Remarks after reading George Dyson article on Turing, von Neumann & Google

Very cool article: Edge: TURING’S CATHEDRAL by George Dyson

From the perspective of an agents framework’s developer, I have these remarks:

  1. ontologies specify behavior. edit the ontology & the software behavior changes. why?
  2. create a full corporation of software agents, with hundreds of agent types & thousands of agent workers.
  3. the ontology defines the behavior of all agents – their genes, then the ontology also contains the knowledge learnt by the agents – their brain.
  4. the key ingredient for agents corporation is communication: normal communication for regular behavior, & spontaneous communication for mutated adaptive behavior.
  5. Google is the access method to the global knowledge base of unstructured data. Google should be used extensively by each agent, in order to find new knowledge relevant to its behavior.
  6. There is a barrier between machines & humans today: machines can only answer questions that programmers defined well & hard-coded the procedure for answering. most questions people have are not (yet) well-defined & programmers still didn’t define procedures for them. Agentier should be able to communicate directly with people in order to solve “questions whose answers are, in principle, computable, but that, in practice, we are unable to ask in unambiguous language that computers can understand.”
  7. Basically this means that a good agent framework should be human brain compatible: it should solve problems that the human brain normally solves.


  • “An argument in favour of building a machine with initial randomness is that, if it is large enough, it will contain every network that will ever be required.” (Irving J. Good)
  • “It is much easier to find explicit answers than to ask explicit questions. And some will be answers to questions that programmers wil never have to ask.” (G. Dyson)
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