Monday, March 09, 2009

Computational Intelligence takes huge leap forward

Skynet is here!

Well not quite but there is an important development on the computational intelligence front this week. The launch of the Wolfram Alpha system should be written in history as a key event in the pursuit of computational reasoning. While some pundits in the press think it is just another challenge to Google, the true magnitude of the genius behind this is only the beginning.

Stephen Wolfram is an outstanding mathematician. He has engineered the Mathematica system, which, in the words of Semantics and Ontological guru John Sowa, "is the premier mathematical computing system available."

I have been working with the Ontolog Forum for years and we have argued back and forth whether this type of application is even possible. The consensus seems to be it should be possible but none of us can wait until May 2009 when anybody will be able to ask the Wolfram Alpha a factual question and see the results of that question being answered by formal reasoning or computation from material available on the WWW.

Following is Wolfram's summary of the project:

The link below is a testimony by someone who has had hands-on
experience with Wolfram Alpha and seems to believe it has not yet failed:

This is such a foundationally cool development in the computational intelligence circles and it is creating even some mainstream buzz. What we have discussed and theorized for the last 8 years in the Ontology Forum has apparently come to fruition – a queryable code base using JIT resources classified by FOL and formal set-theory predicate calculus. A machine that emulates a human being able to answer questions by harnessing statements on the web. Imagine!!

This is not the end all for semantic research as there are still lots of un-factual statements on the web, however, what is really impressing me, is that the Wolfram Alpha should apparently be able to resolve conflicts in logic and assess which statements are true and which are not by accessing various resources. While rudimentary and likely comparatively slow (to Google) in process, this is akin to a child just learning to speak and dynamic algorithms could eventually build its knowledge into a true artificially created sentient force capable of reasoning.

Next on my todo list? I want to get on the alpha list!!!

This is, in short, beyond belief and probably an important evolution in our history. Skynet is here!!!

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