Using Technology to Deepen Democracy, Using Democracy to Ensure Technology Benefits Us All

Monday, February 11, 2013

Shall We Play A Game?

Computers no more play games of chess than chess boards do.

More Futurological Brickbats here.


Black guy from the future past said...

AHAHHA! I see the inspiration behind this brickbat here.

Mitchell said...

So what is the significance of this remark, in an era when human chess champions can't beat the best computers? It anticipates an attitude in which the machines beat us at everything, but we console ourselves with the idea that what they do isn't the real thing.

Dale Carrico said...

The need for such consolation indicates the error for which this aphorism is the correction.

Black guy from the future past said...

@Mitchell, let me explain. Chess is not actually played by computers, in much the same way chess boards do not play the game of chess. Computers programmed to "play" chess are merely calculators and probability simulators. For a computer the game of chess is not a game of chess at all, it is merely software crunching numbers per the directives of the very human computer programmer who designed it that way. The computer program receives no enjoyment, no thrill, no sport in the game, it doesn't even know it's playing a game. The computer and the software program is not alive, it doesn't even know or care when or if a game is won or not, the computer program is given a framework of maneuvers thanks to it's human programmer, and to the human beings who face and competes against the software program, there is plenty meaning, exhilaration, thrill, sport, strategy and dare I say, art, to the game of chess. All of which are totally irreducible to mere number crunching, and all of which no known computer or computer program today can emulate, let alone even understand. So although a computer chess software program can "beat" (I must reiterate a computer has no sense of victory, computers have no emotion) a human competitor, it has no significance, relevance, or even context to that program and this where the great chasm between man and machine remains unbridgeable and it will most likely remain that way forever, because emotions cannot be programmed in non living, inorganic materials. It's akin to trying to get a feel for the emotional response of a rock, it's simply dumb and senseless>> (both the rock, and the person analyzing the rock)

Must I remind you Mitchell, the computer chess software program is actually human designed, so basically it's still humans competing against humans. The computer has no mind or will of it's own, and never will have such things, so there is no need to feel bad or feel in awe of the "capabilities" of a computer program. You have forgotten that the computer and the software running in the computer is a human invention and is thus a symbol of human inventiveness, intelligence and ingenuity. AI is actually NOT artificial at all. It is very natural, very human made and is a natural extension of human intelligence, skill and ability. Much in the same way a submarine nuclear warhead is the natural extension of the spear, and how the spear was and still is in many places and contexts a natural extension of our arms, which are sometimes used for destructive ends. Technology is an extension of our natural traits and capabilities. Tech does not and cannot supersede the traits and creators (us) that made them, they simply amplify our skills and talents. There will be no robot revolution or evolution. Indeed robots would not even exist were it not for humans, and the skill and capabilities of robots and tech simply reflect and inform us, human beings, the inventors of these technologies, of our own extraordinary skill and capabilities. Nuff said.