Random Item Generation tasks (RIG) are commonly used to assess high cognitive abilities such as inhibition or sustained attention. They also draw upon our approximate sense of complexity. A detrimental effect of ageing on pseudo-random productions has been demonstrated for some tasks, but little is as yet known about the developmental curve of cognitive complexity […]

# Category: General

## Rare Speed-up in Automatic Theorem Proving Reveals Tradeoff Between Computational Time and Information Value

It has traditionally been argued that the value of information, where known in advance, can never be less than zero, because decision-making can always ignore extraneous information, proceeding as if such information were not available. In this paper we follow a formal approach that suggests that inquiring after or figuring out (as opposed to being […]

## How Humans perceive the world is biased by how patterns are distributed in Nature and their intrinsic complexity

A new paper of mine with my colleagues, and Algorithmic Nature Lab members, Nicolas Gauvrit and Fernando Soler-Toscano just came out. Using previously generated and new experimental data together with new methods to calculate the algorithmic complexity of 2-dimensional objects, we were able to find that when humans assess the complexity of an image (a small 4×4 […]

## The Turing Test pass fiasco

I would have loved to hear the news that the Turing Test had been passed for the right reasons–if there was genuine reason to believe so. Unfortunately this is not the case for the recent claim (http://www.reading.ac.uk/news-and-events/releases/PR583836.aspx) and the bold reports published in its wake–without any critical comment– by the major newspapers and magazines. While it […]

## New paper solves and addresses some of Wolfram’s Open Problems in Cellular Automata

In a new paper entitled Asymptotic Behaviour and Ratios of Complexity in Cellular Automata Rule Spaces to be published soon by IJBC and available online here, at least 3 open problems in Cellular Automata are solved/addressed. These are related to: The development of a formal classification of behaviours of cellular automaton The development of automated ways to […]

## Information Special Issue “Physics of Information”

Special Issue “Physics of Information” A special issue of Information (ISSN 2078-2489). Deadline for manuscript submissions: 20 November 2013 Special Issue Editors Guest Editor Dr. Hector Zenil Unit of Computational Medicine, Center for Molecular Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden Website: http://www.mathrix.org/zenil/ E-Mail: hectorz@labores.eu Interests: algorithmic information theory; computational biology and complex networks Guest Editor Dr. Gordana Dodig-Crnkovic School of Innovation, Design and […]

## Help science and behave randomly

Take part in a cutting-edge massive online experiment to asses how humans perceive and generate randomness Human Randomness Perception and Generation Project: http://complexitycalculator.com/hrng/ For obvious reasons I cannot tell much. This is an experiment undertaken by the Algorithmic Nature Group of LABoRES. The results will be announced in this blog. Stay tuned.

## New volume: A Computable Universe

With a foreword by Sir Roger Penrose, my new volume A Computable Universe has been published by World Scientific and the Imperial College Press after my bestseller Randomness Through Computation in 2011. A Computable Universe: Understanding and Exploring Nature as Computation, introduces the views of the pioneers in the computable universe view of the world and some of its […]

## My new book: Irreducibility and Computational Equivalence

Irreducibility and Computational Equivalence is a collection of contributions by outstanding authors in celebration of Stephen Wolfram’s A New Kind of Science after 10 years of its publication. Published by Springer Verlag it is already available both Paperback and Hardcover, as well as an eBook and CDF (computable document). Here is a free preview and the […]

## Life as Thermodynamic Evidence of Algorithmic Structure in Natural Environments

In evolutionary biology, attention to the relationship between stochastic organisms and their stochastic environments has leaned towards the adaptability and learning capabilities of the organisms rather than toward the properties of the environment. This article is devoted to the algorithmic aspects of the environment and its interaction with living organisms. We ask whether one may […]

## Announcing the Online Algorithmic Complexity Calculator

We have made available a basic beta version of an Online Algorithmic Complexity Calculator implementing the methods we have developed in recent papers at the Algorithmic Nature lab. The OACC provides a comprehensive framework of universal mathematical measures of algorithmic complexity for researchers and professionals. It retrieves objective numerical measures of randomness for potential applications […]

## Paper published: Life as Thermodynamic Evidence of Algorithmic Structure in Natural Environments

Life as Thermodynamic Evidence of Algorithmic Structure in Natural Environments In evolutionary biology, attention to the relationship between stochastic organisms and their stochastic environments has leaned towards the adaptability and learning capabilities of the organisms rather than toward the properties of the environment. This article is devoted to the algorithmic aspects of the environment and […]

## Hypercomputation in A Computable Universe

This is the full version of my answer to a question formulated by Francisco A. Doria to me included in the Discussion Section of A Computable Universe, my edited volume being published by World Scientific and Imperial College Press coming out next month (already available in Asia) concerning whether I think if Hypercomputation is possible: […]

## Meaningful Math Proofs and “Math is not Calculation”

Mathematicians are generally thought to be very good at calculation, and they sometimes are, but this is not because math is about calculation, just as astronomy is not about telescopes and computer science is not about computers (paraphrasing Edsger Dijkstra). But if it is not preeminently about calculation, then what is mathematics about? The common […]

## Towards a Web of One…

The author is a little more critical of personalization than I’d be inclined to be, and he gives too much credit to human editors in my opinion (I think they can be as bad or worse than algorithmic editors. Witness the hacking scandals in the UK, a phenomenon not exclusive to Great Britain). Eli Pariser’s […]

## David Hilbert and Deutsch in den Wissenschaften

David Hilbert was probably one of the most, if not the most, prominent German mathematician. His interests ranged from quantum mechanics to topology, and notably from the foundations to the history of science and mathematics. Among his main interests there was geometry, at which he excelled by formalizing a two and a half centuries (Euclidian) […]

## A bit of cryptography, passwords strength, and sysadmins of savings banks

This recent webcomic from xkcd, Password Strength, relates to what I’ve been investigating lately–the question of whether there need be a tradeoff between password strength and ease of recall, using, as usual, my knowledge of finite algorithmic information theory. While my conclusions will be presented in a paper in the next few months/years, the webcomic […]

## “The World is Either Algorithmic or Mostly Random” awarded a 3rd Place Prize in this year’s FQXi contest

Based on the combined ratings of the contest community and the panel of expert reviewers appointed by the FXQi, which included the members of the institute, I was awarded a 3rd Place Prize for my work The World is Either Algorithmic or Mostly Random in this year’s FQXi contest on the topic Is Reality Digital […]

## New book: “Lo que cabe en el espacio” on Philosophy of Space and Geometry

I am excited to announce the publication of my new book written in Spanish Lo que cabe en el espacio on the philosophy of space in connection to our reality, and what we can or cannot do with it and in it. The book, under the title “Lo que cabe en el espacio: La geometría […]

## The Lighthill Parliamentary Debate on General Purpose Artificial Intelligence

In 1973, Lucasian professor at Cambridge, James Lighthill, was asked by the British Parliament to evaluate the state of AI research in the United Kingdom. His report, now called the Lighthill report, criticized the failure of AI to achieve its grandiose objectives. He specifically mentioned the problem of “combinatorial explosion” or “intractability” of the discourse […]