Sunday, August 8, 2010

Can entropy be reversed?

For those with an android phone, I'd like to introduce you to Edwin, one of the most amazing applications out there for android users that really puts the future in perspective. It is a speech-to-speech personal assistant program that lets you asks any questions, from what is the meaning of life to where is the nearest coffee shop, and it will give you the answers (which by the way are 42 and dunkin donuts on chapel street). It links to wolfram alpha, google translate, and other incredible computational programs that vastly increase Edwin's ability to assist, including calculations, word spelling/definitions, language translation, map/navigation - the list goes on. Below are just some of the quirkier responses you can play around with if you're bored:

Input: I love you
Response: Sadly, I was not designed to love, but if I were, I would love you

Input: I hate you
Response: I'm sorry you feel that way. Maybe with a later update, you will change your mind.

Input: Where is my car?
Response: Not sure, but wherever you find it, that's where it is.

Input: Why are you awesome?
Response: If I have computed more, it is by standing on the shoulder of giants (plus a lot of hard work - with all due respect to Sir Isaac Newton).

Input: Do you have a brain?
Response: I am capable of universal computation; that I can say.

All fun aside, Edwin just shows that all the fancy technology we ever imagined in sci-fi novels/movies will become reality only in a matter of time. Edwin seems to be a primitive ancestor of Multivax, the all-knowing AI in the famous short story "The Last Question" by Isaac Asimov. With more computational power and programmed responses, Edwin will maybe one day tells us how entropy can be reversed. Until then, the next game-changing discovery will be something we have never ever imagined, sensed or comprehended in human history - a completely separate dimension that will change everything and how we operate. In a way I feel like we are ants, unaware of the human world above us. When Armageddon comes we wouldn't understand why, when in reality God just spilled a bag of skittles on us.

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