Pattern Recognition or Prejudice?

September 29, 2020

Pattern Recognition or Prejudice?

May 29, 2023

The human brain has been called “the world’s most complex pattern recognition system.” Pattern recognition is considered a proxy for wisdom, the theory being that if you recognize a pattern based upon past experience, you can forecast the future.

Artificial intelligence and machine learning are the tech version of this. When it comes to humans, we often use pattern recognition as an integral ingredient for our intuition or gut instinct.

All well and good until it comes to stereotypes and prejudices. Unconscious bias could be a form of pattern recognition. I recently spent a lovely and painful week with the book “Caste: The Origins of Our Discontent” which may have been the most illuminating book I’ve read in the past year. It helped me to see how much of our prejudice is based upon a caste system that serves as sort of a societal mindset.

A wise person knows when their pattern recognition is getting them in trouble. Use that gift of being able to recognize patterns judiciously.

Want to read more about this? Here are two different perspectives: a Big Think story and an Inc. magazine video. Bringing the dark into the light is a form of wisdom.

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