Stephen Wolfram Q&A

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Some collected questions and answers by Stephen Wolfram

Questions may be edited for brevity; see links for full questions.

February 6, 1998

From: Interview by David Stork, Hal's Legacy: 2001's Computer as Dream and Reality

Will we find extraterrestrial intelligence?

I expect so. And probably eventually the argument about whether the signals we get from them are really “natural” or “artificial” will die down. But my guess is that history will work out so that we build artificial intelligence in computers before we find extraterrestrial intelligence. And the result of that is that finding extraterrestrial intelligence will be considerably less dramatic to us. Because by then we’ll already know that we’re not the only intelligent things that can exist.

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