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Subject: New Scientist: "Nine Games Computers Are Ruining for Humanity" rss

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Jack Defevers
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Article here.

Not exactly a ton of meat, but worth a few minutes to read.
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David
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I recommend not playing them against a computer then.

I liked that comment at the end of the article: if you want to beat DeepBlue at a game, pick something other than chess.
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Brian M
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Ditto the "don't play them against a computer!"

I always wondered why it was so impossible to program a computer to be bad enough at Chess for a casual or novice player to have fun playing against
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Philip Eve
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Interesting article, though I'm not sure why they say that Noughts and Crosses was ruined by computers. I'm pretty sure we didn't need computers to figure that one out for ourselves!
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Joseph
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StormKnight wrote:
Ditto the "don't play them against a computer!"

I always wondered why it was so impossible to program a computer to be bad enough at Chess for a casual or novice player to have fun playing against


In the early days of stand alone chess conputers, they would control the intelligence of the computer by limiting its CPU time. Now, with advanced processors, that simply doesn't work. I suspect that the early chess computers had the equivilent of an 8086 processor at best, so grinding away at a complicated chess game could take a while. I remember having to walk away for several minutes in the more advanced games in order to give the little fella "time to think".

Talk about AP !

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Bruce Padget
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Emo Philips: "A computer once beat me at chess. But it was no match for me at kickboxing."
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Dean Conrad
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There's a development of this article in the this week's New Scientist: a feature of quantum computers playing Poker

http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20227081.300-quantum-p...
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Jason Fritz
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Wake me when one can beat a person at ASL.
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Bruce Padget
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I don't follow such things closely, so I'm intrigued to find out what's up in the field.

But I don't think computers "ruin" these games. Cars haven't ruined walking for me, and sampling drum machines haven't ruined drumming for me.
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Alexander E. Stevens
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Has anyone else noticed that people still do rubik's cubes even after all these years?

Last I checked, when a computer solves a game, we are not all magically granted with the knowledge to do so. I'm not letting any computer ruin a game for me; that's my own damned job.
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Get Funkadelic
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Have you tried arm wrestling an industrial robot recently? They are tough to beat!
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Eric Jome
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It is only a matter of time until computers are superior to humans in every intellectual capacity. But then, for any given person, there has always been other people superior to them in every intellectual capacity... and that hasn't stopped our interest in games.

Games are not about beating the best opponents. They're about beating the opponents you have right now... and those are often the ones you've chosen to play against.
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Jon W
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LEHaskell wrote:
Is it even possible to ruin Rock, Paper, Scissors?

Philistine!

http://www.worldrps.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=vi...
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Jorge Arroyo
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LEHaskell wrote:

Is it even possible to ruin Rock, Paper, Scissors?



When all the board games we play become dust and no one remembers 99% of them, people will still play Rock, Paper, Scissors
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Troy Winfrey
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Nebelwerfer41 wrote:
Wake me when one can beat a person at ASL.


Actually, I'm not sure that would be hard (relatively speaking) to do. More of a nobody's-implemented-it kind of thing, not a it-can't-be-done. There's a much smaller solution space to wade through, plus lots of ways to use Bayesian logic (make the computer run a million games and learn from each one).

More disturbingly, AI's are solution-neutral. If you program them to win, they will win, no matter how stupid, unfair, or bizarre their strategies might be. For example, Steve Jackson discusses that it was sheer chance that a player figured out that taking all GEV's was a devastating strategy in GEV and Ogre. A force of light hovercraft vs. a giant cybertank? Who'd do that? But it worked beautifully. AI's do this, only better.

The current issue of the New Yorker has an article by Malcolm Gladwell that references an old trillion-credit squadron Traveller competition. Using a computer about as smart as a modern watch, Doug Lenat designed a fleet that ran counter to every assumption about how to compete--and did so well that they first changed the rules to frustrate him, and then essentially forced him not to compete the following year. Read it at http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2009/05/11/090511fa_fact_... .

It's one of the best articles for gamers I've read in a while.
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Matt Drake
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cosine wrote:
It is only a matter of time until computers are superior to humans in every intellectual capacity.


And when that happens, Skynet wins.
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Andy Foulke
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VanVeen wrote:
Nebelwerfer41 wrote:
Wake me when one can beat a person at ASL.


Actually, I'm not sure that would be hard (relatively speaking) to do. More of a nobody's-implemented-it kind of thing, not a it-can't-be-done.


Combat Mission puts up a relatively good fight, and I believe it has its roots in an ASL implementation
 
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Philip Eve
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VanVeen wrote:
More disturbingly, AI's are solution-neutral. If you program them to win, they will win, no matter how stupid, unfair, or bizarre their strategies might be. For example, Steve Jackson discusses that it was sheer chance that a player figured out that taking all GEV's was a devastating strategy in GEV and Ogre. A force of light hovercraft vs. a giant cybertank? Who'd do that? But it worked beautifully. AI's do this, only better.


But I don't see this as disturbing. If the strategy is a winning strategy, how is it unfair or bizarre? If it wins over the opponent's strategy, then it's a good strategy, full stop. A human player should be able to identify unconventional winning strategies as well.

If a winning strategy seems inappropriate or bizarre, then it may be that the game design is at fault, but the player who uses it certainly isn't. By the sound of it, the naval warfare game described in the article is vulnerable to a strategy which is not supposed to be a sensible strategy - yet is. Thus it is a severely flawed design.

Interesting article btw.
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Ken Feldman
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StormKnight wrote:
Ditto the "don't play them against a computer!"

I always wondered why it was so impossible to program a computer to be bad enough at Chess for a casual or novice player to have fun playing against


There are a lot of good programs for learning chess that allow you to play against an AI of your level (or lower if you need to raise your self esteem after an embarassing loss).

I use Chessmaster. It's rewarding to beat an AI 300 points higher than you, and yes, I've had to beat up on weak opponent after losing some games I should've won.
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Eric Jome
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VanVeen wrote:
More disturbingly, AI's are solution-neutral.


Yes... beating a human at an ASL scenario is entirely plausible.

Let's see the computer play a country in Diplomacy and come out ahead. Or, better yet, let's see the computer play a chair in Apples To Apples and do well. Or Charades. Or Pictionary.

When a game can be reduced to a state map and played repeatedly, a computer is a good tool for finding an answer. When the game is played with art and soul instead of merely thought and finesse, we'll be handing the machines defeats for years to come.
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Randall Peek
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maka wrote:
LEHaskell wrote:

Is it even possible to ruin Rock, Paper, Scissors?



When all the board games we play become dust and no one remembers 99% of them, people will still play Rock, Paper, Scissors


In post-apocalyptic Earth, the game will be Rock, Rock, Rock since, of course, nothing beats rock.
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falloutfan wrote:
In the early days of stand alone chess conputers, they would control the intelligence of the computer by limiting its CPU time.


I remember an old chess program a friend of mine had on his old Mac. He always did worse against it if he thought about his moves, because it was processing in that time too - but if he just played as fast as he could he'd win every time =)
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steven richard
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I was surprised to see Go on this list until I saw all of the caveats. Besides the silliness of a game being "ruined" because a computer can beat a human at it, the article then goes on to explain that it does no such thing.

A seven stone handicap is no small matter (it's the sort of handicap an experienced adult would give a child in a learning game, for crying out loud) and even then won by a slim margin and only if you use Chinese scoring.

The article then goes on to say that there might be a program that can beat a professional in a few decades.

In the meantime, there are plenty of programs available that can beat me right now, and the game is by no means ruined.
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Bruce Padget
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maka wrote:
When all the board games we play become dust and no one remembers 99% of them, people will still play Rock, Paper, Scissors

And noughts and crosses.
 
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'Bernard Wingrave'
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Quote:
Deep Blue may have beaten Garry Kasparov at chess, but it would be utterly flummoxed by snakes and ladders.

How exactly? Does Snakes & Ladders have any choices or strategy?
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