AI Thoughts: The Hitchhikers Guide to AI

19 Dec 2023

In the book (and now movie) 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy' by Douglas Adams, the "Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything" is calculated to be the number 42 by Deep Thought, a giant supercomputer, who took 7.5 million years to come up with the answer. However Deep Thought never worked out what the actual Ultimate Question is, it just found the answer... nobody knows the question.

The late Douglas Adams, renowned for predicting future technologies, offers insights into artificial intelligence (AI) through his iconic works. The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, in particular, serves as a narrative exploration of adapting to technological shocks. Adams, with a touch of cynicism, portrays skepticism towards "sentient" machines. Drawing parallels between Adams' teachings and the evolving AI landscape, the article emphasizes key lessons: "Don't Panic," acknowledging the duality of AI's impact, and the importance of asking the right questions to avoid simplistic answers like "42."


Read the full article at Medium