Home Artificial Intelligence Sleight of Mind

Sleight of Mind

Sleight of Mind

Detectives and Causality

One in every of the elemental concepts of artificial intelligence is the “Ladder of Causality”. Simply put, it distills logic into three pivotal questions: What happened? How did it occur? Why did it occur?

The initial rung of this ladder encompasses the aspect of “what”. As an illustration, what other items would individuals purchasing floss typically acquire? At this level, statistics and machine learning prove to be highly effective. It entails the gathering of information and utilizing predictions to facilitate decision-making. For instance, if customers steadily purchase floss and toothpaste together, should I like to recommend one after they purchase the opposite?

The next rung of the ladder poses the query of “how.” As an illustration, how would I double my profits by selling floss, should I double my prices? Answering this question necessitates conducting controlled experiments, engaging in A/B tests, and the like. For example, once I doubled my prices for a mere 1% of my customers, my sales plummeted, signaling it as an ill-advised move.

The third step of this ladder asks the “why” query. Why are things the best way they’re, is there one other way? It involves questioning the elemental assumptions underlying a system, collecting counterfactual data, and exploring alternative realities. As an illustration, would people find greater happiness in a dictatorship? Perhaps designing a game and alluring people to check their happiness levels could provide insight.

If these concepts appear weighty, consider that you could have traversed the ladder of causation countless times inside murder mysteries. There, you possibly can discern three forms of detectives employing tools akin to every rung of this ladder. Notably, none of them explicitly pose the query, “Who did it?” The revelation of the wrongdoer generally serves because the final result of the investigation quite than the first approach.

Firstly, allow us to turn our attention to Sherlock Holmes, the unique genius detective who has been imitated across nations and languages greater than every other. Countless popular counterparts corresponding to House MD, Inspector Lewis, Patrick Jane, Adrian Monk (and 100 others) have emulated his character. The facility of this detective lies in his relentless pursuit of “what happened,” to the extent of pushing himself to the brink of madness. Consequently, they possess unique traits corresponding to keen remark of details that elude others (for example, detecting the relative dryness of somebody’s shoes on a rainy day, suggesting that they lied about taking a walk). They make innumerable deductions concerning the crime scene, the suspects, their attire, and their demeanor. Sherlock could glance on the ash on the bottom and discern the type of the cigar smoked. “What” is a matter that craves data, hence their penchant for the shadows. The cigar smoking recluse mining all the information of their minds and their quirky hobbies function a method to map out data to events.

Next, comes the, “how-done-it” tales. In lots of these stories, the identity of the wrongdoer is understood or narrowed all the way down to a few suspects, however the baffling aspect lies in comprehending how the crime could possibly be executed. This genre can also be known as the locked room mystery, where the central query revolves around how the inexplicable became possible. An impressive recent example that involves mind is the Japanese book “The Devotion of Suspect X” (Similar scripts in “Drishyam” (Malayalam) and “Sheep with out a Shepherd”(Chinese)), where the “how” behind the crime forces the detective to query the boundaries of time, space, and causality. While the “what” detective ponders, “What if I see smoke near the window?” the “how” detective must contemplate, “How could I construct a house without smoke detectors?” While the previous invests time in contemplation and smoking cigars, the latter dedicates more time to conducting experiments. My personal favorite “how” detective is Galileo (from Keigo Higashino), and I highly recommend exploring “The Salvation of a Saint” to witness the modus operandi of a “how” genius.

Lastly, we encounter the “why detective.” The prime example here is Hercule Poirot, created by Agatha Christie. Interestingly, Poirot refers to himself as a psychologist quite than a detective. Within the prefaces of a few of Agatha’s books, she openly asserts that other methods of deduction don’t captivate her as much as delving into the mind of the criminal. Poirot primarily concerns himself with why the crime was committed, often disregarding trivial details just like the time of day or the colour of the carpet. Just because the “what” detective thinks and smokes, and the “how” detective conducts experiments, the “why” detective poses the query, “What if our assumptions were incorrect?” Does the story of affection morph into one in every of betrayal once we consider that the husband went to prison not out of affection for his wife, but because he loved her sister? These “why” books feature “sleight of hand” moments, subtly hinting at the likelihood that the foundational belief guiding your interpretation could also be false. Now, does this turn out to be a wholly different story? Two cherished examples on this category are “The Silent Patient” and “Rebecca.”

In conclusion, science and art mirror one another greater than we realize, greater than we care to acknowledge.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here