20 July 2010

Stephen Wolfram on the Future of Technology

Stephen Wolfram shares his thoughts about the nature of computation, the definition of purpose, the future of technology and how technology is shaped by humans' definition of need. Read his thoughts from his blog. He makes the point that we are currently in a time when a fair part of everything is being recorded for the first time in history. When history looks back on our current time, we will be seen as ones who initially defined human purpose through technology. And if this is true, we may be defining "the purposes for our whole future."

While reading, I found there were background concepts necessary to follow his ideas. Before you read his talk, you may find it useful to review these concepts: computational irreducibility and the Turing test. (Comparable to the "Voight-Kampff" test Deckard performs on suspected replicants in Blade Runner.) While reading, I stumbled upon yet another great online tool from Wolfram, WolframTones.

Wolfram's talk is somewhat abstract, heavy on opinion and wades through philosophical ideas about meaning and purpose- a fun, inspirational read.