Saturday, October 01, 2011

Welcome to the Matrix

Complex computer programs aren’t just changing the business of writing — they’re also having profound effects on scientific discovery. Scientists in 2009 managed to design a program, called Eureka, which can figure out the laws of nature for itself, just by observing its surroundings.

The software works using what’s known as an “evolutionary” or “Darwinian” algorithm. Conventional approaches to AI design usually attempt to replicate human brain functions, said Michael Schmidt, one of the program’s architects. Problem is, that strategy usually produces a machine that’s subject to all the existing limitations of our own minds. Evolutionary algorithms are designed to overcome that hurdle by melding the acts of perception and analysis. Instead of matching data to pre-programmed mathematical formulas, Eureka teaches itself the formulas from scratch.

“You don’t have to design it from the top down,” said Schmidt. “It emerges from the bottom up. It’s not limited by our own understanding — that’s the whole idea.”

Schmidt believes scientists are on the verge of being left behind by their computers, which will seemingly be capable of leaping to conclusions while researchers spend most of their time puzzling over how their machines got there.


....but hey, do what you will anyway.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are moderated. There may be some delay before your comment is published. It all depends on how much time M has in the day. But please comment!