### Considering Viv, Wolfram Language, Syntience, and the GBG

Wednesday, June 8th, 2016[ by **Charles Cameron** — expanding the computable to include qualitative ideation ]

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Let’s start with **Viv**. It looks pretty phenomenal:

That video is almost exactly a month old, and it’s pitched at “the universe of things” with a marked tilt towards e-commerce. Fair enough.

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It’s instructive to compare it with **Wolfram Language**, although here I’ve had to go with a video that’s a couple of years old:

**Stephen Wolfram**, the creator of both **Mathematica** and **Wolfram Alpha**, is focused on the world of numbers — and incidentally, that includes graphs of the sort I’ve been discussing in my series here On the felicities of graph-based game-board design, as you can see in the video above.

It will be interesting to see how the two of them — Viv and Wolfram — interact over time. After all, one of the purposes of these lines of development is to dissolve the “walled gardens” which serve as procrustean beds for current thinking about the nature and possibilities of the web. Do these two gardens open to each other? If so, why? If not, why not?

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I’ve talked enough for my purposes about **AlphaGo** and it’s narrowly focused though impressive recent triumph, and the wider picture behind it, as expressed by **Monica Anderson** — and tying the two together, we have this video from Monica’s timeline, **Bob Hearn: AlphaGo and the New Era of Artificial Intelligence**:

Bob Hearn: AlphaGo and the New Era of Artificial Intelligence from Monica Anderson on Vimeo.

Monica’s **Syntience**, it seems to be, is a remarkable probing of the possibilities before us.

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But I’m left asking — because **Hermann Hesse** in his Nobel-winning novel **The Glass Bead Game** prompts me to ask — what about the universe of concepts — and in particular for my personal tastes, the universe of musical, philosophical, religious and poetic concepts. **What of the computational mapping of the imagination?**

My question might well have large financial implications, but I’m asking it in a non-commercially and not only quantitative way. I believe it stands in relationship to these other endeavors, in fact, as pure mathematics stands in relation to physics, and hence also to chemistry, biology and more. **And perhaps music stands in that relationship to mathematics?** — but I digress.

If I’m right about the **universe of concepts / Glass Bead Game** project, it will be the most intellectually demanding, the least commercially obvious, and finally the most revelatory of these grand-sweep ideas..

From my POV, it’s also the one that can give the most value-add to human thinking in human minds, and to CT analysts, strategists, journos, educators, therapists, bright and playful kids — you name them all!

Seeing it in terms of counterpoint, as Hesse did — it’s **the virtual music of ideas**.