Why Would We Ever Use Blind Search?

mainOver the last few decades, we have seen a lot of technologies come by and make a significant impact. Most of these technologies, if you have noticed, revolve around intelligent actions. Let’s say you are in the middle of a street and you want a cab. We can solve this problem in a couple of different ways depending on the level of intelligence we put into our solution. How can we design something that can make use of all the data and provide the best possible solution to the person in the middle of the street? We can say that intelligent action involves search in some way. Searching is needed in a variety of situations, so developing mathematically and computationally strong algorithms is an absolute must. In most of the real life situations, we don’t really know where to look or how a particular search is going to pan out. How do we formulate this?   Continue reading

Quantum Encryption And Black Holes – Part 2/2

1 mainIn the previous post, we discussed about the concepts of quantum encryption and black holes. We also talked about how we do cryptography in the subatomic world. This blog post is a continuation of that discussion. As the title suggests, the overarching theme is the relationship between quantum encryption and black holes. Let’s continue talking about it then. Although quantum encryption looks extremely robust in theory, how practical is it? What do we know about its security and how is it related to black holes? We know that nothing can escape from black holes, so we need a way to understand more about the black holes.   Continue reading

Quantum Encryption And Black Holes – Part 1/2

1 mainIs that really the title? It looks like two random things mashed up together. Doesn’t make much sense, right? Well, recent research suggests that quantum encryption and black holes may be related. A proposed mathematical proof outlines the way in which information behaves in coded messages, and this may have implications for black holes. The proof basically suggests that the radiation spit out by black holes may retain information about them. The research not only focuses on encoding communications in quantum mechanical systems, but also addresses a long-standing question for theoretical physicists: What exactly happens to all the stuff that falls into a black hole? Is it possible to retrieve any information about the black hole?   Continue reading

Quantum Computing And Machine Learning

mainQuantum Computing refers to the use of quantum mechanical phenomena to make computations. This field is making big strides in the last decade because it can actually help us solve some of the most challenging problems in the realm of computer science, particularly in machine learning and security. Machine learning is all about building better models of the world to make more accurate predictions and security is about safeguarding the things we have built. For example, if we want the machines to see things better, we need better models of how we process visual data. If we want to understand currency fluctuations, we need better models of how they change over time. If we want to create effective environmental policies, we need better models of what’s happening to our climate. So how can we use quantum computing to do these things?   Continue reading

The Genesis Of Genetic Algorithms

genetic algo dna styleLet’s say you have a function and you want to optimize it. In real life, this function can take many forms like choosing the right set of features for your car while keep the price low, picking the best possible apartment considering all the different factors like location, rent, closeness to stores etc, making a business plan, and many other things. In fact, we continuously use optimization in our everyday life without even realizing it. The interesting thing to note is that we don’t get the most optimal answer every time. We just look around for a while and stop when we get a good enough answer. More often than not, these answers are sub-optimal, mostly depending on the initial point we chose. So how do we get to the best answer? There might be billions of options, do we need check all of them to get to this global optimum?   Continue reading

Can Machines Be Truly Independent?

thinking computerIn my previous blog post, we discussed about how we can measure a computer’s intelligence. When we talk about machine intelligence, what exactly are we talking about? Are we just talking about machines mimicking the human ways and mannerisms in the best possible way? No matter what the machines do, they are still following a predefined sequence of steps or an algorithm that dictates the sequence of steps. The field of artificial intelligence has been trying for a long time to put actual intelligence into a machine, but we are still far from it. The question then would be, can machines be truly independent?   Continue reading

Can We Measure A Computer’s Intelligence?

computers learning to be humansPeople talk about artificial intelligence all the time. Artificial intelligence is the branch of study which deals with putting intelligence into the machines so that they can do things by themselves. But how do we know if they are getting intelligent? For us humans, we have designed various kinds of IQ tests to measure our intelligence. Is there anything for machines as well? I am not talking about the robustness of an algorithm or the accuracy with which a computer can finish a certain task, I am talking about the actual intelligence. Is it possible to measure it?   Continue reading

The Butterfly Effect

This blog post is a continuation of my previous post on Chaos Theory. Although it is not required for you to read that post to understand this post, it would be better if you glance through it once. All of us have heard about the Butterfly Effect. It is one of the very famous examples given in the field of chaos theory. I should also give credit to the movie “The Butterfly Effect” for popularizing this term. So what exactly is butterfly effect? Is it just a theory? Where does it happen in real life?   Continue reading

Chaos Theory

Chaos Theory is a mathematical sub-discipline that attempts to explain the fact that complex and unpredictable results can and will occur in systems that are sensitive to their initial conditions. Some common examples of systems that chaos theory helped understand are earth’s weather system, the behavior of water boiling on a stove, migratory patterns of birds, or the spread of vegetation across a continent. The Butterfly Effect is one of more famous examples of chaos theory. I have discussed more about it here. Chaos occurs in nature and it manifests itself in various forms. Chaos-based graphics show up all the time, wherever flocks of little space ships sweep across the movie screen in highly complex ways, or whenever amazing landscapes are displayed in some dramatic movie scene. It is used a lot in movies to generate obscure background using computer-generated chaos art. So what exactly is chaos? How does it work?   Continue reading

Dynamic Programming

Most of the techies have come across this concept one time or the other. People know that it’s really good and very useful, but not a lot of them know how exactly it works and why it works in the first place! Let’s say you are presented with a big box of precious stones with different sizes and weights. You have a bag with you which can only hold a limited weight. So obviously you can’t take everything. In particular, you’re constrained to take only what your bag can hold. Let’s say it can only hold W pounds. You also know the market value for each of those stones. Given that you can only carry W pounds, what stones should you pick in order to maximize your profit?   Continue reading