Marflow|Omega – letter to Wolfram|Alpha

Dear WolframAlpha team,

Thank you for bringing this wonderful tool to the world. Truly extraordinary!

My question is: how do you map the limits or “outer edges” of the WolframAlpha field?

The reason I ask is that my father teaches computational logic and since I was a small child I was intrigued by his claim that we could know, with absolute certainty, the limits of what computers could and couldn’t do. I dreamt of dancing on that imaginary line. Fearful of losing the beauty of the question, I never asked for the answer.

Decades later, an article in the Saturday Guardian revived the intrigue. Perhaps WolframAlpha could help answer that essential question? Is it necessary or even of interest for you to define where the line between the computable and non-computable sits? Is it a clean or a fuzzy edge, and does it move over time as your system and society develop?

With best regards,

Pascale Scheurer RIBA FRSA
Director, Surface to Air Architects

ps I have spent my life dancing on that line, between the knowable and unknowable, between mathematics and art. It only recently occurred to me, after reading the article on WolframAlpha, that it has guided my life like a star. I am perpetually drawn to questions that can have no answers, and yet demand them. Perhaps for this reason I am an architect.

Now off I go to ask WolframAlpha: “What have Future Generations ever done for us?”
We may be some time.

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One Response to Marflow|Omega – letter to Wolfram|Alpha

  1. The answer? 28 years (8.8×10’8 seconds) and a nice graph of climate statistics.

    The Turing Test will have to wait a little longer.

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