Ray Kurzweil reviews Stephen Wolfram’s long awaited new book ‘A New Kind of Science’

May 10, 2002 | Source: KurzweilAI

On May 14, Stephen Wolfram’s new book “A New Kind of Science,” which he has spent more than ten years writing, goes public. Wolfram, the creator of Mathematica software, presents what he describes as “dramatic discoveries” based on his experiments with cellular automata.
The book addresses a wide array of fundamental issues in science, from the origins of apparent randomness in physical systems to the development of complexity in biology, the possibility of an algorithmic theory of physics, the interplay between free will and determinism, and the nature of intelligence in the universe.

Wolfram says that his book is “sure to become a landmark in the history of modern science…. I’ve discovered … that some of the very simplest imaginable computer programs can do things as complex as anything in our whole universe,” says Wolfram. “It’s this point that seems to be the secret that’s used all over nature to produce the complex and intricate things we see. And understanding this point seems to be the key to a whole new way of thinking about a lot of very fundamental questions in science and elsewhere.”

Is Wolfram’s assessment of his own work correct? Ray Kurzweil’s comprehensive review of Wolfram’s 1,200 page treatise will be published here on KurzweilAI.net at 12:01 on May 14 when the reviewer embargo is lifted.