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The Singularity Is Less-Far

I tend to laugh at those Futurists and Trans/Post-Humanists who have drunk deep of the “Singularity Is Near” koolaid.  Things like this make that laugh turn into a perplexed, slightly nervous chuckle:

An ongoing challenge is the tendency of Eureqa to return equations that fit data, but refer to variables that are not yet understood. Lipson likened this to what would happen if time-traveling scientists presented the laws of energy conservation to medieval mathematicians.

“Algebra was known. You could plug in the variable, and it would work. But the concept of energy wasn’t there. They didn’t have the vocabulary to understand it,” he said. “We’ve seen this in the lab. Eureqa finds a new relationship. It’s predictive, it’s elegant, it has to be true. But we have no idea what it means.”

So some smart folks created a smart application.  The application is so smart, in fact, that seems to be returning equations that are true, but beyond our current ability to understand.

Welcome to the future.

Posted in Geekery, Science/Tech.