15 November 2005

George Dyson on Google


This is an excellent article summarising a talk Dyson gave on Google Edge: TURING'S CATHEDRAL by George Dyson

A flavour of the article:

My visit to Google - Despite the whimsical furniture and other toys, I felt I was entering a 14th century cathedral, not in the 14th century but in the 12th century, while it was being built. Everyone was busy carving one stone here and another stone there, with some invisible architect getting everything to fit. The mood was playful, yet there was a palpable reverence in the air. "We are not scanning all those books to be read by people," explained one of my hosts after my talk. "We are scanning them to be read by an AI."

When I returned to highway 101, I found myself recollecting the words of Alan Turing, in his seminal paper Computing Machinery and Intelligence, a founding document in the quest for true AI. "In attempting to construct such machines we should not be irreverently usurping His power of creating souls, any more than we are in the procreation of children," Turing had advised. "Rather we are, in either case, instruments of His will providing mansions for the souls that He creates."

Posted by mofoghlu at 9:18 AM | Comments (0)