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18-12-27: Steven Strogatz

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  • 18-12-27: Steven Strogatz

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    Most unnerving was that AlphaZero seemed to express insight. It played like no computer ever has, intuitively and beautifully, with a romantic, attacking style. It played gambits and took risks. In some games it paralyzed Stockfish and toyed with it. While conducting its attack in Game 10, AlphaZero retreated its queen back into the corner of the board on its own side, far from Stockfish’s king, not normally where an attacking queen should be placed.

    Yet this peculiar retreat was venomous: No matter how Stockfish replied, it was doomed. It was almost as if AlphaZero was waiting for Stockfish to realize, after billions of brutish calculations, how hopeless its position truly was, so that the beast could relax and expire peacefully, like a vanquished bull before a matador. Grandmasters had never seen anything like it. AlphaZero had the finesse of a virtuoso and the power of a machine. It was humankind’s first glimpse of an awesome new kind of intelligence.
    - Steven Strogatz, a mathematics professor at Cornell University, writing about AlphaZero, a new machine-learning algorithm that started with no knowledge of chess beyond its basic rules. It then played against itself millions of times and learned from its mistakes. In a matter of hours, the algorithm became the best chess player, human or computer, the world has ever seen. A fascinating read in the NYT.

    skooly (thinks Skynet is self aware)
    I love chess and play frequently
    I like chess but rarely play it
    "I guess I just hate the fact there is public property at all." - Mr. Raceboy.

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