What’s a fractal?
Just one of the main building blocks of the universe. Known as ‘God’s thumbprint,’ these simple math formulas reveal the intricate recursive patterns found within nature, yet still remain one of science’s best-kept secrets. Follow along as we explore the contours, curiosities and creator of this beautiful wonder of the computer age.
"A fractal is a way of seeing infinity." —Benoit B. Mandelbrot
Meet the Fellows
(Thanks for the photo Stefania!)
The artificial know-it-all, 2012
from the last 20 years
“Who is Bram Stoker?” It’s the Jeopardy! game-winning answer given by a computer system named Watson, and the literary father of Dracula. While it was Watson’s win, the achievement really came on the shoulders of humans and their IBM US Patent No. 8,275,803, also known as DeepQA.
By distinguishing the contextual meaning of the words within a question, cognitive systems have become fluent in the intricacies of natural language—even our quips and puns—to give us better results than keywords alone. Soon doctors will be consulting Watson in everything from cancer research to cardiac surgery. Now that’s one innovation everyone can take to heart. And that’s one bad joke that Watson would groan at, too.
One Smart Century:
No one earned more patents from 1993-2012. But in fairness, we did have 80 years to prepare.