Monday, June 05, 2006

C'mon See the Noise

A few years ago, I was working on writing code to rapidly create an image full of random noise. On the first stab, I created a small tile of random noise like this:

Next, I tiled it to create a larger image. For example, here's the tile repeated four times in both dimensions.

To my chagrin, the results always contained discernable patterns. If you look carefully, you should be able to see what I mean in the example above.

Intution told me, wrongly, that it shouldn't happen--after all, what's being tiled is RANDOM (well, pseudo-random). Yet, still, some how consciousness is able to find the patterns.

Why does this happen? I have come up with one explanation, and I'll try to go into it tomorrow.

The more I know of information theory, digital signal processing and consciousness, the more fascinating this is to me. We're not done learning in these areas.

Finally, the fantasy billion dollar idea. ;)

A large proportion of our brains is devoted to the processing of visual information. Is there a way to encode, say, financial market information into a visual form in such a way that we can harness our advanced visual processing capabilities to find important connections and correlations?

This might be a job for the Mechanical Turk. :)


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home