In As We May Think, from 1945, Vannevar Bush wrote:
Logic can become enormously difficult, and it would undoubtedly be well to produce more assurance in its use. The machines for higher analysis have usually been equation solvers. Ideas are beginning to appear for equation transformers, which will rearrange the relationship expressed by an equation in accordance with strict and rather advanced logic. Progress is inhibited by the exceedingly crude way in which mathematicians express their relationships. They employ a symbolism which grew like Topsy and has little consistency; a strange fact in that most logical field.
A new symbolism, probably positional, must apparently precede the reduction of mathematical transformations to machine processes. Then, on beyond the strict logic of the mathematician, lies the application of logic in everyday affairs. We may some day click off arguments on a machine with the same assurance that we now enter sales on a cash register. But the machine of logic will not look like a cash register, even of the streamlined model.
Now watch Stephen Wolfram demonstrating the Wolfram Language. It’s absolutely mind-blowing, IMHO:
If you’ve not played around with Wolfram Alpha, I highly recommend it.
1 thought on ““As we may think”: Vannevar Bush meet Stephen Wolfram”
This is mind blowing. The most spot-on manifestation of Bush’s ideas that I have seen so far.