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Meet the scientist who thought the universe was a supercomputer

Meet the scientist who thought the universe was a supercomputer

Edward Friedkin, who died on June 13, was an American physicist and influential computer science professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). As a researcher, he was a pioneer in artificial intelligence and a pioneer in digital physics.

One of his most popular ideas was that the entire universe could function as a giant computer.

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Edward Friedkin’s importance to computing

  • Edwards left the US Air Force to become a fighter pilot in the late 1950s for MIT Lincoln Laboratory where he became one of the first computer programmers.
  • Throughout his career as a professor at MIT, his ideas and theories have contributed to the study of computer science, artificial intelligence, and complex systems;
  • In the 1960s, he helped develop the first versions of multi-access computers as part of a project funded by the Pentagon.
  • In an interview with The New York Times, Gerald Sussman, professor of electronic engineering and former colleague of Friedkin’s, said that “One of the first computer programmers in the world“.

The universe as a supercomputer

Long before the movies matrix Addressing the possibility of living in a simulation, Friedkin proposed the theory that the universe was a supercomputer. which is based on the idea thatInformation is more intrinsic than matter and energy“.

According to science author Robert Wright in the journal Science Atlantic Monthly In 1988, Friedkin believed that “atoms, electrons, and quarks are essentially made up of bits.” That is, everything that exists will be part of information binary units used by computers.

Friedkin’s paradox

Another contribution by the scientist was Friedkin’s paradox, which consists of the following: every time someone needs to make a decision based on two things, the more good choices the choices are, the more time it takes to make the decision. If one option is clearly better than the other, the selection time will be shorter.

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kind of obvious right? But herein lies the paradox, the more difficult it is to make a choice between two difficult choices, the less impact that decision will have, after both options are so good that the person does not know which one to choose.

with information from New York Post that it boston.com.

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