March 8, 2017
From: Interview by John Horgan, Scientific American
What’s your utopia?
If you mean: what do I personally want to do all day? Well, I’ve been fortunate that I’ve been able to set up my life to let me spend a large fraction of my time doing what I want to be doing, which usually means creating things and figuring things out. I like building large, elegant, useful, intellectual and practical structures—which is what I hope I’ve done over a long period of time, for example, with Wolfram Language.
If you’re asking what I see as being the best ultimate outcome for our whole species—well, that’s a much more difficult question, though I’ve certainly thought about it. Yes, there are things we want now—but how what we want will evolve after we’ve got those things is, I think, almost impossible for us to understand. Look at what people see as goals today, and think how difficult it would be to explain many of them to someone even a few centuries ago. Human goals will certainly evolve, and the things people will think are the best possible things to do in the future may well be things we don’t even have words for yet.