What Hath God Wrought?
By J.D. Neeson, President
“The Week” (a great magazine by the way) mentioned, almost in passing, that the University of Washington had mapped the molecular structure of an enzyme from an AIDS-like virus. The hope is that the enzyme could be used to stop the disease from spreading.
That fact alone is good news, but what fascinated me the most was how the scientists managed to do the mapping. The mapping was done using 60,0000 volunteer video gamers who were using a software program that allowed them to manipulate the enzyme and receive points for how efficiently they did it. Apparently, scientists have been working on this mapping for ten years. The gamers did it in ten days.
The link below sort of explains how they did it:
Fascinating, and a little scary. I think this and the IBM Watson (the Jeopardy-playing computer) may be the biggest jumps in decades. Not quite artificial intelligence, but finding a way to use the collective abstract reasoning of 60,000 people or developing algorithms that allowed Watson to access 1,000 gigabytes of information in less than a second, is getting pretty close. I believe 20 years from now we will all talk about these two events the way we now talk about the Univac or the Web or the theory of relativity.
And now they think that some subatomic particles go faster than the speed of light! It not only throws out all the expanding universe and missing mass issues, it means that perhaps the universe isn’t all that old and maybe there are no other dimensions and maybe quantum physics and tunneling is all wrong.
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October 3, 2011 / JD Neeson / 0
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