In the future, computers will be able to base their decisions on intuition. Professor Jaap van den Herik, director of the Leiden Centre of Data Science, posed this statement today in his Valedictory Address at Tilburg University.
It is often assumed that intuition is one of the things that distinguish humans from computers, since the sudden inspirations humans can have cannot be matched by computers. According to Jaap van den Herik, however, it is only a matter of time before intuition will be programmable. The key to its use in computer programmes, Van den Herik said, is that intuition is not irrational, but is based on rule-based behaviour.
By studying spontaneous human behaviour (making use of eye tracking, for instance), data on unconscious, intuitive behaviour can be collected. Together with other researchers, Van den Herik created a database which contains visual representations with depth data of human gestures, facial expressions and pitch of voice. This type of data, Van den Herik pointed out, can be used as building blocks in the artificial intelligence programmes of the future.