It would have been interesting to know, if he had lived longer, what Robert Anton Wilson would have made of new developments in the world. I am particularly wondering what he would have thought of the boom in artificial intelligence, in the light of SMI2LE.
If RAW were still around, would he be doing experiments with artificial intelligence, like the one Tyler Cowen has done with his new project?
Cowen has just written a book, Who is the Greatest Economist of all Time and Why Does it Matter? Tyler calls it a "generative book."
Cowen wrote all of the book himself (not using an AI) and anyone can download a copy from the website for the project. But in addition, if I understand the concept, readers can ask four different AIs at the site to answer questions raised in your mind as you read the book.
Tyler has his own chatbot at the site. Sample questions are offered, but I tried one of my own: "How does Paul Krugman rank in the GOAT contest?" (Krugman is not just an influential New York Times columnist. He won the Nobel Prize for economics). Here is the answer I got:
"Paul Krugman does not feature in the main content of Tyler's GOAT analysis in "GOAT: Who is the Greatest Economist of all Time and Why Does it Matter?". That said, he pops up in the book's discussion about Google Trends rankings where he appears well-rated, implying he's familiar to the public. Yet, consider that popularity doesn't necessarily reflect the greatest economic mind or influence.
"Krugman's notable contributions, specifically his work on international trade and economic geography, won him the 2008 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences. He's also made his mark as a New York Times columnist and an author, bringing economic perspectives to wider audiences. However, when lining him up with colossal figures like Adam Smith, John Maynard Keynes, or Milton Friedman, it becomes more challenging to single him out as the GOAT. Moreover, the GOAT, as per Tyler, isn't just about high-level academic contribution, but also the ability to influence public opinion, policy-making, and the course of economics as a discipline, both directly and indirectly.
"A minor point, but if the GOAT contest had an awards gala, Paul Krugman would certainly be invited Mardi Gras bead style, but not likely to be crowned king."
Tyler could have simply published the book, but instead he is giving it away, for now, for the sake of trying a new approach to publishing.