The Wouk Lecture - Stephen Wolfram
Building the Computational Future
Abstract: Computation is a powerful force that we're only just beginning to understand and harness, but that seems destined to define much of the future of science, technology and in the end our whole civilization. This talk will discuss a little of what I have learned about what's out there in the computational universe, as well as about my efforts to create a computational language that can harness it for human purposes. For every field X there either is now a Computational X, or there soon will be. This talk will discuss both my practical efforts to deliver ubiquitous computational intelligence through Wolfram Language, and my current thinking about AI, SETI, fundamental physics, the future of education, and more.
Bio: Stephen Wolfram is the creator of Mathematica, Wolfram|Alpha and the Wolfram Language, and the author of A New Kind of Science. He arrived at Caltech in 1978 as a physics graduate student when he was 18 years old. He received his PhD in 1979 and was then briefly a faculty member at Caltech, but left in connection with starting his first company. He continued as an academic at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, then founded a research center at the University of Illinois, but soon started Wolfram Research, which he has led as CEO for the past 32 years. Wolfram has been a pioneer in both the theoretical and practical aspects of computation, and the tools he has built are used by millions of people every day, and have been responsible for countless inventions and discoveries over the course of the past three decades. In addition to his work in science, technology and business, Wolfram "plays professor" for a few weeks each year at the Wolfram Summer School, livecodes and livestreams extensively, and regularly publishes essays on a wide range of topics from AI ethics to personal analytics and historical biography.