Is Faster Smarter? IBM’s Watson Search Engine Approach to Beat Humans

IBM’s computer named “Watson” has beaten Jeopardy! (human) contestants in a series of games this month. IBM has a long history of innovations (watch this other 100th anniversary documentary featuring Greg Chaitin and Benoit Mandelbrot, among others here). Not everybody was impressed by Watson though, according to Gavin C. Schmitt who interviewed Noam Chomsky, the […]

Comments on Turing’s very first Universal machine approaching Turing’s 100th. birthday anniversary

The idea that a machine could perform the tasks of any other machine is the description of a Universal (Turing) machine. Its invention is considered by many to have been one of the major landmarks giving rise to the field of computer science. ‘Universal’ means that one can ‘program’ a general-purpose machine to perform the […]

The art of creating creatures from simple rules

Having quit his studies in physics, Theo Jansen became an artist. In this video he demonstrates his amazing life-like kinetic sculptures, built from plastic tubes and bottles. His Beach Creatures or Strandbeest are built to move and even survive on their own: I’ve been in touch with Theo Jansen recently. For further details about his […]

On the possible Computational Power of the Human Mind

My paper On the possible Computational power of the Human Mind (co-authored with my BS thesis advisor Francisco Hernández-Quiroz of the Math Department of the National University of Mexico [UNAM], which I delivered as a lecture 2 years ago at the Complexity, Science & Society 2005 Conference at the University of Liverpool, U.K.) has been recently published […]

The Mystery of Consciousness

New Steven Pinker article on Consciousness:,9171,1580394-1,00.html with good links to related articles. Steven Pinker recognizes in this article that the “I” problem has been over-estimated. However, despite a parenthetical moment of doubt, he does not recognize that the conscious/unconscious question is not a real problem. Science has long recognized that old problems can become […]

Meaning is in the word net: cyclic self-referential definitions, dictionaries and found in translation

In the “Period 1 Cycle English Dictionary” published by “No way, Inc.” (it’s been said to be the most accurate dictionary ever) one can read: dog (Noun) : a dog is a dog. The lazy creators of this dictionary appear to have forgotten what is broadly accepted by common sense. A definition would not be […]

Seth Lloyd’s quantum universe view

In an exchange of emails, Seth Lloyd and I discussed the topic I wrote about some posts ago. Here is some of it. According to Lloyd, there is a perfectly good definition of a quantum Turing machine (basically, a Turing machine with qubits and extra instructions to put those qubits in superposition, as above). A […]

Is the Universe a Computer? (Ist das Universum ein Computer?) Conference, Berlin, Germany, 6,7 November 2006

Ist das Universum ein Computer? Germany, November 2006, Informatik Jahr Deutschen Technikmuseum Berlin From Konrad Zuse’s Invention of the Computer to his “Calculating Space” to Quantum Computing. Lesson One: For someone with a hammer in his hand the world seems to be a  nail. Joseph Weizenbaun. Lesson Two: Knowing the input and the transition […]

Kurt Godel: The writings. Université de Lille III

Kurt Godel workshop for studying his legacy and writings. Lille, France, May 19-21, 2006 My thoughts, ideas, references, comments and informal notes: – The wheel machine, a machine for real computation which I am proposing -as a thought experiment- in a forthcoming paper  on the Church-Turing thesis -Yes, one more paper on the CT thesis!- […]

Meaning against A.I.

A significant number of researchers believe that there are sentences with semantic value that could never be understood by a machine. These researchers believe that the mind has a semantic component, unlike machines. Their’s is a  Chinese Room type argument a la Searle. Consider Chomsky’s example of two books in a library with the same title, and […]