3 Data, data, data
In Section 2 you saw that Leibniz’s idea lost momentum towards the end of the 20th century. Two challenges appeared to be insurmountable. First, it turned out to be extremely laborious and difficult to formulate enough commonsense facts precisely. Second, the limits of computing machines meant that, even with enough knowledge, a computer program would struggle to produce conclusions in a reasonable amount of time, if at all.
However, the reverberations of Leibniz’s heritage in the 20th century are only half of the picture. During the second half of that century, an alternative approach was bubbling beneath the surface. This approach, which can be traced back to Leibniz’s and Descartes’ contemporaries, emerged victoriously at the dawn of the 21st century.