- United States ()
It’s not just film reviewers who need to worry about being replaced by artificially intelligent "thinking computers" – scientists may now have cause for concern over their job security, too. In 2009, researchers at the Creative Machines Lab, part of Cornell University, New York, unveiled a software program called Eureqa. Feed the program some data on pretty much anything and it will try to come up with a mathematical law explaining how the data is related. The program works using what’s called a "genetic algorithm" – software that find the optimal solution to problems by mimicking the perfecting power of evolution in the natural world. Eureqa formulates crude trial solutions, evolves and cross-breeds them, kills off the duff ones, and then repeats the process millions of times. As a proof of concept, the team fed the program data on the motion of a pendulum – to which it responded by rediscovering Newton’s second law of motion, and the conservation of energy.