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Re: human versus spectral resolution

Agreed, but now it becomes a philosophical question, and I still agee
with Erik, in the end any task that will be defined in a closed context
can be better performed by a machine. To reach this goal will only take
a few more decades.

John Beerends

-----Original Message-----
From: AUDITORY - Research in Auditory Perception
[mailto:AUDITORY@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Richard F. Lyon
Sent: donderdag 3 april 2008 8:14
To: AUDITORY@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: 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.

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