Friday, December 17, 2010

Precise Randomness

What is it about coincidences? I was thinking about putting some thoughts down on artificial intelligence yesterday and lo and behold, the latest edition of Wired in my mailbox had the topic 'Artificial Intelligence is here- but it's nothing like we expected' on the cover. Is this a part of some grand design or divine plan that I have not been given insight into, is it the brimming eagerness of this data mining mind to identify patterns that cannot be substantiated (e.g., the phone always rings when I am in the shower) in order to give meaning to this life beyond the ordinary and visible, or is it simply a random event that occurred on the same day as another random event except with such random precision that it puts both randomness and precision in question?

Many years back, a friend and I were talking about coincidences in a departmental store. My friend help up a penny and asked - 'what possible use could this puny penny have?'. A few seconds later, another friend, who was at the cash register making a payment for a purchase, comes and tells us that a penny is needed at the cash register to complete the transaction!! That penny developed a firm belief in the possibility of a grand scheme behind 'coin'cidences. It wanted to grow into a nickel, but it was not mint to be since it did not have the 'metal'.

For information on Random Precision (which inspired the title of this post), a classic rock cover show next year brought to you by my college and light music bandmates, please go to:

1 comment:

Puja said...

Great post...

My thoughts on this.

When you were thinking about AI, your antennna, so to say, was up for any similarities in the environment for similar ideas/...and you thereby noticed the AI topic on Wired and it became a coincidence. If you were not thinking about AI then the Wired topic would be just another topic and not a coincidental topic.

In the same way the phone rings whenever we shower and also whenever we do not shower... but the shower and phone ringing stick in our mind as it is so inconvenient and its like the green monkey thing...

In fact I was thinking of writing an article on something similar today and here is your mail talking about coincidences... !!!