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Humans can consciously generate random number sequences: a possible test for artificial intelligence.
Med Hypotheses 2005; 65(2):211-4MH

Abstract

Computer algorithms can only produce seemingly random or pseudorandom numbers whereas certain natural phenomena, such as the decay of radioactive particles, can be utilized to produce truly random numbers. In this study, the ability of humans to generate random numbers was tested in healthy adults. Subjects were simply asked to generate and dictate random numbers. Generated numbers were tested for uniformity, independence and information density. The results suggest that humans can generate random numbers that are uniformly distributed, independent of one another and unpredictable. If humans can generate sequences of random numbers then neural networks or forms of artificial intelligence, which are purported to function in ways essentially the same as the human brain, should also be able to generate sequences of random numbers. Elucidating the precise mechanism by which humans generate random number sequences and the underlying neural substrates may have implications in the cognitive science of decision-making. It is possible that humans use their random-generating neural machinery to make difficult decisions in which all expected outcomes are similar. It is also possible that certain people, perhaps those with neurological or psychiatric impairments, are less able or unable to generate random numbers. If the random-generating neural machinery is employed in decision making its impairment would have profound implications in matters of agency and free will.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Department of Neurology, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom. Navindra.Persaud@univ.ox.ac.uk

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

15922090

Citation

Persaud, Navindra. "Humans Can Consciously Generate Random Number Sequences: a Possible Test for Artificial Intelligence." Medical Hypotheses, vol. 65, no. 2, 2005, pp. 211-4.
Persaud N. Humans can consciously generate random number sequences: a possible test for artificial intelligence. Med Hypotheses. 2005;65(2):211-4.
Persaud, N. (2005). Humans can consciously generate random number sequences: a possible test for artificial intelligence. Medical Hypotheses, 65(2), pp. 211-4.
Persaud N. Humans Can Consciously Generate Random Number Sequences: a Possible Test for Artificial Intelligence. Med Hypotheses. 2005;65(2):211-4. PubMed PMID: 15922090.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Humans can consciously generate random number sequences: a possible test for artificial intelligence. A1 - Persaud,Navindra, PY - 2005/02/21/received PY - 2005/02/25/accepted PY - 2005/6/1/pubmed PY - 2005/9/17/medline PY - 2005/6/1/entrez SP - 211 EP - 4 JF - Medical hypotheses JO - Med. Hypotheses VL - 65 IS - 2 N2 - Computer algorithms can only produce seemingly random or pseudorandom numbers whereas certain natural phenomena, such as the decay of radioactive particles, can be utilized to produce truly random numbers. In this study, the ability of humans to generate random numbers was tested in healthy adults. Subjects were simply asked to generate and dictate random numbers. Generated numbers were tested for uniformity, independence and information density. The results suggest that humans can generate random numbers that are uniformly distributed, independent of one another and unpredictable. If humans can generate sequences of random numbers then neural networks or forms of artificial intelligence, which are purported to function in ways essentially the same as the human brain, should also be able to generate sequences of random numbers. Elucidating the precise mechanism by which humans generate random number sequences and the underlying neural substrates may have implications in the cognitive science of decision-making. It is possible that humans use their random-generating neural machinery to make difficult decisions in which all expected outcomes are similar. It is also possible that certain people, perhaps those with neurological or psychiatric impairments, are less able or unable to generate random numbers. If the random-generating neural machinery is employed in decision making its impairment would have profound implications in matters of agency and free will. SN - 0306-9877 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/15922090/Humans_can_consciously_generate_random_number_sequences:_a_possible_test_for_artificial_intelligence_ L2 - https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0306-9877(05)00114-3 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -