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Volume 600 Issue 7887, 2 December 2021
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Volume 600 Issue 7887, 2 December 2021

AI-guided intuition

Pure mathematics involves the discovery of patterns between mathematical objects and using these connections to formulate conjectures. Mathematicians have deployed computers since the 1960s to help them uncover such patterns, but in this week’s issue, Alexander Davies and his colleagues demonstrate the use of machine learning for the process. First the algorithms search for patterns and relations between mathematical objects and try to make sense of them, then mathematicians use the observations to guide their intuition towards potential conjectures. The researchers applied their approach to two areas of mathematics, leading to the discovery of a new theorem in topology and a new conjecture in representation theory.

Cover image: Adam Cain/Domhnall Malone/DeepMind

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