A few friends and I have a meeting place with a garden and the gate is locked with a combination lock. And somehow yesterday we scrambled the code and we could not put the lock back - we had to leave the gate unlocked.
I took it home, searched youtube on how to pick this kind of locks and tried to do it myself.
In short, while slightly pulling the hook away from the lock body, one has to gently turn each code-wheel one by one and notice an unusual “click” on a certain position of each wheel.
And it didn’t work! what I experienced wasn’t like what the video’s described. All wheels and positions felt and “clicked” the same. Well not quite the same, somehow different at every turn but I could NOT make sense of these … random differences.
I kept trying until I started to feel a certain difference in what I felt in a certain position of the first wheel. Which become more consistent in both the “sensed pattern” and the position of that wheel.
“Aha!”. I discovered a new thing! Next wheels were not quite the same but repeating, somehow I become more sensitive to that felt pattern (it is more of touch than sound) which with each repetition became more and more obvious.
I’ll try a summary.
The above might be rightly considered “supervised learning” but it’s nothing like what we use the term for in machine learning.
- I began with some descriptive hints in normal (formal?) language
- I tried to replicate the described process and failed.
- repeated again and again, until
- “magically” the perceived experience began to match the formal description.
- knowing what to look for is of tremendous importance.
How would I describe the above in htm-ish terms: run an anomaly detector until an anomaly is found then use a pattern recognizer to single out that particular detected anomaly.
The normal anomaly detector(s) have only two parts: First time when an anomaly is detected it is signaled “Hey here-s an anomaly”, then if that signal is repeated, once it is “learned” it no longer is seen as an anomaly and becomes “non-anomalous signal”.
What is missed in that process is the “singling out” phase in which the particular anomaly, once repeated, is assigned an identifier. And so it becomes a new learned thing. Then following appearances of the same pattern are occurrences of that particular known thing.
I hope it makes sense. I found it revealing.