Why human brains are so great

The difference between human versus machine thinking can be illustrated aptly by our decipherment of text, and our visual interpretation capabilities. Try reading the following paragraph in which the words are jumbled up:

Aoccdrnig to rscheearch at an Elingsh uinervtisy, it deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer is at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae we do not raed ervey lteter by itslef but the wrod as a wlohe.

Regardless of how mixed up words are, the human mind can still interpret them, as long as the first and last letters are in their correct places. But it isn’t just about jumbled words, it is about context, or rather predicting what comes next. Of course the amount of jumbling also has a role to play. For example HSOPIATL is easier to comprehend than say, HATOSPIL. Given the right context, it is possible to interpret the latter as well. This is what leads to being able to read a book quickly. Not every word is interpreted to the letter, so it something is miss-spelled it is inconsequential to the overall interpretation of the sentence.

So while the human mind can read a paragraph of misspelled words aloud the machine would first have to interpret them as being incorrect, find the right word, and then read it aloud. Sure it can be done algorithmically, because it is just about data processing, and speed,  but it is not as intrinsically interesting as how the mind accomplishes it.

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