it.

    I suspect that cellular automata produce things that 'sort of look like' galaxies or living things by coincidence rather than any deep link, and I doubt he has any evidence of something more profound than that.

    Wolfram Alpha is kind of cool but I'm not sure how useful it really is. Just seems to fill in the steps between googling the data and reading the wiki page on how to do the calculation you want most of the time. Maybe I've missed something awesome ?
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  3. #3


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    He's touting it as the link between computational language & natural language as far as I can see.

    I've never had much time for Mathematica either just seems like an expensive IDE for something you can do for free anyway, a bit like an annoying version of Matlab.

    I've implimented a few 3D cellular automata models looking at growth propagation of biological tissues. They looked pretty but werent that useful in the end even though there still feels something tantalizingly close to a solution using them.


    Anyway I'm now onto Joscha Bach now. This fuckers great if you get the time, even manages to throw some Thomas Aquinas in there!


    Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P-2P3MSZrBM
    Quote Originally Posted by Cullion View Post
    Trump can't actually win an election.. can he ?
    Quote Originally Posted by MerkinMuffly View Post
    Short answer is no.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cullion View Post
    I think you're right here.

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