Did A Few Million Virtual Monkeys Randomly Recreate Shakespeare? Not Really
from the not-yet dept
Of course, looking over the details, I'm a lot less impressed than I thought I would be. My understanding of the "infinite monkeys" idea was that you had those million monkeys typing away, and in some potentially near-infinite amount of time, one of them would actually craft the works of Shakespeare. Or, at the very least, that multiple monkeys would individually create the different works of Shakesepeare. But as far as I can tell from the guy's description, it sounds like he's taking any 9-character segment that matches any 9-character segment of a Shakespearean work and declaring the segment it "done." The process continues, filling in other random 9-character segments, until the entire work is done. That's not nearly as impressive. What would it take to get virtual monkeys to write an entire work of Shakespeare in one go? Or even just one sentence? That seems like a much more challenging problem... so this one is actually a bit disappointing.
In the meantime, as one of the articles about this project notes, when real monkeys were given real typewriters:
"Not only did the monkeys produce nothing but five pages consisting largely of the letter S, they began by attacking the keyboard with a stone, then proceeded to urinate and defecate on it."So there's that. But let's see the virtual monkeys do something a little more advanced before we cheer them on.