Re: [sl4] Wolfram Alpha: Useful For AI Research?

From: Dagon Gmail (
Date: Fri May 01 2009 - 22:01:38 MDT

2009/5/2 Thomas Buckner <>

> Stephen Wolfram, the creator of Mathematica software and author of the book
> A New Kind Of Science, is rolling out a formal search engine called Wolfram
> Alpha. In addition to displaying pages with the information you seek, it can
> calculate answers to questions. Seems like Google plus Mathematica, with an
> expert system knitting the two.
> Quote from Techcrunch: "The vision seems to be to create a system wich can
> do for formal knowledge (all the formally definable systems, heuristics,
> algorithms, rules, methods, theorems, and facts in the world) what search
> engines have done for informal knowledge (all the text and documents in
> various forms of media)."
> Query: could not a system that is described like that be used, by anyone on
> the Web, in GAI research?

AGI ! Let's stay away from that other term....

Rudy Rucker talked to Wolfram: "Kicking off our conversation, Stephen
> remarks that, “Wolfram|Alpha isn’t really a search engine, because we
> compute the answers, and we discover new truths. If anything, you might
> call it a platonic search engine, unearthing eternal truths that may never
> have been written down before.” from
> You might, when Wolfram Alpha is fully underway and gaining a reputation
> for giving good answers, trust it to run complex sims for you, as an
> outboard brain of sorts, figuring out thorny questions of how to define
> Friendliness. Depending on how smart it is in helping you make design
> strategies. Wolfram is a notorious egotist in the Edison mold, but like
> Edison he can make some big things happen.
> Query? Could a GAI be hatched in sim in such an environment?
> If GAI is possible, then probably yes, if you were clever enough to code it
> in there.
> But could it be effectively sandboxed using software methods alone, in a
> simulation spread across the internet? Hmmmmmm.
> All moot, of course, if Wolfram Alpha doesn't live up to the buildup. But
> to me, right now, it seems very plausible.

2012 ! 2012 !
No seriously, what if we are *d'oh d'oh* ahead of schedule?

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