The Last Question by Isaac Asimov

The problem of heat can be a frustrating one if one can contend with the computer chips and how this may of resulted in a reboot of the machine( or it’s death) into a better state of existence then what was previously used in working model form.

So the perfection is to the very defining model of a super race that is devoid of all the trappings in human form that can be ruled by the mistakes of combining body parts from Frankenstein sense to what the new terminator models have in taken over..but they are not human?

Multivac is a advanced computer that solves many of the world’s problems. The story opens on May 14, 2061 when Multivac has built a space station to harness the power of the sun – effectively giving humans access to a nearly unlimited source of power. Ah – and that’s the key, it is nearly unlimited. In fact two of Multivac’s technicians argue about this very idea – how long will humankind be able to glean energy from the universe? They decide to ask Multivac for the answer, and all it can say is “INSUFFICIENT DATA FOR MEANINGFUL ANSWER.” Oh well, it was a good idea, and through several smaller stories we see that many more people ask Multivac the same question. Multivac has a difficult time answering – it is a hard question after all! But when do we (and Multivac) finally learn the answer? As you’ve probably guessed – not until the very end of the story.

“You ask Multivac. I dare you. Five dollars says it can’t be done.”

“Adell was just drunk enough to try, just sober enough to be able to phrase the necessary symbols and operations into a question which, in words, might have corresponded to this: Will mankind one day without the net expenditure of energy be able to restore the sun to its full youthfulness even after it had died of old age?

Or maybe it could be put more simply like this: How can the net amount of entropy of the universe be massively decreased?
Multivac fell dead and silent. The slow flashing of lights ceased, the distant sounds of clicking relays ended.

Then, just as the frightened technicians felt they could hold their breath no longer, there was a sudden springing to life of the teletype attached to that portion of Multivac. Five words were printed: INSUFFICIENT DATA FOR MEANINGFUL ANSWER.

***

Timeframe for heat death

From the Big Bang through the present day and well into the future, matter and dark matter in the universe is concentrated in stars, galaxies, and galaxy clusters. Therefore, the universe is not in thermodynamic equilibrium and objects can do physical work.[11], §VID. The decay time of a roughly galaxy-mass (1011 solar masses) supermassive black hole due to Hawking radiation is on the order of 10100 years,[12], so entropy can be produced until at least that time. After that time, the universe enters the so-called dark era, and is expected to consist chiefly of a dilute gas of photons and leptons.[11], §VIA. With only very diffuse matter remaining, activity in the universe will have tailed off dramatically, with very low energy levels and very large time scales. Speculatively, it is possible that the Universe may enter a second inflationary epoch, or, assuming that the current vacuum state is a false vacuum, the vacuum may decay into a lower-energy state.[11], §VE. It is also possible that entropy production will cease and the universe will achieve heat death.[11], §VID.

*** 

Creating the Perfect Human Being or Maybe…..

….. a Frankenstein? 🙂

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the intelligence of machines and the branch of computer scienceintelligent agents,”[1] where an intelligent agent is a system that perceives its environment and takes actions which maximize its chances of success.[2] John McCarthy, who coined the term in 1956,[3][4] which aims to create it. Textbooks define the field as “the study and design of defines it as “the science and engineering of making intelligent machines.”
The field was founded on the claim that a central property of humans, intelligence—the sapience of Homo sapiens—can be so precisely described that it can be simulated by a machine.[5] This raises philosophical issues about the nature of the mind and limits of scientific hubris, issues which have been addressed by myth, fiction and philosophy since antiquity.[6] Artificial intelligence has been the subject of breathtaking optimism,[7] has suffered stunning setbacks[8][9] and, today, has become an essential part of the technology industry, providing the heavy lifting for many of the most difficult problems in computer science.
AI research is highly technical and specialized, deeply divided into subfields that often fail to communicate with each other.[10] Subfields have grown up around particular institutions, the work of individual researchers, the solution of specific problems, longstanding differences of opinion about how AI should be done and the application of widely differing tools. The central problems of AI include such traits as reasoning, knowledge, planning, learning, communication, perception and the ability to move and manipulate objects.[11] General intelligence (or “strong AI“) is still a long-term goal of (some) research.[12]

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2 Responses to The Last Question by Isaac Asimov

  1. I loved that short story by Asimov, whom we all miss. The universe creates itself or another universe, once it creates a being capable of creating itself, or some other universe. Appealing, because the laws of THIS universe seem too …. exact. Hey Plato, off topic. You and i like art, right? And physics? Are you aware of the science artwork of Julian Voss-Andreae?

  2. Plato says:

    Hi Steven,Some technologies portrayed as common in the film which have not materialized in the 2000s include commonplace space travel, space stations with hotels, moon colonization, suspended animation of humans, common (non-mobile) videophones, and strong artificial intelligence of the kind displayed by HAL.I just wanted to refresh your memory.You remember Bowman?Dave leaves Discovery One in an EVA pod, and encounters another monolith in orbit around Jupiter. Approaching it, he finds himself suddenly traveling through a tunnel of colored light (termed the “Star Gate” in the novel by Clarke) racing at great speed across vast distances of space viewing strange astronomical phenomena interspersed with shots of a terrified Bowman, concluding with landscapes with altered colors. He eventually finds himself in a bedroom containing Louis XVI-style decor. He repeatedly sees older versions of himself, with the film's points of view each time switching to the older Dave. Finally an elderly and dying David Bowman is lying on the bed. At its foot a monolith appears. It transforms him into a fetus-like being enclosed in a transparent orb of light (termed the “Star-Child” in the novel by Clarke). The final shot shows the “Star-Child” floating in space next to the Earth "There before him, a glittering toy no Star-Child could resist, floated the planet Earth with all its peoples." — 2001Hmmm.. the last question?Yes of course I am interest in how art is used to further the positions theoreticians adopt or how one might envision the proposal seen in abstract form.Best,

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