Computers are not the answer


Sir, – Joe Humphreys (“Being a bit irrational is perfectly human”, Arts and ideas, September 12th) writes that “technological evangelists proclaim that the arrival of super-intelligent computers will finally settle all arguments”.

This statement presupposes that mathematics is a completely consistent and rational system to answer all questions but, fortunately or unfortunately, it’s not.

Kurt Gödel’s incompleteness theorem demonstrated the limitations of every formal axiomatic system, including mathematics.

As individuals, we judge irrationally based not only on facts, but on our own belief system, so it will always remain a human choice to accept or reject whatever answers are provided by machines. – Yours, etc,