Turing’s Cathedral – A Visit to Google

Posted on October 28th, 2005 by

A.I. may be the topic of many a sci-fi book/film/graphic novel. However, as many of you may already know, Alan Turing and some of his fellow early computer scientists put some serious philosophical and mathematical brain-power into working out how to invent intelligence through technology, and just what sorts of tests would be needed to confirm/deny a given attempt as having succeeded in creating Artificial Intelligence.

Add to that the development of personal computers such as quad-core Apple G5 computers which now push the envelope well beyond 70 gigaflops (billions of operations per second), and multiply such hardware into a distributed network computer and you quickly see that we’re no longer held back by our technology so much as our ability to fathom just what thought is anyways. How can it be represented digitally? How can it be automated via computer programming?

These are some of the new frontiers approached by Google and other pioneers in the industry. But what will be the implications? Good? Evil? One ueber computer ruling the world? Who knows… However, technology historian George Dyson seems interested in discussing it and relating his recent experiences visiting Google headquarters and relating the soup of thought that the visit invoked in him.

Check out his article for the full story…
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