Home > Misc > 2010-06-08 We Are The Network: What is the Impact of Computers Making Discoveries?

2010-06-08 We Are The Network: What is the Impact of Computers Making Discoveries?

June 7th, 2010

What is the Impact of Computers Making Discoveries?

Please join our global discussion group
every Tuesday at 12pm noon U.S. Pacific / 3pm Eastern time

This Tuesday, June 8 at the Epoch Institute in Second Life

Click here to teleport to the Epoch Institute in Second Life

This Week’s Topic

What is the Impact of Computers Making Discoveries?

Science fiction abounds with stories of machines that are more intelligent, faster and understand things that humans do not yet understand. What if computing technology gets to the point where computers can figure things out, in essence making new discoveries, that we do not yet understand? How will this change society, our place in the world, and our understanding of sentience?

Recent results created by a system nicknamed the “Eureka Machine,” and a few others seem to have potentially put us on the path to this future. This system, with no programming to understand physics per-se, was fed movement data from two connected pendulums, and in a day returned the classic Netwonian formula for the laws of motion as “the one thing in common from all the movements it observed.” The system is now being used to explore other areas of science, and has already generated results that, while mathematically correct, are not yet understood by the scientists involved.

Another system nicknamed Adam is credited with completing the entire discovery process, including creating hypotheses and exploring them, on it’s own, for the first time.

While these are only early successes, those involved believe that they represent only the beginning of what these sorts of systems will ultimately be able to do. Where does this path lead?

Join us Tuesday at 12PM noon U.S. Pacific / 3pm U.S. Eastern time for an interactive discussion, and thanks for being part of “We Are The Network”!

If you do not have a Second Life account and would like a quick start to attend the session, please contact me for more information.

Best regards,


Reading links below – have fun and see you soon!

Eureka Machine puts Scientists in the Shade by Working Out Laws of Nature

Cornell Computational Synthesis Laboratory

Robot Makes Scientific Discovery All By Itself (Wired Magazine)

Center for Computational Learning Systems at Columbia University

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Thanks for attending!

Joel Foner (Second Life: Joel Savard)


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