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Walking the Pattern Recognition Tightrope

October 20, 2021 at 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm BST

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Interintellect Indy Neogy invites you to explore how you and everyone walks the tightrope of pattern recognition. 

It is our innate skills in pattern recognition that allow us to sit back on a summer day and perceive some fantastical shapes (horses! dragons! etc) in the clouds we see. Yet in that very moment we’re experiencing Apophenia – “a human propensity to seek patterns in random information.” We see from the attempts to build autonomous vehicles that every human has a fundamentally amazing ability to recognise and match patterns. Without it, our lives simply would not be possible and so it’s critical for every one of us to have confidence in our ability.

Yet, in that example of the clouds lies the danger. If we don’t recognise the patterns of life, we’re walking blind, but it’s very possible to see things that are not there. Those in certain walks of life (futures, forecasting, medical diagnosis, artists, scientists) run up against this more often than some, but we have all had to think sometime if we are seeing what no-one else has noticed, or just noticed something that isn’t really there.

We’ll ask ourselves questions like:

  • How do we notice almost invisible patterns?
  • How do we communicate them to others and what are the challenges?
  • How can we discover if what we see is real or just seeing something in the randomness of the world?
  • What is the role of judgement vs data?
  • If AI or ML are able to find many more new correlations in data, how many of them are just randomness?


Articles To Explore:

The Apophenia Challenge – Indy Neogy – Mind Atelier Blog

Patternicity: Finding Meaningful Patterns in Meaningless Noise – Scientific American

Being Amused by Apophenia – Psychology Today

Michael Shermer – The Pattern Behind Self Deception (TED Talk – Video)



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October 20, 2021
7:00 pm - 9:30 pm BST
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Indy Neogy