Three Problems That Computers Will Never Be Able to Solve

Computers have advanced terrifically over the decades—but they're not perfect. Here are three problems that, no matter how good they get, they'll never be able to figure out.

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New Scientist has put together this lovely video that summarizes three questions a computer will never crack: the Halting Problem (given a program and its input, a computer can't tell whether it will run forever or sometime stop); Kolmogorov complexity (the perfect compression of files); and the Wang Tile problem (whether it's possible to tile an infinite floor with, well, Wang Tiles). It's well worth watching—if only to remind yourself that computers aren't infallible. [New Scientist]

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  1. How many roads must a man walk down before you call him a man?
  2. How many seas must a white dove sail before she sleeps in the sand?
  3. How many times must the cannon balls fly before they're forever banned?