Shannon's Mind Reading Machine

This by duane a. bailey; built with processing.

This applet is one implementation of Claude Shannon's Mind Reading machine. Shannon worked at Bell Labs for a number of years, and thought about a number of interesting problems. Shannon believed that people were not a good source of random behavior and demonstrated this fact with several implementations of machines that he called mind readers.

This applet uses a fairly simple technique for predicting which side of the applet window you will press next. Each time you press the mouse in the applet, the machine compares its left/right prediction with your actual behavior. A black bar, drawn across the bottom of the screen, demonstrates the percentage of mouse presses correctly predicted. You will find that it is quite difficult to keep this bar at less than 50%.

If you are interested in seeing the mind reader's prediction of your next press, type 's' (for show). The prediction is demonstrated by a red dot. Dots that appear near the edges demonstrate a secure prediction. Dots near the center are less certain. Pressing 's' again turns this feature off.

If you want to reset the machine, press 'r'.