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Old 8th December 2017, 11:40 AM   #1
Fast Eddie B
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A Landmark in Artificial Intelligence

People have been playing chess for about 1,500 years. In that time it’s been studied and analyzed in a search for the best strategies for winning.

Recently, Google’s Deep Mind was tasked with doing the same thing - start with just the rules of the game and random moves, and by playing games against itself learn the best strategies to win.

Which it did. In about 4 hours. Well enough to win against the best chess program out there, Stockfish, in a 100 game tournament. And more than enough to defeat virtually any human opponent.

Details here: [url)https://www.chess.com/news/view/google-s-alphazero-destroys-stockfish-in-100-game-match[/url]

Anyway, I do find that fascinating - and humbling.
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Old 8th December 2017, 01:54 PM   #2
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Fascinating, yes. Humbling, I'm not so sure. As with human chess tournaments involving players of high skill, the great majority of those games ended in draws. And, IIR, that program learned to beat highly accomplished Go players as well. When it can go beyond high-level game playing, I'll be more than just fascinated.

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Old 8th December 2017, 03:01 PM   #3
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I'm still waiting to see if any of the current chess playing programs are actually better than human players. We may never find out.
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Old 8th December 2017, 04:00 PM   #4
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I wonder how soon before we can buy computers like that for personal or business use and what would we use them for? I can see heaps of medical uses for them.
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Old 8th December 2017, 04:40 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by barehl View Post
I'm still waiting to see if any of the current chess playing programs are actually better than human players. We may never find out.
Quote:
In 2002–2003 three human-computer matches were drawn. But whereas Deep Blue was a specialized machine, these were chess programs running on commercially available computers.
Chess programs running on commercially-available desktop computers had convincing victories against human players in matches in 2005 and 2006. Since that time, chess programs running on commercial hardware - more recently including mobile phones - have been able to defeat even the strongest human players.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human%..._chess_matches
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Old 8th December 2017, 04:43 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Hercules Rockefeller View Post
Yes, I'm familiar with all of those. Again, I'm still waiting.
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Old 8th December 2017, 06:48 PM   #7
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Old 8th December 2017, 07:01 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by barehl View Post
I'm still waiting to see if any of the current chess playing programs are actually better than human players. We may never find out.
Can you clarify what you're waiting for? It seems like by "better" you mean something other than "better at winning games of chess", as, at least as I understand it, they already are.

I'm probably just being dense here, but what exactly are you waiting for?
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Old 8th December 2017, 07:16 PM   #9
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A sidelight to this might be examining the rarefied atmosphere that distinguishes between winning chess and good chess. Somewhat like going from the world of Brophy to the world of Fischer. I make no claims, I just like to toy with such ideas since winning chess and good chess are not necessarily the same. Obviously, god chess is also winning chess but in addition there's an emergent "something." How do grand masters judge the play of these computer programs?
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Old 8th December 2017, 07:53 PM   #10
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Quote:
Obviously, good chess is also winning chess but in addition there's an emergent "something." How do grand masters judge the play of these computer programs?
I recall that when Deep Blue beat Kasparov in a specific game, there was a move or set of moves that astounded players in its “beauty” and/or “elegance”. IOW, it was indistinguishable from the kind of sublime move a grandmaster might have made. Which at the time surprised both Kasparov and commentators.

I think this sort of thing is evidenced in some of the games they just released between computers as well.
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Old 8th December 2017, 09:18 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Fast Eddie B View Post
I recall that when Deep Blue beat Kasparov in a specific game, there was a move or set of moves that astounded players in its “beauty” and/or “elegance”. IOW, it was indistinguishable from the kind of sublime move a grandmaster might have made. Which at the time surprised both Kasparov and commentators.

I think this sort of thing is evidenced in some of the games they just released between computers as well.
There was a move that got a similar reaction when AlphaGo beat a Grand Master human player last year.
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Old 9th December 2017, 06:09 AM   #12
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I keep seeing news on recent achievements of artificial intelligence systems, especially Google's, and it just makes me wonder why people are doing this. They're going to make humans irrelevant on our own planet and in our own economy. I can understand a business owner not caring about replacing the peasants, but replacing everybody? Nobody benefits from that.
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Old 9th December 2017, 06:36 AM   #13
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IBM's Watson has gone beyond beating humans on Jeopardy and been put to some practical uses for years at this point.

Last edited by Arisia; 9th December 2017 at 06:38 AM.
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Old 9th December 2017, 08:05 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Fast Eddie B View Post
People have been playing chess for about 1,500 years. In that time it’s been studied and analyzed in a search for the best strategies for winning.

Recently, Google’s Deep Mind was tasked with doing the same thing - start with just the rules of the game and random moves, and by playing games against itself learn the best strategies to win.

Which it did. In about 4 hours. Well enough to win against the best chess program out there, Stockfish, in a 100 game tournament. And more than enough to defeat virtually any human opponent.

Details here: https://www.chess.com/news/view/goog...100-game-match

Anyway, I do find that fascinating - and humbling.
Repaired link, I hope.
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Old 9th December 2017, 08:16 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Fast Eddie B View Post
People have been playing chess for about 1,500 years. In that time it’s been studied and analyzed in a search for the best strategies for winning.

Recently, Google’s Deep Mind was tasked with doing the same thing - start with just the rules of the game and random moves, and by playing games against itself learn the best strategies to win.

Which it did. In about 4 hours. Well enough to win against the best chess program out there, Stockfish, in a 100 game tournament. And more than enough to defeat virtually any human opponent.

Details here: [url)https://www.chess.com/news/view/google-s-alphazero-destroys-stockfish-in-100-game-match[/url]

Anyway, I do find that fascinating - and humbling.
this is indeed fascinating. I'm wondering what will happen when machines become self-aware and self-programming. Will they work for us? Against us? Will we be having a war machine versus man?

Will machines develope emotions? Love? Hate?

I wish I wasn't so damn old. I'll be dead before machines can talk to me and know what they are saying.
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Old 9th December 2017, 09:23 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Cainkane1 View Post
I wish I wasn't so damn old. I'll be dead before machines can talk to me and know what they are saying.
Don't worry! They'll just reincarnate you, or at least a virtual version of you!


Then they'll torture the reincarnated version, forever, for failing to work hard enough to bring about their predecessors.




(Okay, not really, but is fun to imagine in a horror-story sort of way)
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Old 9th December 2017, 11:33 AM   #17
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AlphaGo and AlphaZero learn by playing lots and lots of games with themselves, using those games to train their neural networks.

[1712.01815] Mastering Chess and Shogi by Self-Play with a General Reinforcement Learning Algorithm has some details:
Quote:
We applied the AlphaZero algorithm to chess, shogi, and also Go. Unless otherwise specified, the same algorithm settings, network architecture, and hyper-parameters were used for all three games. We trained a separate instance of AlphaZero for each game. Training proceeded for 700,000 steps (mini-batches of size 4,096) starting from randomly initialised parameters, using 5,000 first-generation TPUs to generate self-play games and 64 second-generation TPUs to train the neural networks. Further details of the training procedure are provided in the Methods.
TPU = Google's Tensor Processing Unit chips: An in-depth look at Google’s first Tensor Processing Unit (TPU) | Google Cloud Big Data and Machine Learning Blog | Google Cloud Platform These chips are Application-Specific Integrated Circuits (ASIC's) that get great speed by doing their arithmetic as 8-bit integers instead of as some larger data type. Google's dedicated TensorFlow processor, or TPU, crushes Intel, Nvidia in inference workloads - ExtremeTech -- an Intel general-purpose CPU chip by a factor of 100 and an Nvidia GPU board by a factor of 30.
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Old 9th December 2017, 12:46 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Cainkane1 View Post
this is indeed fascinating. I'm wondering what will happen when machines become self-aware and self-programming. Will they work for us? Against us? Will we be having a war machine versus man?

Will machines develope emotions? Love? Hate?

I wish I wasn't so damn old. I'll be dead before machines can talk to me and know what they are saying.
I'm pretty sure one of the safety protocols is "hey, why are you mounting a machine gun on that chess-learning computer? We talked about this Steve. Take it off."
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Old 11th December 2017, 12:18 PM   #19
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Let me know when a computer can run a game of D&D or Champions for human players with the flexibility of a human GM.
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Old 11th December 2017, 05:26 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Armitage72 View Post
Let me know when a computer can run a game of D&D or Champions for human players with the flexibility of a human GM.
+1
That's actually a very good milestone to look for.
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Old 11th December 2017, 05:40 PM   #21
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As long as know where it's plugged in, I'm not worried about AI.
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Old 11th December 2017, 05:42 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by crescent View Post
Don't worry! They'll just reincarnate you, or at least a virtual version of you!


Then they'll torture the reincarnated version, forever, for failing to work hard enough to bring about their predecessors.




(Okay, not really, but is fun to imagine in a horror-story sort of way)
Still, a nice AI (and horror story) dress up of Pascal's Wager.
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Old 11th December 2017, 05:48 PM   #23
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I'll be impressed when they develop a chatbot that doesn't sound like a mentally disabled kid.
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Old 12th December 2017, 02:07 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Fudbucker View Post
I'll be impressed when they develop a chatbot that doesn't sound like a mentally disabled kid.
How do you feel about develop a chatbot that doesn't sound like a mentally disabled child?

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Old 13th December 2017, 11:15 AM   #25
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Old 13th December 2017, 11:24 AM   #26
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How would we manage to recognize artificial intelligence if we don't even have natural intelligence on the planet?
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Old 13th December 2017, 11:34 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by Delvo View Post
I keep seeing news on recent achievements of artificial intelligence systems, especially Google's, and it just makes me wonder why people are doing this. They're going to make humans irrelevant on our own planet and in our own economy. I can understand a business owner not caring about replacing the peasants, but replacing everybody? Nobody benefits from that.

Everybody benefits from it because it will increase productivity still further.
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Old 13th December 2017, 11:47 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
A tad dated - Go has fallen to computers recently, using the same "self-learning" method of self-play.
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Old 13th December 2017, 12:40 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Fast Eddie B View Post
A tad dated - Go has fallen to computers recently, using the same "self-learning" method of self-play.
True, but I can't see one ever getting the hang of Calvinball.
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Old 13th December 2017, 01:23 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
True, but I can't see one ever getting the hang of Calvinball.
If they ever do, I hope it's named H.O.B.B.S. . No, I didn't run it through a backronym generator. yet.
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Old 13th December 2017, 06:31 PM   #31
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I can't wait until AI is good enough to look at our genotype/phenotype database and tell us what's wrong with our bodies. We each have 300,000 bad gene snps, a bit much for a pencil and paper. IBM has "Watson", but I think it is for cancers. so far.
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Old 14th December 2017, 07:27 AM   #32
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It seems the comparison of the AI system against the "classic" chess computers wasn't entirely fair: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/12...ero_ai_unfair/
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Old 14th December 2017, 07:43 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by lauwersw View Post
It seems the comparison of the AI system against the "classic" chess computers wasn't entirely fair: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/12...ero_ai_unfair/

Thank you for that.
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Old 14th December 2017, 08:57 AM   #34
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It is indeed interesting and astonishing. But IMHO, there's a snag:

Chess (and similar games) are algorithmic. In other words, there is a huge, but finite number of solutions. This is the thing computers are good at (and most humans are not very good at).

For future computing and software design it is VERY interesting that we may soon have computers that can solve algorithmic problems on their own. However, that is a very far cry from having any form of sentient computers.

Hans
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Old 14th December 2017, 09:16 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by MRC_Hans View Post
It is indeed interesting and astonishing. But IMHO, there's a snag:

Chess (and similar games) are algorithmic. In other words, there is a huge, but finite number of solutions. This is the thing computers are good at (and most humans are not very good at).

For future computing and software design it is VERY interesting that we may soon have computers that can solve algorithmic problems on their own. However, that is a very far cry from having any form of sentient computers.
I have to agree here.

A long time ago when I was in university, I audited a course in Artificial Intelligence. One of the things I remember the professor talking about was the definition she gave to Artificial Intelligence: "Whatever doesn't work". The idea being that once they get some part of AI to work (like playing chess) they say "Oh, its not AI, its search theory".

It was explained that the focus on AI has shifted over the years... at one point people thought if you could do complex things like Chess you achieved AI, but then people realized its just a search algorithm. Over time, the focus shifted towards the lower end... looking at lower level processing (e.g. how neurons work).
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Old 14th December 2017, 09:44 AM   #36
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That, obviously, is another snag: We do not have an absolute & final definition of 'intelligence'.

Actually, as you mention, one definition is "whatever a human can do that such entities we don't like to call intelligent can't do".

Hans
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Old 14th December 2017, 04:32 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by MRC_Hans View Post
It is indeed interesting and astonishing. But IMHO, there's a snag:

Chess (and similar games) are algorithmic. In other words, there is a huge, but finite number of solutions. This is the thing computers are good at (and most humans are not very good at).
That's why Go is much more interesting than Chess from an AI perspective. The number of possible moves are so vast.
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Old 16th December 2017, 06:38 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by RussDill View Post
That's why Go is much more interesting than Chess from an AI perspective. The number of possible moves are so vast.
The number of possible moves in the course of a chess or go game is, for all practical purposes, infinite.

I recall a possibly apocryphal account:

If every human who has ever lived had done nothing but play a game of chess every 10 seconds for their entire lives, they still would not have played all possible positions which could occur in the first 10 moves.

Hard to source that - has anyone heard a similar account?
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Old 16th December 2017, 08:14 AM   #39
dasmiller
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Originally Posted by Fast Eddie B View Post
The number of possible moves in the course of a chess or go game is, for all practical purposes, infinite.

I recall a possibly apocryphal account:

If every human who has ever lived had done nothing but play a game of chess every 10 seconds for their entire lives, they still would not have played all possible positions which could occur in the first 10 moves.

Hard to source that - has anyone heard a similar account?
I hadn't heard it, but it sounds plausible. Each side has 20 possible opening moves (16 pawn moves, 4 knight moves). After that, the number of available moves depends on the board position but I suspect that it's at least 20 available moves per side (on average) through the midgame.

If "the first 10 moves" means the first 10 moves for each side, then it's a total of 20 moves, with at least 20 options available, or 20^20 possible games. Yes, a few games will end in the first 10 moves, but few enough that I think we can ignore them for now. 20^20 is about 1E26 10-move games.

Now for "everyone who has ever lived" - let's call it 100 billion, or 1E11 people. If they had a life expectancy of, say, 50 years (and I suspect it's quite a bit lower), then the total amount of living has been 5E12 years or about 1.6E20 seconds.

At 10 seconds per game, humanity would have had time to play 1.6E19 games, which is less than a millionth of the 1E26 possible games.

So, I don't have a source for it, but I'd say it's a plausible statement. Unless I made a gross math error, which is entirely possible.


I think the jury's still out as to whether this would have been a better use for Humanity's time.
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Last edited by dasmiller; 16th December 2017 at 08:16 AM.
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Old 16th December 2017, 08:46 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by Fast Eddie B View Post
The number of possible moves in the course of a chess or go game is, for all practical purposes, infinite.
Possibly true in the abstract, at least for chess, but a vast number of possible moves would not be made even by a beginner, and a similarly huge number would not be made by a modest player; a chess master would only ever consider a very few moves but spend more time considering the combinations those few moves might lead to.
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