Can Dreams be used to Solve Problems? They’re Working On It

Dreams and creativity often go together, particularly in the realm of art. Paul McCartney famously dreamed up the melody for Yesterday, rushing to a piano before the ephemeral notes drifted from his consciousness. Songs are one thing, but what about real world problems or even scientific principles? 



An article in Slate ponders the provocative question, asking: Can we convince the sleeping brain to process our problems? “Hal Y. Zhang’s story ‘Dream Soft, Dream Big’ imagines a near-future where this is possible,” writes Kristin E.G. Sanders in Slate. “In the story, Katia and other aspiring Dreamers study cryptic pictures before they sleep and report their dreams the following morning. The pictures convey an intractable problem, such as factoring large numbers or predicting how a protein will fold. Being a profitable Dreamer means having dreams that solve the problems. But to have these Utility Dreams, you first have to dream about the topic—and this turns out to be more difficult that you might think.”         


Source: Slate Magazine

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