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September 01, 2007


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The Epstein article is way cool. Where do you dig up this stuff? Was he one of your profs?

Albert Ruesga

I saw a review of Epstein's book in a recent Scientific American article (a gift of my in-laws, God bless them). I don't yet know what to make of his argument. The outputs are amazing and beautiful, I think, and clearly worth studying further. Having worked with software models before, I also know that a researcher might spend a lot of time tweaking the parameters until an interesting or recognizable pattern emerges on the screen. There's that effect to consider.

Epstein's research reminds me in a big way of Conway's Game of Life.

Pam Ashlund

I now officially worship at your feet Dix.
I seem to have lost by copy of Steven Levy's "Artificial Life", but if memory serves it emerged (wink) in the early '90's.

If you live long enough (and I'm working on it) these predictions can get pretty funny. You don't hear very much about Artificial Intelligence anymore and that was around the corner, any day now, etc. in the 1960's.


"I've been rich, and I've been poor and rich is better"

Albert Ruesga

I'm no expert, but even when I was in school back in the late 80s to early 90s studying this stuff, AI was getting snagged on basic human knowledge ("When I put my left arm behind my back, my left wrist is located there too") and natural language comprehension. By contrast, so-called "expert systems" (for disease diagnosis, for example), were fairly easy to program. Have you kept up? I'm not at all current.

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