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The future is bright?

November 3, 2020

When I was working on tomography algorithms in the late 1970s, the trick was to convert all the data into Fourier space, do there the composition and image processing, then convert back to produce the image. I suspect that new work applying neural networks in Fourier space will give a large advance in everything from medical imaging to aircraft design. (Cite.

I wouldn’t be surprised if that calculative advance gets combined with surprisingly better ways to manipulate magnetic fields. (Cite.) The odd thing about Star Trek’s tractor beams is that the authors mostly imagined their use as a tugboat. Imagine finer applications instead, such surgery done by introducing small instruments that are operated remotely.

Those who read that MIT article saying that AI has “solved” the Navier-Stokes equation should understand that it is only a practical advance in modeling. It remains unsolved whether Navier-Stokes has general solutions. Anyone mathematically inclined who proves that still can pick up a cool million dollars.

Both of the stories linked above are not-too-surprising advances in technology. Culture is messier. Of course, technology is a part of culture, and interacts with the rest. Sometimes in surprising ways: Jalopnik, a website focused on cars, provides the oh-so-appropriate take-down for one of Trump’s lies from the day before yesterday. 

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