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Old January 10 2014, 02:00 PM   #14
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Re: Ever heard of the "AI Day"? Me neither, but

I wouldn't say the Uncertainty Principle applies, but rather that there is a substantial degree of unpredictable behavior in the action of a washing machine. Items can shift around inside the drum quickly, changing the weight distribution and requiring rapid correction. The washer has no way to know the size, shape, weight, and location of every article of clothing, so it cannot anticipate what will shift and when. It can only respond to circumstances as they develop. It would appear "random" to both us and the washer (if the washer had the ability to think), but it's just governed by the usual physical laws. There are just too many factors involved to predict in real-time.

Your scenario is far too rigid. A washer is always at least a little bit out of balance because it's impossible to maintain a perfect weight distribution within the drum. So, it works to keep things as optimally balanced as possible, and can respond more aggressively when it senses the load is drifting out of balance quickly.

Essentially, your "balanced" state never happens, it's always "unbalanced" and trying to correct. In that context, making it a binary distinction is neither informative nor useful for addressing the problem, and so it must be programmed accordingly.

Facial recognition is another area where computers tend not to deal in absolutes. While the end result is either a positive match or no match, the actual process involves a lot of ambiguity and fuzziness. In the end, the system has some level of confidence that the face in question matches a known image, and a threshold above which it can express confidence that the match is accurate.

It sounds like what you may be going for is that computers are deterministic, which they are by design. Living brains may well not be.
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