With Artificial Intelligence being the buzzword of the decade, we have self-driven cars, self-learning robots, self-learning intelligent everything flooding our newsfeed on a daily basis. Newspaper articles titled ‘Robots will be smarter than man,’ make me wonder if that is indeed possible. Have we ever stopped to ponder that it was the human brain that created this intelligent being (Thank you Alan Turing!) in the first place? That it is the wonderful human brain, that is endowed with the capability of conceiving a machine that can think for itself? Sure, a computer can perform complex mathematical operations in seconds, but wasn’t the device itself the brainchild of a human? Doesn’t that make him infinitely more intelligent than any man-made device? It is no coincidence that artificial neural networks, one among the many machine learning algorithms, has been modeled after the functions of the human brain. Gotta give them cranial nerves some credit!
Buzzwords aside, the last two weeks have been less than kind to me in that I’ve faced multiple software crashes just when a submission was due, gotten knocked out even before brainstorming, stared at the monitor in vain hoping an idea will strike me, hit dead ends where I should be carving out paths instead, and yet through all these pitfalls somehow inspiration comes floating to me from the most unexpected corners. The thought for the day board at our office has some pretty interesting quotes to get us all back in the groove. Like this recent one, that put philately on a whole new level:
When Dhruva came over last weekend, he had brought home an assignment to complete. One quick peek into his file and I was amazed at how a 12-year-old mind can conjure such profound and well-articulated thoughts. Take a look:
There have also been numerous days of waking up to the thought of ‘I am not an idea-popping machine and I’ve chosen to pursue a field demanding exactly that – how do I deal with it?’ Times when fear of uncertainty threatens to overwhelm me, wrapping its vice-like grip around my already choking neurons, squeezing every last bit of hope there is left. Maybe this mental block is a a precursor to something better, maybe it’s not always about looking through rose-tinted glasses, maybe it’s not always going to be hunky-dory, maybe it is necessary to fail in order to understand what works. Meanwhile, there’s this absolutely brilliant picture that pretty much sums up my journey so far – it all boils down to perspective.
Leaving you all with this fantastic quote: ‘You don’t pay the plumber for banging on the pipe. You pay him for knowing where to bang.’
Knowledge for the win. Hell yeah.