Massive Monkey Experimentation and the Future of Computing

Things like this are cool and all, but they seem to be missing the point of all this technology we have. A lot of projects that are using massive computing power to reproduce really crazy ideas from Borges’ fiction are nice, any they’ll probably even produce some weird spin-off benefits, but they’re also a failure of the imagination. People–i.e. writers, since that’s what we talk about here–shouldn’t be using this technology to look backwards. They should be using it to look forwards.

Google strikes me as interesting because it’s kind of in between the two: it’s looking backwards to look forwards. What I mean is that it’s essentially adapting a Taylorist view of production to a world where previously unimaginable computing power is the norm. As such, it’s kind of taking the next step, but not quite. I think that if Google keeps on innovating, the kinds of things it will be doing 20 years from now will be fundamentally different from the kinds of things its currently doing.



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