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