Take the 2-minute tour ×
Movies & TV Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for movie and tv enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

An oracle machine as defined by Alan Turing is a Turing machine connected to an oracle which can solve non-computable problems in a single operation, most famously the halting problem. The halting problem is the problem of determining whether any arbitrary computer program will eventually halt or continue to loop forever.

I'm wondering if the Oracle character in the series could be seen as inspired by this concept, but I can't remember the plot well enough to determine.

share|improve this question
It seems unlikely. There were very few references to genuine computer science in the movie, and that reference would be particularly obscure. –  Jeff-Inventor ChromeOS Aug 10 at 5:28

2 Answers 2

The Oracle's main function is to counterbalance the Architect. It was the Oracle and the Architect who built The Matrix, and the events in the trilogy are actually taking place in the third Matrix, as the first 2 failed. The Oracle stands for free will, whereas the Architect stands for order. As a result, I'd find it difficult to tie Turing's oracle into the plot.

share|improve this answer
But the Turning oracle is able to solve non-computable problems involving humans and free will? Maybe? See my answer. –  SteveM Aug 9 at 15:05
Turing's oracle has nothing to do with free will. –  Johnny Bones Aug 9 at 15:06
If the human brain has non-computable functions, than it would be impossible for a Turing machine to determine what a human will do next, but an oracle machine could. –  SteveM Aug 9 at 15:11
Please re-read the Wiki on Turing and Oracle. Your understanding of them is completely wrong. It would make more sense to base the character on the definition of "Oracle" in Webster's dictionary. –  Johnny Bones Aug 9 at 16:12
"An oracle machine can be conceived as a Turing machine connected to an oracle. The oracle, in this context, is an entity capable of solving some problem, which for example may be a decision problem or a function problem." And so, Turing's machine requires an oracle. For all intents and purposes, an oracle is defined by Webster's, so why would a character in a movie be based on some hypothetical machine that has nothing to do with the oracle, but needs an oracle to operate? –  Johnny Bones Aug 9 at 16:54

From a little of reading I see that the Oracle was spreading the prophecy that the Matrix would eventually be finally destroyed by the One, and the humans would have a final victory over the machines (the Matrix program would eventually halt, instead of repeat forever), and the Oracle is designed to investigate the human psyche (which could include non-computable problems, perhaps). A bit of a stretch perhaps.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.