What is pattern recognition?

Here are 7 perspectives:

Art is the imposing of a pattern on experience, and our aesthetic enjoyment is recognition of the pattern.

— Alfred North Whitehead

There are patterns because we try to find them. A desperate attempt at order because we can’t face the terror that it might all be random.

— Lauren Beukes, The Shining Girls

I’m not much of a chess player, but there is an aspect of the game that I find fascinating. After a while, you can almost see lines of force between the pieces. Areas of danger where it is physically impossible to move pieces into. Clouds of possibility, forbidden zones.

— Hannu Rajaniemi, The Fractal Prince

The pattern recognition theory of mind that I articulate in this book is based on a different fundamental unit: not the neuron itself, but rather an assembly of neurons, which I estimate to number around a hundred. The wiring and synaptic strengths within each unit are relatively stable and determined genetically—that is the organization within each pattern recognition module is determined by genetic design. Learning takes place in the creation of connections between these units, not within them, and probably in the synaptic strengths of the inter-unit connections.

— Ray Kurzweil, How to Create a Mind: The Secret of Human Thought Revealed

A great deal of creativity is about pattern recognition, and what you need to discern patterns is tons of data. Your mind collects that data by taking note of random details and anomalies easily seen every day: quirks and changes that, eventually, add up to insights.

— Margaret Heffernan

We have no future because our present is too volatile. We have only risk management. The spinning of the given moment’s scenarios. Pattern recognition.

— William Gibson, Pattern Recognition

The future is there… looking back at us. Trying to make sense of the fiction we will have become.

— William Gibson, Pattern Recognition
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