#89 – Stephen Wolfram: Cellular Automata, Computation, and Physics

Stephen Wolfram is a computer scientist, mathematician, and theoretical physicist who is the founder and CEO of Wolfram Research, a company behind Mathematica, Wolfram Alpha, Wolfram Language, and the new Wolfram Physics project. He is the author of several books including A New Kind of Science, which on a personal note was one of the most influential books in my journey in computer science and artificial intelligence.

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Stephen’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/stephen_wolfram
Stephen’s Website: https://www.stephenwolfram.com/
Wolfram Research Twitter: https://twitter.com/WolframResearch
Wolfram Research YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/WolframResearch
Wolfram Research Website: https://www.wolfram.com/
Wolfram Alpha: https://www.wolframalpha.com/
A New Kind of Science (book): https://amzn.to/34JruB2

This conversation is part of the Artificial Intelligence podcast. If you would like to get more information about this podcast go to https://lexfridman.com/ai or connect with @lexfridman on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Medium, or YouTube where you can watch the video versions of these conversations. If you enjoy the podcast, please rate it 5 stars on Apple Podcasts, follow on Spotify, or support it on Patreon.

Here’s the outline of the episode. On some podcast players you should be able to click the timestamp to jump to that time.

00:00 – Introduction
04:16 – Communicating with an alien intelligence
12:11 – Monolith in 2001: A Space Odyssey
29:06 – What is computation?
44:54 – Physics emerging from computation
1:14:10 – Simulation
1:19:23 – Fundamental theory of physics
1:28:01 – Richard Feynman
1:39:57 – Role of ego in science
1:47:21 – Cellular automata
2:15:08 – Wolfram language
2:55:14 – What is intelligence?
2:57:47 – Consciousness
3:02:36 – Mortality
3:05:47 – Meaning of life