cellular automata

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Turing's Vision: The Birth of Computer Science by Chris Bernhardt

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Ada Lovelace, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, Andrew Wiles, British Empire, cellular automata, Claude Shannon: information theory, complexity theory, Conway's Game of Life, discrete time, Douglas Hofstadter, Georg Cantor, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Henri Poincaré, Internet Archive, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, John Conway, John von Neumann, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, Norbert Wiener, Paul Erdős, Turing complete, Turing machine, Turing test, Von Neumann architecture

Quantum Computing since Democritus by Aaranson, The Beginning of Infinity: Explanations That Transform the World by Deutsch, and Gödel, Escher, Bach by Hofstadter are all fascinating. Cellular automata We only looked briefly looked at cellular automata, but they have a long and interesting history. They were first studied by Ulam and von Neumann as the first computers were built. Nils Barricelli was at Princeton during the 1950s and used the computer to simulate the interaction of cells. George Dyson’s Turing’s Cathedral gives a good historical description of this work John Conway, in 1970, defined Life involving two-dimensional cellular automata. These were popularized by Martin Gardner in Scientific American.

In this chapter we pause to examine at three of these. We begin with the lambda calculus (λ-calculus) of Alonzo Church, then look at an example of a tag system, finally we consider cellular automata. These views of computation seem very different, but each perspective has its own strengths. The λ-calculus leads to programming languages; tag systems are useful for proving different systems equivalent; cellular automata give pictures of complete computations. After this brief detour we return to Turing’s arguments. Chapter 6 Up until now, machines have been described by diagrams. This chapter starts by showing how finite automata and Turing machines can be described by finite sequences of digits, called encodings.

Tag systems are easy to describe, but despite their simplicity, they are able to do any computation. Their simplicity is often useful in proving the equivalence of computational systems. For example, the proof that cellular automata can do anything that Turing machines can do involves emulating Turing machines by tag systems. The final topic is the study one-dimensional cellular automata. These are interesting because they yield two-dimensional pictures that show the entire computation. From these pictures it is possible to make conjectures about the computational power of the underlying rules. Each of these three topics is independent of the others, and so they can be read in any order.


pages: 247 words: 43,430

Think Complexity by Allen B. Downey

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Benoit Mandelbrot, cellular automata, Conway's Game of Life, Craig Reynolds: boids flock, discrete time, en.wikipedia.org, Frank Gehry, Gini coefficient, Guggenheim Bilbao, mandelbrot fractal, Occupy movement, Paul Erdős, sorting algorithm, stochastic process, strong AI, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Turing complete, Turing machine, We are the 99%

In particular, it focuses on complex systems, which are systems with many interacting components. Complex systems include networks and graphs, cellular automata, agent-based models and swarms, fractals and self-organizing systems, chaotic systems, and cybernetic systems. These terms might not mean much to you at this point. We will get to them soon, but you can get a preview at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Complex_systems. A New Kind of Science In 2002, Stephen Wolfram published A New Kind of Science, where he presents his and others’ work on cellular automata and describes a scientific approach to the study of computational systems. We’ll get back to Wolfram in Chapter 6, but I want to borrow his title for something a little broader.

Do you get the sense that practicing philosophers think highly of Popper’s work? What Is This a Model Of? Some cellular automata are primarily mathematical artifacts. They are interesting because they are surprising, useful, or pretty, or because they provide tools for creating new mathematics (like the Church-Turing thesis). But it is not clear that they are models of physical systems. If they are, they are highly abstracted, which is to say that they are not very detailed or realistic. For example, some species of cone snail produce a pattern on their shells that resembles the patterns generated by cellular automata (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cone_snail).

beetles, Falsifiability behavior, Explanatory Models BetterMap, Hashtables BFS, Connected Graphs, Analysis of Graph Algorithms, Dijkstra Big O notation, Order of Growth The Big Sort, Thomas Schelling bin size, Cumulative Distributions bisect module, Analysis of Search Algorithms bisection search, Analysis of Search Algorithms Bishop, Bill, Thomas Schelling boid, Boids bond percolation, Percolation bottom-up, A New Kind of Engineering bounded, Hashtables box-counting dimension, Fractals breadth-first search, Connected Graphs, Analysis of Graph Algorithms, Dijkstra brick wall, Emergence broadcast service, A New Kind of Engineering bubble sort, Analysis of Algorithms busy beaver, Universality C CA, Implementing CAs CADrawer, CADrawer caffeine, Paul Erdős: Peripatetic Mathematician, Speed Freak canonical ensemble, Percolation carrot, Boids causation, Determinism, SOC, Causation, and Prediction, Thomas Schelling Cdf class, Cumulative Distributions CDFs, Cumulative Distributions, Cumulative Distributions plotting, Cumulative Distributions cells, Universality cellular automaton, Cellular Automata centralized system, A New Kind of Engineering chaos, Determinism Church-Turing thesis, Universality circular buffer, FIFO Implementation CircularCA, CADrawer Class 3 behavior, Randomness Class 4 behavior, Universality, Conway’s Conjecture classifying cellular automata, Classifying CAs client-server architecture, A New Kind of Engineering clique, Watts and Strogatz clustering, Watts and Strogatz clustering coefficient, Watts and Strogatz color map, Implementing Life comparing algorithms, Analysis of Algorithms comparison sort, Analysis of Basic Python Operations complementary CDF, Zipf, Pareto, and Power Laws complementary distribution, Continuous Distributions complete graph, What’s a Graph?


The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology by Ray Kurzweil

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However, expressing continuous formulas in this way is an inherent complication and would violate Einstein's dictum to express things "as simply as possible, but no simpler." So the real question is whether we can express the basic relationships that we are aware of in more elegant terms, using cellular-automata algorithms. One test of a new theory of physics is whether it is capable of making verifiable predictions. In at least one important way, that might be a difficult challenge for a cellular automata-based theory because lack of predictability is one of the fundamental features of cellular automata. Wolfram starts by describing the universe as a large network of nodes. The nodes do not exist in "space," but rather space, as we perceive it, is an illusion created by the smooth transition of phenomena through the network of nodes.

I don't have in hand, but I know he's there....What I see is so compelling that it can't be a creature of my imagination.62 In commenting on Fredkin's theory of digital physics, Wright writes, Fredkin ... is talking about an interesting characteristic of some computer programs, including many cellular automata: there is no shortcut to finding out what they will lead to. This, indeed, is a basic difference between the "analytical" approach associated with traditional mathematics, including differential equations, and the "computational" approach associated with algorithms. You can predict a future state of a system susceptible to the analytic approach without figuring out what states it will occupy between now and then, but in the case of many cellular automata, you must go through all the intermediate states to find out what the end will be like: there is no way to know the future except to watch it unfold....Fredkin explains: "There is no way to know the answer to some question any faster than what's going on. "...

It sounds like a good-news/bad-news joke: the good news is that our lives have purpose; the bas news is that their purpose is to help some remote hacker estimate pi to nine jillion decimal places. 63 Fredkin went on to show that although energy is needed for information storage and retrieval, we can arbitrarily reduce the energy required to perform any particular example of information processing. and that this operation has no lower limit.64 That implies that information rather than matter and energy may be regarded as the more fundamental reality.65 I will return to Fredkin's insight regarding the extreme lower limit of energy required for computation and communication in chapter 3, since it pertains to the ultimate power of intelligence in the universe. Wolfram builds his theory primarily on a single, unified insight. The discovery that has so excited Wolfram is a simple rule he calls cellular automata rules 110 and its behavior. (There are some other interesting automata rules, but rule 110 makes the point well enough.) Most of Wolfram's analyses deal with the simplest possible cellular automata, specifically those that involve just a one-dimensional line of cells, two possible colors (black and white), and rules based only on the two immediately adjacent cells. For each transformation, the color of a cell depends only on its own previous color and that of the cell on the left and the cell on the right.


pages: 405 words: 117,219

In Our Own Image: Savior or Destroyer? The History and Future of Artificial Intelligence by George Zarkadakis

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3D printing, Ada Lovelace, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, anthropic principle, Asperger Syndrome, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, bioinformatics, British Empire, business process, carbon-based life, cellular automata, Claude Shannon: information theory, combinatorial explosion, complexity theory, continuous integration, Conway's Game of Life, cosmological principle, dark matter, dematerialisation, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, Edward Snowden, epigenetics, Flash crash, Google Glasses, Gödel, Escher, Bach, income inequality, index card, industrial robot, Internet of things, invention of agriculture, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, Jacques de Vaucanson, James Watt: steam engine, job automation, John von Neumann, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, millennium bug, natural language processing, Norbert Wiener, On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures, packet switching, pattern recognition, Paul Erdős, post-industrial society, prediction markets, Ray Kurzweil, Rodney Brooks, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, speech recognition, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, strong AI, technological singularity, The Coming Technological Singularity, the scientific method, theory of mind, Turing complete, Turing machine, Turing test, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Vernor Vinge, Von Neumann architecture, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Y2K

It looks as if nature is a lover of extreme sports. It adores pushing everything that is precious to the point of breaking up. This deeper link between the emergence of complex behaviour at criticality and recursive computations has also been demonstrated in digital computers using cellular automata, another great invention by John von Neumann. Cellular automata are patterns of 0s and 1s that evolve step-by-step according to a simple set of rules. A new pattern, or ‘generation’, of a cellular automaton emerges after each step. Points on the new patterns will be either 0 or 1 depending on their current value as well as the value of their neighbours.

It is the interpretation of this connection that polarises empiricists and idealists. Perhaps the discovery of Rule 110 is one giant step towards the discovery of a general, mathematical, law for life. There are too many things about cellular automata that make them profoundly similar to physical, living, things. By operating near the edge of chaos, cellular automata evolve with time by responding to their changing environment. They look like a form of ‘artificial life’ existing in the computer that runs the calculations that make and sustain it. Could this artificial life evolve to the point of becoming conscious?

We do not yet know whether this attraction is governed by a general law for biology. However, we have discovered something that seems to point towards such a law: Rule 110, a recursive algorithm that is Turing complete and lifelike – and there might be more.23 This profound correlation between cellular automata and biological phenomena suggests that life is governed by recursive computations, probably similar – or identical – to cellular automata. There is one more special feature of complex computations that is worth noting. They are fractal-like and scale-invariant. This means that they repeat themselves at every scale. From microscopic organisms to weather systems and the formation of galactic clusters nature creates similar patterns of organisation and behaviour.


pages: 372 words: 101,174

How to Create a Mind: The Secret of Human Thought Revealed by Ray Kurzweil

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Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, Albert Michelson, anesthesia awareness, anthropic principle, brain emulation, cellular automata, Claude Shannon: information theory, cloud computing, computer age, Dean Kamen, discovery of DNA, double helix, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, George Gilder, Google Earth, Isaac Newton, iterative process, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, John von Neumann, Law of Accelerating Returns, linear programming, Loebner Prize, mandelbrot fractal, Norbert Wiener, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, Ralph Waldo Emerson, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, reversible computing, self-driving car, speech recognition, Steven Pinker, strong AI, the scientific method, theory of mind, Turing complete, Turing machine, Turing test, Wall-E, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, X Prize

Wolfram proposes a way to resolve the dilemma. His book A New Kind of Science (2002) presents a comprehensive view of the idea of cellular automata and their role in every facet of our lives. A cellular automaton is a mechanism in which the value of information cells is continually recomputed as a function of the cells near it. John von Neumann created a theoretical self-replicating machine called a universal constructor that was perhaps the first cellular automaton. Dr. Wolfram illustrates his thesis with the simplest possible cellular automata, a group of cells in a one-dimensional line. At each point in time, each cell can have one of two values: black or white.

If there is a satellite orbiting Earth, we can predict where it will be five years from now without having to run through each moment of a simulated process by using the relevant laws of gravity and solve where it will be at points in time far in the future. But the future state of class IV cellular automata cannot be predicted without simulating every step along the way. If the universe is a giant cellular automaton, as Dr. Wolfram postulates, there would be no computer big enough—since every computer would be a subset of the universe—that could run such a simulation. Therefore the future state of the universe is completely unknowable even though it is deterministic.

., 113 busy beaver problem, 207 Butler, Samuel, 62, 199–200, 224, 248–49 Byron, Ada, Countess of Lovelace, 190, 191 California, University of, at Berkeley, 88 “CALO” project, 162 carbon atoms, information structures based on, 2 Carroll, Lewis, 109 cells, replacement of, 245, 246 cellular automata, 236–39 cerebellum, 7, 77, 103–4 uniform structure of, 103 cerebral cortex, 7–8 see also neocortex Chalmers, David, 201–2, 218, 241 “chatbots,” 161 chemistry, 37 chess, AI systems and, 6, 38–39, 165–66, 257 chimpanzees: language and, 3, 41 tool use by, 41 “Chinese room” thought experiment, 170, 274–75 Chomsky, Noam, 56, 158 Church, Alonzo, 186 Church-Turing thesis, 186 civil rights, 278 cloud computing, 116–17, 123, 246, 279–80 cochlea, 96, 97, 135, 138 cochlear implants, 243 Cockburn, David, 214 Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, 129 Colossus, 187, 188 “common sense,” 40 communication, reliability of, 182–85, 190 communication technology, LOAR and, 253, 254 compatibilism, 234 complexity, 198, 233 of human brain, 8–9, 181, 272 modeling and, 37–38 true vs. apparent, 10–11 computation: price/performance of, 4–5, 250–51, 257, 257, 267–68, 301n–3n thinking compared with to, 26–27 universality of, 26, 181–82, 185, 188, 192, 207 Computer and the Brain, The (von Neumann), 191 computers: brain emulated by, see brain, human, computer emulation of consciousness and, 209–11, 213–15, 223 intelligent algorithms employed by, 6–7 knowledge base expanded by, 4, 246, 247 logic gates in, 185 memory in, 185, 259, 260, 268, 301n–3n, 306n–7n reliability of communication by, 182–85, 190 see also neocortex, digital “Computing Machinery and Intelligence” (Turing), 191 conditionals, 65, 69, 153, 189, 190 confabulation, 70, 217, 227, 228, 229 connectionism, 133, 191 “connectome,” 262 consciousness, 11, 199–209 cerebral hemispheres and, 226–29 computers and, 209–11, 213–15, 223, 233 Descartes on, 221–22 dualist views of, 202–3 Eastern vs.


pages: 335 words: 107,779

Some Remarks by Neal Stephenson

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airport security, augmented reality, barriers to entry, British Empire, cable laying ship, call centre, cellular automata, edge city, Eratosthenes, Fellow of the Royal Society, Hacker Ethic, impulse control, Iridium satellite, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, John von Neumann, Just-in-time delivery, Kevin Kelly, music of the spheres, Norbert Wiener, offshore financial centre, oil shock, packet switching, pirate software, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Saturday Night Live, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, social web, Socratic dialogue, South China Sea, special economic zone, Stephen Hawking, the scientific method, trade route, Turing machine, uranium enrichment, Vernor Vinge, X Prize

Combined with the monadic property of being able to perceive the states of all other monads, this comes close to being a mathematically formal definition of cellular automata, a branch of mathematics generally agreed to have been invented by Stanislaw Ulam and John von Neumann during the 1940s as an outgrowth of work at Los Alamos. The impressive capabilities of such systems have, in subsequent decades, drawn the attention of many luminaries from the worlds of mathematics and physics, some of whom have proposed that the physical universe might, in fact, consist of cellular automata carrying out a calculation—a hypothesis known as Digital Physics, or It from Bit. 4.

During Leibniz’s era, the only person who had thought seriously about such machines was Leibniz himself; building on earlier work by Blaise Pascal, he designed, and caused to be built, a mechanical computer, and envisioned coupling it to a formal logical system called the Characteristica Universalis. He invented binary arithmetic, and, according to no less an authority than Norbert Wiener, pioneered the idea of feedback. 3. In particular, the monads’ production rule scheme clearly presages the modern concept of cellular automata. Quoting from Mercer’s work: “The Production Rule of F is a rule for the continuous production of the discrete states of F so that it instructs F about exactly what to think at every moment of F’s existence. Following Leibniz’s suggestion, if F exists from t1 to tn and has a different thought at each moment of its existence, then at every moment, there will be an instruction about what to think next.

He’s making the argument that a lot of science doesn’t necessarily fit that mold: biological science, psychology. There are plenty of cases you can point to, even in mathematics, where being able to break things down into its smallest components doesn’t really get you anywhere. It doesn’t give you an explanation that’s really worth anything. If you look at cellular automata, for example: Sure, each automaton can be explained as a unit, but that’s not what’s interesting. What’s interesting is the really complicated emergent behaviors that you can get out of a whole bunch of these things acting at once. There’s really no grid to cross that gap. Yet we’re often led to believe that these things are better understood than they are.


pages: 238 words: 46

When Things Start to Think by Neil A. Gershenfeld

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3D printing, Ada Lovelace, Bretton Woods, cellular automata, Claude Shannon: information theory, Dynabook, Hedy Lamarr / George Antheil, I think there is a world market for maybe five computers, invention of movable type, Iridium satellite, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, John von Neumann, means of production, new economy, Nick Leeson, packet switching, RFID, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, telemarketer, the medium is the message, Turing machine, Turing test, Vannevar Bush

Like the checkers on a checkerboard, tokens that each represent a collection of molecules get moved among sites based on how the neighboring sites are occupied. This idea has come to be known as Cellular Automata (CAs). From the 1970s onward, the group of Ed Fredkin, Tomaso Toffoli, and Norm Margolus at MIT started to make special-purpose computers designed for CAs. Because these machines entirely dispense with approximations of continuous functions, they can be much simpler and faster. And because a Turing machine can be described this way, a CA can do anything that can be done with a conventional computer. A cellular automata model of the universe is no less fundamental than one based on calculus. It's a much more natural description if a computer instead of a pencil is used to work with the model.

Index adding machine, Pascal's, 131-32 Adelson, Ted, 180-81 affective states, computer's perception of, 53-54 agents, 107, 109, 116-17 airbag, smart, 170-71, 180 analog circuits, 165, 166 Analytical Engine, 125 Any Thing project, 70, 71, 73 Apple Macintosh, 139 Argonne National Laboratory, 158 ARPANET, 79 artificial intelligence, 108, 128, 129-30, 135, 201 sensory perception and, 135, 201 assembly line, 180 AT&T, 158, 203 autonomy and wearable computers, 57-58 Babbage, Charles, 124-27, 132 Barings Bank, 77, 86 bassoon, 29-32 Begin Again Again, 34 Bell Labs, 36, 162, 174 Bender, Walter, 202-3 Benioff, Paul, 158 Bennett, Charles, 159, 176, 177 Benton, Steve, 14 2 Bill of Rights, 98-99 Bill of Things' Rights, 104 Bill of Things Users' Rights, 102 Birnbaum, Joel, 52 Bitnet, 89 "bit" of information, 176 "blessing of dimensionality," 164-65 Boltzmann, Ludwig, 175 books, printed, 13-25 competing technologies, 10, 13-25 dimensions of, 20 future of computing, lesson to be derived for, 14 Gutenberg and movable metal type, 18-19 as historical artifacts, 23-24 libraries and electronic book, 20-23 lighting for reading, 15 papal bull to require certification of, 96 paper for, 15 specifications of, 13-14 state of book business, 13 universal book, 18-20 Borden, David, 30-31 218 +INDEX Boyden, Edward, 196, 197 brain, 212 brain, human, 135, 163-64 Brain Opera, 206-7 Bretton Woods Agreement, 79 Bunka Fashion College, 55 Bush, Vannevar, 139,171-74,180 Buxton, Bill, 140 buzz words, technology, 107-21 CAD software, 73 calculus, 131, 132 Caltech, 158 carbonless copy paper, 15-16 card catalogs, 20-22 Carnegie Mellon, 129 CD-ROM, 10 as competitor of printed book, 13 cello: comparison of computer mouse to violin bow, 142-43 critical reaction to digital cello, 37-38 designing a smart, 27-44, 143-44, 187 limits of classic, 33, 37 Cellular Automata (CAs), 132-33 Census Bureau, 78 central planning, 88-89 chaos theory, 109, 112-16 chess-playing computer programs, 128-30, 134-35 children: learning methods of, 137-38 LOGO programming language, 138, 147 China, Internet access in, 99 Chuang, Isaac, 160-61 Chung, joe, 34 Citron, Robert, 78 Clarke, Arthur C., 51 Clausius, Rudolf, 175 clocks, 104 clothing and wearable computers, 50, 52,55-56,61,102-3,179 coffeemaker, intelligent, 201 communications: imposing on our lives, 95, 100-2 performance limit of a channel of, 176 privacy issues and, 100-1 regulation of, 99-100 see also specific forms of communication, e.g. e-mail; telephones Communications Act of 1934, 99 Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA), 208 compact disc players, 4 Compumachine, 67 computer chips: entropy and, 177 future uses of, 152 lowering the cost of, 152-56 computers: affective states and, 53-54 Babbage's contribution in developing, 124-25, 132 battle of operating systems, 146 chips, see computer chips cost of, 4, 103 desktop, 5 difficulty using, 4, 7, 103 division of industry into software and hardware, 7 ease of use, 4, 7, 103 educational use of, 201 expectations from, 4 inability to anticipate your needs, 7-8 interfaces, see interfaces, computer irritation with, 199-200 laptop, see laptop computers mainframes, see mainframes minicomputers, 52, 138 Moore's law, 155-57, 163 music and, see musiC and computers parallel, 68, 157 PCs, see personal computers (PCs) peripherals, 52-53 INDEX+ pnvacy issue and, 56-57, 100-1 productivity and, 7 pyramid of information technology, 151 quantum, 157-63, 177 software, see software speed of, 7 standards, 88-90, 126 supercomputers, 151, 177, 199 unobtrusive computing, 44, 200, 211 upgrades, 98 wearable, see wearable computers "Computing Machinery and Intelligence," 128, 135 consciousness, quantum mechanics to describe human, 130-31 Constitution, U.S., 98-99 Copernicus, 113-14 copyrights, 181 Creapole, 55 credit cards: electronic commerce and, 80-81 privacy and use of, 100-1 reflective holograms on, 142 cryptography, 80-81, 156, 207-8 "curse of dimensionality," 164 Daiwa Bank, 77, 86 Darwin, Charles, 125 Data Glove, 49 "Deep Blue," 129-30 "Deep Thought," 129 Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), 79, 129 derivative~ 78, 85-86 Deutsch, David, 158 Deutsche Telekom, 203 developing countries, 210-11 Dickinson, Becton, 204 Difference Engine, 124-25, 132 digital evolution, 10 digital money, see smart money digital representation, effect of time and use on, 5-6 219 Digital Revolution: disturbance resulting from, 10 promise and reality of, 3, 5 disabled, wearable computers and, 58 discovery, the business of, 169-84 Disney, 203 distance learning, 19 3 distribution of wealth, 78 division of labor between people and machines, 8 DNA molecules, 157 Domus, 55 Doom (computer game), 89 Dynabook, 138 e-broidery, 55 Economist, 115 economy, electronic, 79 education: classroom, 188, 197 departmental organization of, 190-91 distance learning, 193 just-in-time, 192 local learning, 193 at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Media Lab, 187-97 use of computers for, 201 Einstein's theory of relativity, 178 electronic books, 15-25, 38, 72 electronic commerce, 80-81, 152, 156 cryptography and, 80-81 paying-as-you-go, 82 electronic funds transfers, 80 electronic ink, 16, 17, 200 universal book and, 18-20 e-mail, 101-2, 104-6 encryption, 80-81 Engelhart, Doug, 139 English Bill of Rights, 98 entanglement, 159 entropy, 175, 176, 177, 188-90 "Entschedidungsproblem," 127 Equifax, 101 220 + Ernst, Richard R.


pages: 489 words: 148,885

Accelerando by Stross, Charles

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call centre, carbon-based life, cellular automata, cognitive dissonance, Conway's Game of Life, dark matter, dumpster diving, Extropian, finite state, Flynn Effect, glass ceiling, gravity well, John von Neumann, knapsack problem, Kuiper Belt, Magellanic Cloud, mandelbrot fractal, market bubble, means of production, packet switching, performance metric, phenotype, planetary scale, Pluto: dwarf planet, reversible computing, Richard Stallman, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, Singularitarianism, slashdot, South China Sea, stem cell, technological singularity, telepresence, The Chicago School, theory of mind, Turing complete, Turing machine, Turing test, upwardly mobile, Vernor Vinge, Von Neumann architecture, web of trust, Y2K

Annette squeezes him again, and he stiffens. "More!" By the time they finish, he's aching, and she shows him how to use the bidet. Everything is crystal clear, and her touch is electrifying. While she showers, he sits on the toilet seat lid and rants about Turing-completeness as an attribute of company law, about cellular automata and the blind knapsack problem, about his work on solving the Communist Central Planning problem using a network of interlocking unmanned companies. About the impending market adjustment in integrity, the sinister resurrection of the recording music industry, and the still-pressing need to dismantle Mars.

Each of these companies – and there are currently more than sixteen thousand of them, although the herd is growing day by day – has three directors and is the director of three other companies. Each of them executes a script in a functional language Manfred invented; the directors tell the company what to do, and the instructions include orders to pass instructions on to their children. In effect, they are a flock of cellular automata, like the cells in Conway's Game of Life, only far more complex and powerful. Manfred's companies form a programmable grid. Some of them are armed with capital in the form of patents Manfred filed, then delegated rather than passing on to one of the Free Foundations. Some of them are effectively nontrading, but occupy directorial roles.

He snarls irritably: "Give me some space!" He coughs, a threatening noise from the back of his wattled throat, "Searching the sail's memory now." The back of the soap-bubble-thin laser sail is saturated with tiny nanocomputers spaced micrometers apart. Equipped with light receptors and configured as cellular automata, they form a gigantic phased-array detector, a retina more than a hundred meters in diameter. Boris is feeding them patterns describing anything that differs from the unchanging starscape. Soon the memories will condense and return as visions of darkness in motion – the cold, dead attendants of an aborted sun.


pages: 634 words: 185,116

From eternity to here: the quest for the ultimate theory of time by Sean M. Carroll

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Albert Einstein, Albert Michelson, anthropic principle, Arthur Eddington, Brownian motion, cellular automata, Claude Shannon: information theory, Columbine, cosmic microwave background, cosmological constant, cosmological principle, dark matter, dematerialisation, double helix, en.wikipedia.org, gravity well, Harlow Shapley and Heber Curtis, Henri Poincaré, Isaac Newton, John von Neumann, Lao Tzu, lone genius, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, pets.com, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, Schrödinger's Cat, Slavoj Žižek, Stephen Hawking, stochastic process, the scientific method, wikimedia commons

As a general rule, the more symmetries you have, the simpler things become. 110 This whole checkerboard-worlds idea sometimes goes by the name of cellular automata. A cellular automaton is just some discrete grid that follows a rule for determining the next row from the state of the previous row. They were first investigated in the 1960s, by John von Neumann, who is also the guy who figured out how entropy works in quantum mechanics. Cellular automata are fascinating for many reasons having little to do with the arrow of time; they can exhibit great complexity and can function as universal computers. See Poundstone (1984) or Shalizi (2009). Not only are we disrespecting cellular automata by pulling them out only to illustrate a few simple features of time reversal and information conservation, but we are also not speaking the usual language of cellular-automaton cognoscenti.

bosons bouncing-universe cosmology boundary conditions and cause and effect described and initial conditions of the universe and irreversibility and Maxwell’s Demon and recurrence theorem and time symmetry Bousso, Raphael Brahe, Tycho branes Brillouinéon brown dwarfs Brownian motion Bruno, Giordano bubbles of vacuum Buddhism Bureau of Longitude Callender, Craig Callisto caloric Calvin, John Calvino, Italo Carnot, Lazare Carnot, Nicolas Léonard Sadi Carrey, Jim Carroll, Lewis cause and effect celestial mechanics cellular automata CERN C-field Chandrasekhar Limit chaotic dynamics The Character of Physical Law (Feynman) charge charge conjugation checkerboard world exercise and arrow of time background of and conservation of information and Hawking radiation and holographic principle and information loss and interaction effects and irreversibility and Principle of Indifference and symmetry and testing hypotheses chemistry Chen, Jennifer choice Chronology Protection Conjecture circles in time.


pages: 396 words: 112,748

Chaos by James Gleick

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Benoit Mandelbrot, butterfly effect, cellular automata, Claude Shannon: information theory, discrete time, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, experimental subject, Georg Cantor, Henri Poincaré, Isaac Newton, iterative process, John von Neumann, Louis Pasteur, mandelbrot fractal, Murray Gell-Mann, Norbert Wiener, pattern recognition, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Stephen Hawking, stochastic process, trade route

(“The first chapter, I have to admit, is 300 pages, okay?” he says.) Then came Stochastic Processes, Modeling Simulation, Cellular Automata, Computation Theory and Information Theory, Scaling, Renormalization, and Fractals, Neural Networks, Attractor Networks, Homogenous Systems, Inhomogenous Systems, and so on. Bar-Yam, the son of a high-energy physicist, had studied condensed matter physics and become an engineering professor at Boston University, but he left in 1997 to found the New England Complex Systems Institute. He had been exposed to Stephen Wolfram’s work on cellular automata and Robert Devaney’s work in chaos and discovered that he was less interested in polymers and superconductors than in neural networks and—he says this with no sense of grandiosity—the nature of human civilization.


pages: 315 words: 93,628

Is God a Mathematician? by Mario Livio

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Albert Einstein, Antoine Gombaud: Chevalier de Méré, Brownian motion, cellular automata, correlation coefficient, correlation does not imply causation, cosmological constant, Dava Sobel, double helix, Edmond Halley, Eratosthenes, Georg Cantor, Gerolamo Cardano, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Henri Poincaré, Isaac Newton, John von Neumann, music of the spheres, probability theory / Blaise Pascal / Pierre de Fermat, The Design of Experiments, the scientific method, traveling salesman

However, was it truly inevitable that mathematics would start with these particular disciplines? Computer scientist Stephen Wolfram argued in his massive book A New Kind of Science that this was not necessarily the case. In particular, Wolfram showed how starting from simple sets of rules that act as short computer programs (known as cellular automata), one could develop a very different type of mathematics. These cellular automata could be used (in principle, at least) as the basic tools for modeling natural phenomena, instead of the differential equations that have dominated science for three centuries. What was it, then, that drove the ancient civilizations toward discovering and inventing our special “brand” of mathematics?


pages: 846 words: 232,630

Darwin's Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the Meanings of Life by Daniel C. Dennett

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Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, anthropic principle, buy low sell high, cellular automata, combinatorial explosion, complexity theory, computer age, conceptual framework, Conway's Game of Life, Danny Hillis, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, Drosophila, finite state, Gödel, Escher, Bach, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, invention of writing, Isaac Newton, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, John von Neumann, Murray Gell-Mann, New Journalism, non-fiction novel, Peter Singer: altruism, phenotype, price mechanism, prisoner's dilemma, QWERTY keyboard, random walk, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, Schrödinger's Cat, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, strong AI, the scientific method, theory of mind, Thomas Malthus, Turing machine, Turing test

His description (posthumously published, 1966) of how an automaton would read its own blueprint and then copy it into its new creation anticipated in impressive detail many of the later discoveries about the mechanisms of DNA expression and replication, but in order to make his proof of the possibility of a self-reproducing automaton mathematically rigorous and tractable, von Neumann had switched to simple, two-dimensional abstractions, now known as cellular automata. Conway's Life-world cells are a particularly agreeable example of cellular automata. Conway and his students wanted to confirm von Neumann's proof in detail by actually constructing a two-dimensional world with a simple physics in which such a self-replicating construction would be a stable, working structure. Like von Neumann, they wanted their answer to be as general as possible, and hence as independent as possible of actual (Earthly?

The task of the wise God required to put this world into motion is a task of discovery, not creation, a job for a Newton, not a Shakespeare. What Newton found — and what Conway found — are eternal Platonic fixed points that anybody else in principle could have discovered, not idiosyncratic creations that depend in any way on the particularities of the minds of their authors. If Conway had never turned his hand to designing cellular-automata worlds — if Conway had never even existed — some other mathematician might very well have hit upon exactly the Life world that Conway gets the credit for. So, as we follow the Darwinian down this path, God the Artificer turns first into God the Lawgiver, who now can be seen to merge with God the Lawfinder.


pages: 448 words: 116,962

Singularity Sky by Stross, Charles

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anthropic principle, cellular automata, Conway's Game of Life, cosmological constant, Doomsday Clock, Extropian, gravity well, Kuiper Belt, life extension, means of production, new economy, phenotype, prisoner's dilemma, skinny streets, technological singularity, uranium enrichment

"Herman was unusually vague about it," Martin admitted. "Normally he has a lot of background detail. Every word means something. But it's as if he doesn't want to say too much about the Festival. They're—he called them, uh, glider-gun factories. I don't know if you know about Life—" "Cellular automata, the game?" "That's the one. Glider guns are mobile cellular automata. There are some complex life structures that replicate themselves, or simpler cellular structures; a glider-gun factory is a weird one. It periodically packs itself into a very dense mobile system that migrates across the grid for a couple of hundred squares, then it unpacks itself into two copies that then pack down and fly off in opposite directions.


Practical OCaml by Joshua B. Smith

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cellular automata, Debian, domain-specific language, general-purpose programming language, Grace Hopper, hiring and firing, John Conway, Paul Graham, slashdot, text mining, Turing complete, type inference, web application, Y2K

Random BMP 620Xch27final.qxd 9/22/06 1:22 AM Page 389 CHAPTER 27 ■ PROCESSING BINARY FILES Figure 27-3. xor BMP Figure 27-4. and BMP 389 620Xch27final.qxd 390 9/22/06 1:22 AM Page 390 CHAPTER 27 ■ PROCESSING BINARY FILES Conway’s Game of Life In 1970, a British mathematician named John Conway created the field of cellular automata when he published the first article on the subject. Conway’s “game” isn’t so much a game played by people as it is a mathematical experiment. The game is an example of emergent behavior because there are only four simple rules that generate an amazing amount of complexity. Conway’s game is also Turing Complete, which means that (given the right initial conditions) the game is as powerful as any “real” computer.

See primitive types batch compilers, 405 Bayes’ Theorem, 169 binary files bitmaps and, 383–389 comparing two, 380–383 outputting, 377 parsing, 295 processing, 375– 399 reading, 383–389 bitmap header definitions, 384 blog server example, 278–288 BNF (Backus-Naur Form), 210 Boolean type (bool), 67 bottom-up design, 267 bprintf function, 76 broadcast function, 318 bscanf function, 77, 253 buffers, 80, 110 build tools, 401–409 buildmap function, 172 build_list function, 324 445 620Xidxfinal.qxd 446 9/22/06 4:19 PM Page 446 ■INDEX built-in exceptions, 125, 131 built-in functions, 48 built-in types, 24 buy function, for securities trades database, 54 ■C C code, interfacing with, 349–358 -c compiler flag, 405 .c files, 408 C functions, defining, 352–355 C preprocessor (cpp), 411 C++ Foreign Function Interfaces and, 349 polymorphic classes and, 26 templates and, 25, 160 calculators four-function, 42 guards and, 48 Calendar module, 360 CAM (Categorical Abstract Machine), 3 CAM-ML, 3 Cameleon, 14 Caml Light, 3 Caml Special Light, 4 camlbrowser, 402, 405 CamlIDL library, 359 camlidl tool, 349, 355, 357 Camlp4, 411–429 camlp4o command, 418, 425 CAMLparam macro, 352 CAMLprim, 362 caml_alloc data, 352 caml_alloc_string(length) function, 351 caml_alloc_string(n) function, 352 caml_alloc_tuple(n) function, 352 caml_copy_double(d) function, 352 caml_copy_double(initial_value) function, 352 caml_copy_string(str) string, 352 caml_failwith(argument_string) function, 352 caml_invalid_argument(argument_string) function, 352 caml_raise_end_of_file (void) exception, 352 caml_raise_not_found ( void ) exception, 352 Capability Maturity Model (CMM), 271 Categorical Abstract Machine (CAM), 3 -cc <CCNAME> flag, 406 -cclib -lLIBNAME flag, 406 -ccopt OPTION flag, 406 cellular automata, 390 CGI (Common Gateway Interface), 273–291 advantages/disadvantages of, 274 writing your own functions and, 277–284 channels, 52, 113–117 chars, 64, 377 check_suffix function, 137 choose function, 320 chop_extension function, 137 chop_suffix function, 137 Church, Alonzo, 263 class keyword, 226, 228 classes, 25, 225–229 internal, 233 vs. objects, 226 parameterized, 234 polymorphism and, 230 reasons for using, 227 virtual, 234, 241 client class, 334 client functions, 189 clients, OCaml support for, 179–191 client_app.ml file, 190 cloning objects, 241 close_in function, 114 close_out function, 114 .cma files, 20, 408 .cmi files, 20 CMM (Capability Maturity Model), 271 .cmo files, 20, 408 Cocanwiki web application, 291 code linking options for, 356 coding rules and, 130–133 obtaining line numbers/function names and, 134 ocamllex processing and, 197–201, 222 ocamlyacc processing and, 206, 222 reuse and, 225–228, 267 code completion, 14 code files, 12, 18 collapse function, 46 collections, 89–111 combine function, 96 command-line flags, 311 command-line toplevel, 13 comments documentation extracted from, 145 importance of, 154 ocamldoc for, 146 Common Gateway Interface.


pages: 271 words: 52,814

Blockchain: Blueprint for a New Economy by Melanie Swan

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23andMe, Airbnb, altcoin, Amazon Web Services, asset allocation, banking crisis, bioinformatics, bitcoin, blockchain, capital controls, cellular automata, central bank independence, clean water, cloud computing, collaborative editing, Conway's Game of Life, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, disintermediation, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, ethereum blockchain, fault tolerance, fiat currency, financial innovation, Firefox, friendly AI, Hernando de Soto, Internet Archive, Internet of things, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, litecoin, Lyft, M-Pesa, microbiome, Network effects, new economy, peer-to-peer lending, personalized medicine, post scarcity, prediction markets, ride hailing / ride sharing, Satoshi Nakamoto, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, sharing economy, Skype, smart cities, smart contracts, smart grid, software as a service, technological singularity, Turing complete, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, web application, WikiLeaks

This could include systems like chaining together simple if-this-then-that (or IFTTT) behavior and the open source Huginn platform for building agents that monitor situations and act on your behalf. A second possible path is implementing programmatic ideas from AI research fields such as Wolfram’s cellular automata, Conway’s Game of Life, Dorigo’s Ant Colony Optimization and Swarm Intelligence, Andy Clark’s embodied cognitive robots, and other general agent-based systems. Chapter 3. Blockchain 3.0: Justice Applications Beyond Currency, Economics, and Markets Blockchain Technology Is a New and Highly Effective Model for Organizing Activity Not only is there the possibility that blockchain technology could reinvent every category of monetary markets, payments, financial services, and economics, but it might also offer similar reconfiguration possibilities to all industries, and even more broadly, to nearly all areas of human endeavor.


pages: 496 words: 174,084

Masterminds of Programming: Conversations With the Creators of Major Programming Languages by Federico Biancuzzi, Shane Warden

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business intelligence, business process, cellular automata, cloud computing, complexity theory, conceptual framework, continuous integration, data acquisition, domain-specific language, Douglas Hofstadter, Fellow of the Royal Society, finite state, Firefox, follow your passion, Frank Gehry, general-purpose programming language, HyperCard, information retrieval, iterative process, John von Neumann, linear programming, loose coupling, Mars Rover, millennium bug, NP-complete, Paul Graham, performance metric, QWERTY keyboard, RAND corporation, randomized controlled trial, Renaissance Technologies, Silicon Valley, slashdot, software as a service, software patent, sorting algorithm, Steve Jobs, traveling salesman, Turing complete, type inference, Valgrind, Von Neumann architecture, web application

I pulled some of those ideas into UML, but data flow architecture doesn’t seem to replace von Neumann architecture in most cases. So I had my shot and didn’t quite make it. There are also cellular automata. I think over half of my fellow grad students tried to build on them a highly parallel computer. That has to be the right approach, because that’s how the universe is constructed. (Or maybe not. Modern physics is stranger than fiction. The latest speculations suggest that space and time arise out of something more primitive.) But cellular automata seem suited to only certain geometric problems, very important problems to be sure, but not general-case problems. People haven’t figured out how to program them for the general case.


Mathematics for Finance: An Introduction to Financial Engineering by Marek Capinski, Tomasz Zastawniak

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Black-Scholes formula, Brownian motion, capital asset pricing model, cellular automata, delta neutral, discounted cash flows, discrete time, diversified portfolio, interest rate derivative, interest rate swap, locking in a profit, London Interbank Offered Rate, margin call, martingale, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, random walk, short selling, stochastic process, time value of money, transaction costs, value at risk, Wiener process, zero-coupon bond

Springer-Verlag: Mathematica in Education and Research Vol 4 Issue 3 1995 article by Roman E Maeder, Beatrice Amrhein and Oliver Gloor ‘Illustrated Mathematics: Visualization of Mathematical Objects’ page 9 fig 11, originally published as a CD ROM ‘Illustrated Mathematics’ by TELOS: ISBN 0-387-14222-3, German edition by Birkhauser: ISBN 3-7643-5100-4. Mathematica in Education and Research Vol 4 Issue 3 1995 article by Richard J Gaylord and Kazume Nishidate ‘Traffic Engineering with Cellular Automata’ page 35 fig 2. Mathematica in Education and Research Vol 5 Issue 2 1996 article by Michael Trott ‘The Implicitization of a Trefoil Knot’ page 14. Mathematica in Education and Research Vol 5 Issue 2 1996 article by Lee de Cola ‘Coins, Trees, Bars and Bells: Simulation of the Binomial Process’ page 19 fig 3.


pages: 398 words: 86,855

Bad Data Handbook by Q. Ethan McCallum

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Amazon Mechanical Turk, asset allocation, barriers to entry, Benoit Mandelbrot, business intelligence, cellular automata, chief data officer, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, combinatorial explosion, conceptual framework, database schema, en.wikipedia.org, Firefox, Flash crash, Gini coefficient, illegal immigration, iterative process, labor-force participation, loose coupling, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, recommendation engine, sentiment analysis, statistical model, supply-chain management, text mining, too big to fail, web application

The Delicate Sound of a Combinatorial Explosion… We’ve introduced the problem and sketched out a rudimentary solution in just a few pages, but imagine how a real system like this might evolve over an extended period of months or even years with a team of people involved. It’s easy to see how the complexity could be overlooked or taken for granted as the nature of the problem we set out to solve. A system can start out simple, but very quickly become complex. This fact has been deeply explored in the study of complex systems and cellular automata. To see this idea in action, consider a classic technique for defining a complex graphical object by starting with two simple objects: “One begins with two shapes, an initiator and a generator…each stage of the construction begins with a broken line and consists in replacing each straight interval with a copy of the generator, reduced and displaced so as to have the same end points as those of the interval being replaced.”


pages: 329 words: 106,831

All Your Base Are Belong to Us: How Fifty Years of Video Games Conquered Pop Culture by Harold Goldberg

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Alexey Pajitnov wrote Tetris, Apple II, cellular automata, Columbine, Conway's Game of Life, game design, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, Mars Rover, Mikhail Gorbachev, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Oldenburg, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, The Great Good Place, Thorstein Veblen, urban planning

Little Computer People was occasionally hilarious and featured a slow-moving cartoonlike character called Darren who would write you letters saying, “I have many hobbies that occupy my time.” To prove it, he watched TV, exercised, and searched for someone to live in his computer with him. Finally, Wright was impressed with John Horton Conway’s theories of cellular automata, which were espoused in The Game of Life. In his 1970s simulation game, Conway showed that you could emulate the complex patterns of the birth and death of organisms living together in society—and everything in between. All these combined to influence Wright as he dreamed up a project whose working title was Home Tactics, the Experimental Domestic Simulator.


pages: 294 words: 81,292

Our Final Invention: Artificial Intelligence and the End of the Human Era by James Barrat

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3D printing, AI winter, Amazon Web Services, artificial general intelligence, Automated Insights, Bernie Madoff, Bill Joy: nanobots, brain emulation, cellular automata, cloud computing, cognitive bias, computer vision, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Danny Hillis, data acquisition, don't be evil, Extropian, finite state, Flash crash, friendly AI, friendly fire, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, Law of Accelerating Returns, life extension, Loebner Prize, lone genius, mutually assured destruction, natural language processing, Nicholas Carr, optical character recognition, PageRank, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, prisoner's dilemma, Ray Kurzweil, Rodney Brooks, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, semantic web, Silicon Valley, Singularitarianism, Skype, smart grid, speech recognition, statistical model, stealth mode startup, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, strong AI, Stuxnet, superintelligent machines, technological singularity, The Coming Technological Singularity, traveling salesman, Turing machine, Turing test, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, zero day

., “Robokitty,” New York Times Magazine, August 1, 1999. In fact, de Garis: De Garis, Hugo, Brain Builder Group, Evolutionary Systems Department, ATR Human Information Processing Research Laboratories, “CAM-BRAIN The Evolutionary Engineering of a Billion Neuron Artificial Brain by 2001 which Grows/Evolves at Electronic Speeds inside a Cellular Automata Machine (CAM),” last modified 1995, http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/summary?doi= (accessed June 22, 2011). a system will consider stealing: Omohundro, “Foresight Vision Talk: Self-Improving AI and Designing 2030.” They are going to want: Omohundro, “The Nature of Self-Improving Artificial Intelligence.”


pages: 370 words: 94,968

The Most Human Human: What Talking With Computers Teaches Us About What It Means to Be Alive by Brian Christian

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4chan, Ada Lovelace, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, carbon footprint, cellular automata, Claude Shannon: information theory, cognitive dissonance, complexity theory, crowdsourcing, Donald Trump, Douglas Hofstadter, George Akerlof, Gödel, Escher, Bach, high net worth, Isaac Newton, Jacques de Vaucanson, Jaron Lanier, job automation, l'esprit de l'escalier, Loebner Prize, Menlo Park, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, Skype, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, theory of mind, Turing machine, Turing test, Von Neumann architecture, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!

You get this from the human-computer dialogues: And this from the human-human dialogues: Now if that difference isn’t night and day, I don’t know what is. Over. 1. Some equations (the Newtonian parabolas that projectiles follow, for instance) are such that you can just plug in any old future value for time and get a description of the future state of events. Other calculations (e.g., some cellular automata) contain no such shortcuts. Such processes are called “computationally irreducible.” Future time values cannot simply be “plugged in”; rather, you have to run the simulation all the way from point A to point Z, including all intermediate steps. Stephen Wolfram, in A New Kind of Science, attempts to reconcile free will and determinism by conjecturing that the workings of the human brain are “irreducible” in this way: that is, there are no Newtonian-style “laws” that allow us shortcuts to knowing in advance what people will do.


The Data Revolution: Big Data, Open Data, Data Infrastructures and Their Consequences by Rob Kitchin

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business intelligence, business process, cellular automata, Celtic Tiger, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, conceptual framework, congestion charging, corporate governance, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, discrete time, George Gilder, Google Earth, Infrastructure as a Service, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invisible hand, knowledge economy, late capitalism, linked data, Masdar, means of production, Nate Silver, natural language processing, openstreetmap, pattern recognition, platform as a service, recommendation engine, RFID, semantic web, sentiment analysis, slashdot, smart cities, Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia, smart grid, smart meter, software as a service, statistical model, supply-chain management, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, transaction costs

Bates, J. (2012) ‘“This is what modern deregulation looks like”: co-optation and contestation in the shaping of the UK’s Open Government Data Initiative’, The Journal of Community Informatics, 8(2), http://www.ci-journal.net/index.php/ciej/article/view/845/916 (last accessed 6 February 2013). Bates, J. (2013) ‘Opening up public data’, SPERI Comment, 21 May. http://speri.dept.shef.ac.uk/2013/05/21/opening-public-data/(last accessed 18 September 2013). Batty, M. (2007) Cities and Complexity: Understanding Cities with Cellular Automata, Agent Based Models, and Fractals. MIT Press, Cambridge, MA. Batty, M., Axhausen, K.W., Giannotti, F., Pozdnoukhov, A., Bazzani, A., Wachowicz, M., Ouzounis, G. and Portugali, Y. (2012) ‘Smart cities of the future’, European Physical Journal Special Topics, 214: 481–518. Baym, N.K. (2013) ‘Data not seen: the uses and shortcomings of social media metrics’, First Monday, 18(10), http://firstmonday.org/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/4873/3752 (last accessed 3 January 2014).


pages: 1,087 words: 325,295

Anathem by Neal Stephenson

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anthropic principle, cellular automata, Danny Hillis, double helix, interchangeable parts, nuclear winter, pattern recognition, phenotype, Stewart Brand, trade route

You look down on it from above and say, ‘Oh, that looked like flanking.’ But if there’s no commander to see the field and direct their movements, can they really perform coordinated maneuvers?” “That’s a little like Saunt Taunga’s Question,” I pointed out (“Can a sufficiently large field of cellular automata think?”). “Well, can they?” “I’ve seen ants work together to carry off part of my lunch, so I know they can coordinate their actions.” “But if I’m one of a hundred ants all pushing on the same raisin, I can feel the raisin moving, can’t I—so the raisin itself is a way that they communicate with one another.

The Orithenans had used a system of computational chanting that, it was plain to see, was rooted in traditions that their founders had brought over from Edhar. To that point, it was clearly recognizable to any Edharian. It was a way of carrying out computations on patterns of information by permuting a given string of notes into new melodies. The permutation was done on the fly by following certain rules, defined using the formalism of cellular automata. After the Second Sack reforms, newly computerless avout had invented this kind of music. In some concents it had withered away, in others mutated into something else, but at Edhar it had always been practiced seriously. We’d all learned it as a sort of children’s musical game. But at Orithena they had been doing new things with it, using it to solve problems.


pages: 696 words: 143,736

The Age of Spiritual Machines: When Computers Exceed Human Intelligence by Ray Kurzweil

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Ada Lovelace, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, cellular automata, combinatorial explosion, complexity theory, computer age, computer vision, cosmological constant, cosmological principle, Danny Hillis, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, fudge factor, George Gilder, Gödel, Escher, Bach, I think there is a world market for maybe five computers, information retrieval, invention of movable type, Isaac Newton, iterative process, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, John von Neumann, Lao Tzu, Law of Accelerating Returns, mandelbrot fractal, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, natural language processing, Norbert Wiener, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, phenotype, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Schrödinger's Cat, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, speech recognition, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, stochastic process, technological singularity, Ted Kaczynski, telepresence, the medium is the message, traveling salesman, Turing machine, Turing test, Whole Earth Review, Y2K

Toepperwein, L. L., et al. Robotics Applications for Industry: A Practical Guide. Park Ridge: Noyes Data Corporation, 1983. Toffler, Alvin. Powershift. New York: Bantam Books, 1990. ————. The Third Wave: The Classic Study of Tomorrow. New York: Bantam Books, 1980. Toffoli, Tommaso and Norman Margolis. Cellular Automata Machines: A New Environment for Modeling. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1987. Torrance, Stephen B., ed. The Mind and the Machine: Philosophical Aspects of Artificial Intelligence. Chichester, UK: Ellis Horwood, 1986. Traub, Joseph F., ed. Cohabiting with Computers. Los Altos, CA: William Kaufmann, 1985.


pages: 413 words: 119,587

Machines of Loving Grace: The Quest for Common Ground Between Humans and Robots by John Markoff

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A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, AI winter, airport security, Apple II, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Bill Duvall, bioinformatics, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, call centre, cellular automata, Chris Urmson, Claude Shannon: information theory, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, collective bargaining, computer age, computer vision, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, DARPA: Urban Challenge, data acquisition, Dean Kamen, deskilling, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Hofstadter, Dynabook, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, factory automation, From Mathematics to the Technologies of Life and Death, future of work, Galaxy Zoo, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Grace Hopper, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Hacker Ethic, haute couture, hive mind, hypertext link, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, information retrieval, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invention of the wheel, Jacques de Vaucanson, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Conway, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, labor-force participation, loose coupling, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, medical residency, Menlo Park, Mother of all demos, natural language processing, new economy, Norbert Wiener, PageRank, pattern recognition, pre–internet, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Stallman, Robert Gordon, Rodney Brooks, Sand Hill Road, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, semantic web, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Singularitarianism, skunkworks, Skype, social software, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, strong AI, superintelligent machines, technological singularity, Ted Nelson, telemarketer, telepresence, telepresence robot, Tenerife airport disaster, The Coming Technological Singularity, the medium is the message, Thorstein Veblen, Turing test, Vannevar Bush, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Catalog, William Shockley: the traitorous eight

Alan Turing, for example, had written about the possibility the previous year, to receptive audiences on both sides of the Atlantic. McCarthy was thinking about intelligence as a mathematical abstraction rather than something realizable—along the lines of Turing—through building an actual machine. It was an “automaton” notion of creating human intelligence, but not of the kind of software cellular automata that von Neumann would later pursue. McCarthy focused instead on an abstract notion of intelligence that was capable of interacting with the environment. When he told von Neumann about it, the scientist exclaimed, “Write it up!” McCarthy thought about the idea a lot but never published anything.


pages: 396 words: 117,149

The Master Algorithm: How the Quest for the Ultimate Learning Machine Will Remake Our World by Pedro Domingos

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3D printing, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Arthur Eddington, Benoit Mandelbrot, bioinformatics, Black Swan, Brownian motion, cellular automata, Claude Shannon: information theory, combinatorial explosion, computer vision, constrained optimization, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, data is the new oil, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, Erik Brynjolfsson, experimental subject, Filter Bubble, future of work, global village, Google Glasses, Gödel, Escher, Bach, information retrieval, job automation, John Snow's cholera map, John von Neumann, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, lone genius, mandelbrot fractal, Mark Zuckerberg, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, Narrative Science, Nate Silver, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, Network effects, NP-complete, P = NP, PageRank, pattern recognition, phenotype, planetary scale, pre–internet, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, speech recognition, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, superintelligent machines, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, theory of mind, transaction costs, Turing machine, Turing test, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, white flight

Unfortunately, a NOR gate is not the Master Algorithm any more than a Lego brick is the universal toy. It can certainly be a universal building block for toys, but a pile of Legos doesn’t spontaneously assemble itself into a toy. The same applies to other simple computation schemes, like Petri nets or cellular automata. Moving on to more sophisticated alternatives, what about the queries that any good database engine can answer, or the simple algorithms in a statistical package? Aren’t those enough? These are bigger Lego bricks, but they’re still only bricks. A database engine never discovers anything new; it just tells you what it knows.


pages: 463 words: 118,936

Darwin Among the Machines by George Dyson

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Ada Lovelace, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, British Empire, carbon-based life, cellular automata, Claude Shannon: information theory, combinatorial explosion, computer age, Danny Hillis, fault tolerance, Fellow of the Royal Society, finite state, IFF: identification friend or foe, invention of the telescope, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, James Watt: steam engine, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, Menlo Park, Nash equilibrium, Norbert Wiener, On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures, packet switching, pattern recognition, phenotype, RAND corporation, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, spectrum auction, strong AI, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Turing machine, Von Neumann architecture

., Theory of Self-Reproducing Automata (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1966), 47. 40.John Myhill, “The Abstract Theory of Self-Reproduction,” in Mihajlo D. Mesarovic, ed., Views on General Systems Theory, Proceedings of the Second Systems Symposium at Case Institute of Technology, 1964; reprinted in Arthur Burks, ed., Essays on Cellular Automata (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1970), 218. 41.John von Neumann, 1948, “The General and Logical Theory of Automata,” in Lloyd A. Jeffress, ed., Cerebral Mechanisms in Behavior: The Hixon Symposium (New York: Hafner, 1951), 31. 42.Robert Chambers, Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation (London: John Churchill, 1844), 222–223. 43.Nils Barricelli, in Paul S.


pages: 798 words: 240,182

The Transhumanist Reader by Max More, Natasha Vita-More

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23andMe, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, Bill Joy: nanobots, bioinformatics, brain emulation, Buckminster Fuller, cellular automata, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, combinatorial explosion, conceptual framework, Conway's Game of Life, cosmological principle, data acquisition, discovery of DNA, Drosophila, en.wikipedia.org, experimental subject, Extropian, fault tolerance, Flynn Effect, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frank Gehry, friendly AI, game design, germ theory of disease, hypertext link, impulse control, index fund, John von Neumann, joint-stock company, Kevin Kelly, Law of Accelerating Returns, life extension, Louis Pasteur, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral hazard, Network effects, Norbert Wiener, P = NP, pattern recognition, phenotype, positional goods, prediction markets, presumed consent, Ray Kurzweil, reversible computing, RFID, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, silicon-based life, Singularitarianism, stem cell, stochastic process, superintelligent machines, supply-chain management, supply-chain management software, technological singularity, Ted Nelson, telepresence, telepresence robot, telerobotics, the built environment, The Coming Technological Singularity, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, Turing machine, Turing test, Upton Sinclair, Vernor Vinge, Von Neumann architecture, Whole Earth Review, women in the workforce

Yes, as Dawkins says they are creatures naturally evolved in their physical universe and they cannot violate their physics (Dawkins 2006), but they can violate ours if they want. Make this simple experiment: Run a Game of Life program, choose an initial pattern, and let it evolve for a while. Now, stop the program, flip a cell, and resume the program. You have just performed a miracle: something that goes against the physical laws (the simple cellular automata evolution rules of Life) of the lower-level reality that you are simulating. Of course the Game of Life is too simple to contain conscious observers, but hypothetical observers within the game would observe an event that cannot be understood in terms of the physical laws of their universe. A miracle.


pages: 823 words: 220,581

Debunking Economics - Revised, Expanded and Integrated Edition: The Naked Emperor Dethroned? by Steve Keen

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accounting loophole / creative accounting, banking crisis, banks create money, barriers to entry, Benoit Mandelbrot, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Black Swan, Bonfire of the Vanities, butterfly effect, capital asset pricing model, cellular automata, central bank independence, citizen journalism, clockwork universe, collective bargaining, complexity theory, correlation coefficient, credit crunch, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, debt deflation, diversification, double entry bookkeeping, en.wikipedia.org, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, experimental subject, Financial Instability Hypothesis, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, Henri Poincaré, housing crisis, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, invisible hand, iterative process, John von Neumann, laissez-faire capitalism, liquidity trap, Long Term Capital Management, mandelbrot fractal, margin call, market bubble, market clearing, market microstructure, means of production, minimum wage unemployment, open economy, place-making, Ponzi scheme, profit maximization, quantitative easing, RAND corporation, random walk, risk tolerance, risk/return, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Schrödinger's Cat, scientific mainstream, seigniorage, six sigma, South Sea Bubble, stochastic process, The Great Moderation, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, time value of money, total factor productivity, tulip mania, wage slave

Oakley, A. (1983) The Making of Marx’s Critical Theory, London: Routledge and Kegan Paul. Obama, B. (2009) ‘Obama’s remarks on the economy,’ New York Times, 14 April. O’Brien, Y.-Y. J. C. (2007) ‘Reserve requirement systems in OECD countries,’ SSRN eLibrary. Oda, S. H., K. Miura, K. Ueda and Y. Baba (2000) ‘The application of cellular automata and agent models to network externalities in consumers’ theory: a generalization of life game,’ in W. A. Barnett, C. Chiarella, S. Keen, R. Marks and H. Schnabl (eds), Commerce, Complexity and Evolution, New York: Cambridge University Press. O’Hara, M. (1995) Market Microstructure Theory, Cambridge: Blackwell.


pages: 1,199 words: 384,780

The system of the world by Neal Stephenson

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bank run, British Empire, cellular automata, Edmond Halley, Fellow of the Royal Society, high net worth, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, joint-stock company, large denomination, place-making, the market place, trade route, transatlantic slave trade

But out of a concern for their privacy and a desire not to seem like I’m clinging to their ankles, I’ll draw a veil over those conversations. Suffice it to say that the Royal Society crowd written about in these books has many descendants and heirs today, who are capable of talking learnedly about monads, cellular automata, the calculus dispute, absolute time and space, &c. at the drop of a hat, and that it’s been my privilege to know a few of them. They seem pleasantly surprised to learn that someone actually wants to write a novel about such topics, and I in turn have been pleasantly surprised to find that they are actually willing to spend time talking to me, and out of this, quite a few good conversations have arisen over the years.