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The Latest from the Large Hadron Collider

As of this morning, the LHC is shut down again. By now you've probably heard the reason being floated: the LHC is so powerful it reaches into the future. There, some entity recognizes that generating such energies by Earthlings is dangerous, given our level of expertise. So he or she or it travels back in time periodically to shut the machine down. HAL

What will computers of the future be like? Will they have consciousness, and will they surpass us as the next species? This has been the subject of some current research I am doing (not AI research but the history of this idea). Hard to believe, but it has been over 40 years since "HAL," the computer that was the central character of 2001, a Space Odyssey, appeared. We forget that many believed in all seriousness that, with computing advancing as rapidly as it was back then, such a machine was not far off. Perhaps not by 2001, but certainly by now. In spite of 40 years of Moore's Law, and countless other advances in computing, we still don't have HAL. Maybe that's a good thing, but will a real HAL ever arrive?

I hope the LHC gets its bugs worked out, and maybe it will help give us an answer.

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