Ask and it Shall be Answered

It’s been a while, two or three weeks at least, since anything in the world of science has totally blown my mind, but this blows my mind.
Scientists posed the question of a computer: How can a flatworm, which has been sliced sideways into a thin strip like a damned cucumber, still manage to reproduce? Because they can, you know.
The thing is, they really didn’t know the answer. This wasn’t something that had been programmed into the computer, because that information just didn’t exist. They were asking the computer to figure it out.
And the computer did. If that isn’t artificial intelligence, it’s damned well close enough. We can ask computers questions to which no human being on earth has the answer, and still get an answer. The mind boggles. The possibilities are endless.
Here are some questions we should ask computers: How can we provide clean, healthy drinking water to everybody on the planet? How can we prevent an asteroid from striking the Earth and killing everybody on it except maybe the cockroaches? How can we eliminate traffic jams? How can we build housing for all of the people of the Earth for under 500 billion dollars? What makes people laugh? How can we achieve peace in the Middle East without a giant flood that just kills everybody? What is the cure for the common cold? How can we terraform Mars? Venus? Is there intelligent life on other planets and, if so, how can we contact them? Should we contact them? How can we build a ship with a warp drive and room for a couple hundred people to wander up and down uncrowded corridors to their heart’s content?
And much, much more.


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