We all know that computers are basically giant, whirring brains in small boxes — but are there any problems out there that they wouldn’t ever be able to solve?
As YouTuber Tom Scott explains in the video above, it’s a question that’s been on the minds of scientists and mathematicians for years now — ever since a man called David Hilbert posed something known as the “Decision Problem.”
“Which is, in short, can we determine if any given statement — meaning absolutely any logical statement or problem in the universe — is provable or non-provable?” explains Scott. “Given enough time, could we find an answer to everything?”
The short answer appears to be no — but Scott’s explanation, which takes us through the work of mathematicians like Alan Turing, is a fascinating journey.