On Fri, Oct 25, 2013 at 1:11 AM, Platonist Guitar Cowboy
> On Thu, Oct 24, 2013 at 11:29 PM, Telmo Menezes <te...@telmomenezes.com>
>> On Thu, Oct 24, 2013 at 7:02 PM, Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com>
>> > On Thursday, October 24, 2013 12:43:49 PM UTC-4, telmo_menezes wrote:
>> >> On Thu, Oct 24, 2013 at 6:39 PM, Craig Weinberg <whats...@gmail.com>
>> >> wrote:
>> >> >
>> >> >
>> >> > http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2013/11/the-man-who-would-teach-machines-to-think/309529/
>> >> >
>> >> > The Man Who Would Teach Machines to Think
>> >> >
>> >> > "...Take Deep Blue, the IBM supercomputer that bested the chess
>> >> > grandmaster
>> >> > Garry Kasparov. Deep Blue won by brute force. For each legal move it
>> >> > could
>> >> > make at a given point in the game, it would consider its opponent’s
>> >> > responses, its own responses to those responses, and so on for six or
>> >> > more
>> >> > steps down the line. With a fast evaluation function, it would
>> >> > calculate
>> >> > a
>> >> > score for each possible position, and then make the move that led to
>> >> > the
>> >> > best score. What allowed Deep Blue to beat the world’s best humans
>> >> > was
>> >> > raw
>> >> > computational power. It could evaluate up to 330 million positions a
>> >> > second,
>> >> > while Kasparov could evaluate only a few dozen before having to make
>> >> > a
>> >> > decision.
>> >> >
>> >> > Hofstadter wanted to ask: Why conquer a task if there’s no insight to
>> >> > be
>> >> > had
>> >> > from the victory? “Okay,” he says, “Deep Blue plays very good
>> >> > chess—so
>> >> > what?
>> >> > Does that tell you something about how we play chess? No. Does it
>> >> > tell
>> >> > you
>> >> > about how Kasparov envisions, understands a chessboard?” A brand of
>> >> > AI
>> >> > that
>> >> > didn’t try to answer such questions—however impressive it might have
>> >> > been—was, in Hofstadter’s mind, a diversion. He distanced himself
>> >> > from
>> >> > the
>> >> > field almost as soon as he became a part of it. “To me, as a
>> >> > fledgling
>> >> > AI
>> >> > person,” he says, “it was self-evident that I did not want to get
>> >> > involved
>> >> > in that trickery. It was obvious: I don’t want to be involved in
>> >> > passing
>> >> > off
>> >> > some fancy program’s behavior for intelligence when I know that it
>> >> > has
>> >> > nothing to do with intelligence. And I don’t know why more people
>> >> > aren’t
>> >> > that way...”
>> >> I was just reading this too. I agree.
>> >> > This is precisely my argument against John Clark's position.
>> >> >
>> >> > Another quote I will be stealing:
>> >> >
>> >> > "Airplanes don’t flap their wings; why should computers think?"
>> >> I think the intended meaning is closer to: "airplanes don't fly by
>> >> flapping their wings, why should computers be intelligent by
>> >> thinking?".
>> > It depends whether you want 'thinking' to imply awareness or not.
>> Ok. I don't think we can know that in any case.
>> > I think
>> > the point is that we should not assume that computation is in any way
>> > 'thinking' (or intelligence for that matter). I think that 'thinking' is
>> > not
>> > passive enough to describe computation. It is to say that a net is
>> > 'fishing'. Computation is many nets within nets, devoid of intention or
>> > perspective. It does the opposite of thinking, it is a method for
>> > petrifying
>> > the measurable residue or reflection of thought.
>> Ok but let's take a human grand master playing chess. You don't think
>> a computer can play like him?
> This relates to what you said earlier which I agree with:
> They are more intelligent in
> the sense that they can play competitively while only considering a
> small fraction of the scenarios. How do we do this? There is almost no
> real AI research nowadays because people gave up on answering this
> The answer lies somewhere in building branch histories and databases that
> are for now only partial. The computer cannot beat humans without databases
> for openings, middle, and endgame. I believe this is what freaked out
> Kasparov in the questionable game and what gives his suspicion of human
> intervention in the code, which IBM never ruled out or proved negatively
> between games, some substance. Kasparov lost because IBM eventually accrued
> enough understanding of Kasparov's database (dozens of years of notes and
> logs that make up his holy grail secret) to not let it fall for Kasparov's
> Kasparov's and any GM's algorithm for beating chess engines often runs along
> the lines of:
> Keep position closed via Botvinnik type openings and middlegame so the
> computer will have to contend with billions of possible move continuations
> instead of a few dozen million. Then implement precise, but highly complex,
> long term strategy that offers both positional and material gambit for
> twenty or so moves which is designed to flip at exactly the point of the
> computer's computational horizon, and the computer loses.
> This doesn't work today, because human GMs have fed the databases with every
> line/variation up their sleeves (from hundreds of years of recorded games)
> and consequently we feed the software with every refutation. Once a
> refutation is implemented, it's our loss in terms of raw summing value,
> because we are forced into unexplored territory and can't compute those
> positions optimally anymore (no more strategy, just local computational
> tactics; computer wins).
> This is vague, so I'll give concrete example: Marshall Attack for black
> against white Ruy Lopez. This one is odd and even powerful chess engines
> that don't include this in their databases, that can brute force billions of
> position assessment sums (more than deep blue could on a desktop of today),
> will loose even against yours truly! :-)
> Why? Because black gives up central control, sacrifices a central pawn and
> can get away with savage sacrifices of minor and major pieces and loss of
> positional strength; all things the computer is summing highly peering and
> brute forcing 10 or 20 moves in advance to calculate an undecidable flurry
> of too many best possible moves, in function of finding itself in an
> incredible advantage. It doesn't see black's long term but explosive
> minority attack king side unless it has a database to draw from at a much
> earlier stage in the game, innocently conspiring against pieces that are
> irrelevant to the plan.
> At the precise point my engine sees that branch in which black mates white
> suddenly, it's already too late. The board is already set and the computer's
> positional and material advances are irrelevant. I let my engine evaluate
> positions without database, and it sees black losing clearly a couple of
> points (half a point can tip a game in GM level chess) until on some
> billionth branch it discovers black's long term intent, at which suddenly,
> in computing on one move, black gets a ten point lead despite material and
> positional sacrifice because the computer sees suddenly that unavoidably
> white is mated.
> Of course, with database all the computer has to do is refutation move like
> pawn a4 early enough, which prevents the mess above at its root in the game.
> But we don't have algorithms to find these really vague (in terms of
> position and material) but precise variations (in terms of fuzzy felicity
> conditions for long term strategy; which pieces of black become crucial is
> open depending on particular game, save the queen, so you can't define "if
> black sacrifices piece x this indicates gambit" independent of position for
> example), even though now computers are helping GMs find these types of
> Therefore, the whole pitting "human vs. computer" makes little sense to me
> in chess until we have computing power to solve chess completely or prove it
> undecidable. Human and computer are playing the same game, and without the
> right memory and branch, both are lost. I guess a GM panel with complete
> access to code, databases, and hardware specs could, given sufficient time
> that nobody would finance, find lines long and complex enough to beat a
> computer, and a GM panel without the code and in an unfamiliar branch
> doesn't have a chance against an entertainment engine they sell on itunes!
> The question regarding superiority should be: what are we even proving here,
> given we write the code and we designed the game? Right, the distinction
> between machine and human becomes blurry. Every discovery of line enriches
> the game up to this point. Even when or if a super computer solves chess, it
> will not have done so without the notes of monks' games in the 15th century.
Thanks for the detailed explanation from someone who actually knows
something about chess. I will keep this in my files :)
My high-level objection is very simple: chess was an excuse to pursue
AI. In an era of much lower computational power, people figured that
for a computer to beat a GM at chess, some meaningful AI would have to
be developed along the way. I don' thing that Deep Blue is what they
had in mind. IBM cheated in a way. I do think that Deep Blue is an
accomplishment, but not _the_ accomplishment we hoped for.
I believe there will be an AI renaissance and I hope to be alive to
witness it. But for this renaissance to take place, I think two
cultural shifts have to happen:
- A disinterest with the "science as the new religion" stance, leading
to a truly scientific detachment from findings. Currently, everything
that touches the creation of intelligence is ideologically loaded from
all sides of the discussion. This taints honest scientific inquiry;
- New economic structures that allow humanity to pursue complex goals
outside the narrow short-term focus on profit of corporatism or the
pointless status wars of academia.
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