A bad day for us humangos

I regret to announce that the wars between humans and computers have pretty much been won – by computers. Michael Adams, a very talented young Englishman and number 7 in the world played a nasty contraption called Hydra in a six game chess match. Result. Five wins – all to the computer – and one draw. You can play the games through here. The computer weaves it’s web around Adams almost as efficiently as computers do with me on the net – at www.chessclub.com. Here’s an interview with Adams.

On the slightly brighter side the breakthrough for the computers was not (so much) increasing their computing power. Its not all been done by crunching billions of positions. Of course the computers do this, and they’re doing it faster and faster, but there are still plenty of positions they don’t examine just a few moves out from the position they’re presented with over the board. If that was all they were doing, we’d still be beating them easily. Maybe even I could beat them.

The breakthrough in chess computing has come from new programs that enable computers to recognise patterns – just like us! Still, it was amazing how long the humans kept up the fight.

On a lighter note, here’s Einstein having a bit of fun with Robert Oppenheim I presume one fine lunchtime while trying to build the bomb.

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2024 years ago

That is a remarkable achievement by the computer but to keep it in perspective we need to remember that it was a humans who invented the machine and programmed it. It was also humans who invented all the moves that the computer had to store up in its memory and search in order to make a selection as the game proceeded.
Certainly pattern recognition is a quantum leap as well.
Just as well I have given up playing chess, I was humiliated by a lot of humans and I don’t need more of the same from a dumb box of bolts. (Not entirely a fair comment, in my defence I must admit that Bender is my favorite character in Futurama).

2024 years ago

Hmm, odd news. Up till now our main advantage over computers was our ability to intuit plausible outcomes from patterns. Not any more it seems.

Nice game by the way Al. I thought you were being a bit of a silly twat getting your bishop out so early and apparently bear trapped, but it opened up the centre files a right treat for the end game.

Which for some reason, reminds me of Enrico Fermi taking bets on whether Trinity would cause a chain reaction that would blow up the whole world.

So yes Rafe, Bender’s my favourite Futurama character too. Followed by that moochin’ crawdaddy, Dr Zoidberg.

I’d like to see a computer intuit the patterm in this causally casual discursive discourse.

“I’m sorry Dave, I’m afraid I can’t do that.”

2024 years ago

What the hell was Oppenheimer DOING?

(I’d fancy my chances against Albert, though.)

2024 years ago

In fact, Alby never worked on the bomb. The authorities considered him a blabbermouth who wouldn’t be able to keep shtum, so he was never asked to become involved.

Gummo Trotsky
2024 years ago

Security risk or not, he played a pretty mean closed Ruy Lopez.