1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

What does a Wolpert's machine do?

  1. Mar 28, 2014 #1
    Here is a description of Wolpert's machine from an article published on livescience.com, but I did not understand anything. Would you please care to explain it for me?

    "Basically, Wolpert — building on previous work by Alan Turing — formalized a description of "inference machines," i.e. machines capable of arriving at inferences about the world (human beings are one example of such machines). Wolpert focused on what he calls strong inference, the ability of one machine to predict the totality of conclusions arrived at by another similar machine. Wolpert then logically proved the following two conclusions: a) For every machine capable of conducting strong inferences on the totality of the laws of physics there will be a second machine that cannot be strongly inferred from the first one; b) Given any pair of such machines, they cannot be strongly inferred from each other."

    Source: http://www.livescience.com/2995-theory.html

    Pardon me if the question is not in right category, since I couldn't figure out which category the question should be placed in.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 28, 2014 #2
    The description is clear. A Wolpert machine is a smart machine that tries to predict the behavior of other smart machines. Wolpert proved that no matter how smart you are, it is always possible to find another smart machine that is too complex in order to be predicted (even if you're smart enough to comprehend the totality of physical laws).
  4. Mar 29, 2014 #3
    Thank you very much.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook