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Subject: AI getting stronger at Go rss

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Josh
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I thought Go fans might find this article interesting. It's about how computers are getting significantly better at playing Go.

http://www.economist.com/science/displaystory.cfm?story_id=8...
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Jon Grantham
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Key quote:
Quote:
Although MoGo is still some way from competing on the full-size Go grid...


So I don't know if this would count as significant progress. It's interesting that they're doing better on the 9x9 and 13x13 boards, though.
 
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Ryan Full
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I saw this article over on Godiscussions. It is indeed somewhat interesting progress is being made.
 
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Paul DeStefano
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grantham wrote:
Key quote:
Quote:
Although MoGo is still some way from competing on the full-size Go grid...


So I don't know if this would count as significant progress. It's interesting that they're doing better on the 9x9 and 13x13 boards, though.


You gotta learn to crawl before you learn to walk.
 
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It's great to see computers getting stronger at go. (It was inevitable I suppose.)

I think you can learn a lot from playing strong computer opponents in chess. Not as much as you can learn from strong humans. But computer opponents are often much more convenient than human ones, even with the easy availability of Internet chess servers.

In any case, I'm hoping, as in chess, that strong go programs become available for personal computers as well ... with the same benefits to us humans as strong chess programs provide.
 
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Jeff Thompson
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I do find it interesting that gains are being made. Go is a late comer to this battle. When this started with Chess, the PC applciations were valuable. Nowadays with the internet, the need for computer playing chess or go programs just isn't strong.

Plus, just look at my avatar where the right side is a disaster for black, however he continued to go on and win the game. (And these were no slouch players.) So yes, a strong computer player can help teach, but in all games the human element is what I enjoy the most. And I see my avatar as a symbol for that. (It is a famous game that most Go players will recognize.)

The day go is beaten down like chess I will weep like a child. It just can't happen.
 
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marc lecours
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Jeff...I don't actually recognize the game in your avatar, but I am going to guess it is the Shusaku game with the famous immortal move. If so... then Shusaku just played the move as black just to the right of the center.

I remember reading a lot about computer go in the mid 80s. I even tried my hand at programming go. I quickly found out how difficult the look ahead was. In chess you could assign values to the pieces and get a rough estimate of who was ahead. But in go it was not possible. Evaluating a position is incredibly difficult even for a person. So I spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to evaluate a position quantitively. I gave up.

Between the mid 1980s and a year or two ago there was barely any progress in the strength of computers in go. All the programs were pitiful. Any 4 kyu player coud beat any of them. Therefore this is a quantum leap in computer go. But I am not convinced that this method will be able to beat very strong humans. Brute force is not the way either. I think that computers will have to learn to evaluate positions. In other words some human will have to learn how to quantitavely evaluate a position then program a computer to do it.

I may be wrong.
 
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Dave Dyer
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the article doesn't mention it directly, but MoGo and the other
9x9 programs are getting their development practice at cgos.boardspace.net
You can see their games in progress, current standing etc.
 
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Christopher Dearlove
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Tompy wrote:
The day go is beaten down like chess I will weep like a child.


Why? The internal combustion engine (or indeed the horse) "solved" the 100 metre sprint, but people still do it.
 
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Steve Bernhardt
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Quote:
The day go is beaten down like chess I will weep like a child. It just can't happen.


Chess players used to say the same thing as they referred to checkers. It will happen, and probably in your lifetime. The fact that there are strong chess programs has done nothing to erode my interest in chess, and I would expect you won't start hating Go either.
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Daniel Danzer
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Always remember: As computers are still built by men and not by themselves, it will be always men playing the game.
 
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Philip Thomas
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you can get all the way back to amoebas on that logic...
 
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Daniel Danzer
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On what logic exactly?
 
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Philip Thomas
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That when a thing is created by another thing, the creator thereby engenders all the acts of the thing created.
 
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Daniel Danzer
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1. An amoeba never created anything.

Define "to create" ... ?

2. Same with , e.g., "dangerous technology". Not the gun is dangerous, but the man using it. Thus a processor is a processor, not a gamer. Responsibility is ours. A computer does not "play", it computes.

Define "play" ... ?

3. I think playing a game is a manifestation of a free will. A computer program, even with automatic randomness or whatever, will always generate determined processes and not a free will.

Now crucify me because of the term "free will", if you want, but one is for sure: There will be a difference between the freewill of a human being and that of a machine built willful by human beings ...

Peace,

Daniel
 
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Philip Thomas
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I beleive in free will too, but I think computers might one day accomplish it.

Humans make other humans, both physically and then by educating them. Whereas most computer hardware is nowadays made by machines operated by, yes, computers...

Of course, the computer programmes now playing GO aren't really 'players', you're right. I was just being ornery.ninja
 
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Daniel Danzer
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Philip Thomas wrote:
I beleive in free will too, but I think computers might one day accomplish it.


Well, to be exact, maybe humans will accomplish one day to build computers with free will and the ability to handle it ...

Philip Thomas wrote:
Humans make other humans, both physically and then by educating them. Whereas most computer hardware is nowadays made by machines operated by, yes, computers...


No, no. They are always operated by humans ! Look at you PC, Philip, and you will find an on/off switch somewhere. Or at least a plug.

Philip Thomas wrote:
Of course, the computer programmes now playing GO aren't really 'players', you're right. I was just being ornery.ninja


So was I ninjaninja

Well, a bit logical spice is helpful for a good talk, isn`t it!

Sure they should remake "2001 - A Space Odyssey" with the scene when HAL 9000 is playing chess against this astronaut using GO, so it is a "science fiction" movie again at this point at least for some more decades.
 
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Daniel Danzer
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Attention! This is a "meta-post" ... !

These last post(ing?)s of us remind me of playing Go.

There is a point occupied. Another against this. A kind of questioning and answering is going on. Competitive but friendly.

Not to destroy each other. We are not playing chess here!

But to create a balance, yet not perfectly balanced, but to some degree to our own advantages. To benefit from it as a whole.

 
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Philip Thomas
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Well, your original assertion was about computers being made by men. Now, switching to operation, I suppose someone has to switch the Go programme on, like waking a human up. Quite possible that someone is the person who is going to play Go with the computer. Once the programme is running, is he thereby playing himself, as he is operating the computer? I guess so.
 
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Daniel Danzer
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Philip Thomas wrote:
Once the programme is running, is he thereby playing himself, as he is operating the computer? I guess so.


Of course there is a difference between the operator turning the switch and the guys who programmed the software on the computer, most of the time they are not identical.

But if you play against the programme you designed, you basically play against yourself, this is absolutely correct!

BTW, a problem many game designers have to face when testing their games playing against themselves before any groups test them ...

 
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Brendan Tracey
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Okay, so here is an idea, and I wish I knew how to program well so I knew how to analyze it better.

The article talks about the computer simulating random games, and seeing in which games it won 75% (or whatever), in order to determine the "goodness" of a move. Instead of this, why don't they include in the random games a database of games created by the computer. The computer can simulate random games, but it can also look at games it has past played to see how a particular action played out. I guess the problem with this would be how dissimilar most games of Go are (in that the same board positions don't often copy over several moves into the game), but maybe there is some way to also build in some pattern recognition? You could have the computer play against itself a lot in order to build a database, but I guess you run into issues of being able to examine the database fast enough.

If you could get it to work though, it would to some extend be much closer to real intelligence, drawing upon past experience to make your new move.
 
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Dave Dyer
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The problem with the "database" approach is that the database
would be a bit large, and would take eons to fill even if
the entire universe were a computer devoted to that purpose.

A complete database would contain on the order of this many
positions:

398316692211881067820599033656471843422412060566414370118360876814190525
078778287771978367867906148496236508153709303592350129704516432578314074
470098769495753238915840085811644293357645589875375992534845603260865027
815032711018083481676059630309728652360528042842943610644525298135991037
793081877485511245247433224987341225913613236873191741505398329604229139
669143915043327960030646869030670768248956738775708735485960504256334453
736488021205358726905569574806264667486581193984051009097136483506525271
749484080035733863870881763567000457650973784539927240204344215682704419
503880261322962578314249284570619704620700404155134209534719408986385965
928333597344225594042950352896000000000000000000000000000000000000000000
0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000

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Joe Reil
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Sexy Amy wrote:
I think you can learn a lot from playing strong computer opponents in chess. Not as much as you can learn from strong humans. But computer opponents are often much more convenient than human ones, even with the easy availability of Internet chess servers.


The one advantage a computer opponent has is that it has infinite patience for going back and re-doing moves. The ones I've seen allow you to save a game in progress so it's easy to save it's current state, go off on whatever tangent you want to experiment with and then come back to the in progress game at it's earlier state.

As a complete beginner to Go I've been on the look-out for a decent program to play against... They're certainly not as common as decent Chess programs are.

 
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