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Re: human versus spectral resolution



At 7:49 AM +0200 4/3/08, Beerends, J.G. (John) wrote:
A good theory is never wrong, it only has a limited context in which it
is valid.

But a bad theory can be wrong. For example, if one had a theory based on noncoherent detection, saying that in certain experiments a human's time resolution would be limited by the uncertainty principle in relation to the signal bandwidth or frequency resolution, and that theory predicted such limitations in situations where human time resolution is based on fine time structure, rather than on energy envelopes, that would be bad. That why it's important to ask whether humans outperform theory: it can give you a good clue as to whether your theory is not so good.


When you're in such a situation, it's very hard to build a machine that will outperform a human, because you don't have a theory that fits how well humans perform. That's one way to look at our difficulty so far to build machines to do a lot of things that human do well, like recognize words, talkers, sound sources, etc. Experiments help you determine whether you're in such a situation or not, even for very much simpler tasks.

Dick