A Computer’s Relationship With The World Of Random


Unless you’re a hardcore gamer or have some experience with software engineering, you’ve probably never thought of your computer’s relationship with randomness.

A Computer’s Relationship With The World Of Random
Image source: Unsplash

Without any insight, it’s hard to see why this area would be important to technology, and even more so to understand the problems it can cause. Your computer relies on random numbers for a wide-range of its jobs, though. So, to give you a better understanding of your computer’s lack of impulse and the reasons behind it, this post will be exploring the field of randomized processes.

The most common programming languages in the world consist of Java, C, Python, and C++. All of these, plus many of their counterparts, all include pre-built classes dedicated to performing random functions. In most cases, you will give the program a special number called a seed. 

This seed is then used by the machine to create your random results. This isn’t truly random, though. Instead, every time you run the script, the output will be the same. To get around this, some developers will use the current time in seconds as their seed, as this is constantly changing. This is far too predictable, though.

Unfortunately, everyone has access to the time, and this means that a program’s actions could be guessed by the user. There are some good ways to get around issues like this, though. Random.org, for example, uses atmospheric noise to generate seeds, making it impossible to predict unless you have their exact data. 

Other companies use their own methods to achieve true-randomness. But, in most cases, this sort of methodology is kept secret, as this helps to keep everything secure. Why exactly is any of this important at all, though?

Where Is Randomness Used?

One of the biggest users of randomness in computing is something a lot of people use. As an example, games like Hearthstone rely heavily on random numbers to produce fair results for their players, and they wouldn’t be possible without it. 

Along with this, a lot of online gambling sites use random numbers with their games. Whether your casino games bonus is on the line or you’re trying to beat your daily quests, though, this isn’t the only place randomness is used. In fact, the list continues to grow as time goes on.

Along with finding uses for randomness in games, it has also proven to be invaluable in creative fields, too. Most video editing, graphics, and CAD software options will have tools which rely on producing something unique. A paint brush in Illustrator, for example, will often have uneven edges which don’t follow a pattern. 

This sort of effect is achieved by using random numbers and can be found across a huge range of software.

Finally, it’s time to think about security. It would take a very long time if humans had to oversee all of the security measures computers have to work with. To avoid this, randomness is used to enable machines to carry out this work automatically, while also ensuring that other computers can’t predict what’s being done. 

Encryption is a great example of this, as a key is required to decrypt the data being sent and received. If a key is truly random it will be a lot more secure.

This post should give you a much better understanding of the difficulties behind making a computer think randomly. There are loads of weird and wonderful ways that randomness can be achieved in this setting. Of course, though, the results are what really matter.