On a family vacation in the Rocky Mountains, my siblings decided to play Go Fish. My brother made a rule: if anyone gets dealt three of the same card (like three 8’s), return your cards and shuffle the deck. My hunch was that a triple isn’t actually so rare. So what are the actual odds of getting a triple if the deck is shuffled randomly? How would you go about figuring that out?
Even if you hate it. Even if you flunked it in high school.
A professor of mine once marveled at how nonintuitive the real numbers are. If you were going to pick a set of numbers to do math with, would you have made sure to include the square root of 17?
His casual comment points to something essential about numbers, something that every mathematician knows but that no one seems to talk about.
Artificial intelligence is real. It is evolving right now.
Should we be worried?
A solution for the Pocket Puzzle of last post. If Alice flips 2010 coins, Bob flips 2009 coins, and Bob wins if he gets more heads or ties with Alice, is the game fair?
You’re sitting on the subway. Your phone has low battery, and you have nothing to read. How do you kill time?
I like to carry around a puzzle with me. Not a physical puzzle, like a jigsaw or a Rubik’s cube. A mental puzzle – something to think about for fun.
I love movies, books, and video games about smart robots: friendly, murderous, misunderstood, or loving robots. But here’s the thing: artificial intelligence is real.
“Solving for” a variable is simple idea – and it’s all about simplicity.
If you had the opportunity to live in a world with Harry Potter magic, but no computers, what would you do?
We spent the last two posts talking about functions. I used a lot of examples. If you’re sick of examples, bear with me – they’re building up to something cool.