By George B. Dyson
George Dyson grew up on the Institute for complicated research, the place such scientists as his father, Freeman Dyson, and John von Neumann laid the rules for the data Age. From this vantage aspect, and with an remarkable solid of characters, Dyson lines the process the data revolution, illuminating the lives, paintings and concepts of visionaries who foresaw the improvement of synthetic intelligence, man made existence, and the worldwide brain.
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Extra info for Darwin Among the Machines: The Evolution of Global Intelligence (Helix Books)
Butler, Cook, and I would repair to the sitting-room, and round a glorious fire smoked or read or listened to Butler's piano. "11 Erewhon and all the books that followed (until Erewhon Revisited in 1901) were published at Butler's own expense. The success of his nonfiction was uneven at best. A secure reputation had to await his autobiographical, anti-Victorian novel. The Way of all Flesh, which Butler left unpublished lest his relatives take offense. This courtesy Was not extended to anyone else.
A container shall be provided with holes in such a way that they can be opened and closed. They are to be open at those places that correspond to a 1 and remain closed at those that correspond to a 0. Through the opened gates small cubes or marbles are to fall into tracks, through the others nothing. "11 In the shift registers at the heart of the electronic microprocessor voltage gradients and pulses of electrons have taken the place of gravity and marbles, but otherwise things are running exactly as envisioned by Leibniz in 1679.
13 Leibniz proposed a universal coding of natural language based on underlying logical relationships and forms. Primary concepts would be represented by prime numbers. From this initial mapping between numbers and ideas a grand, omnipotent combinatorial system could be constructed by arithmetic alone. Leibniz saw that the correspondence between logic and mechanism worked both ways. "14 This ambition was fulfilled, some 150 years later, by the English mathematician, engineer, and patron saint of the programmable computer, Charles Babbage (1791-1871).