Friday, November 1, 2013


     Chess grandmasters have coined a phrase - "that's a computer move" - to describe those ugly, counter intuitive decisions made by computers, the moves that surely appear wrong.  Yet the machines that produce those ugly moves beat the grandmasters virtually every time.  It is true that a computer chess has developed, we humans have actually gotten a little better ourselves - in large part because we are learning from computers - but not better enough to make another contest against a chess computer close.  You might say, when it comes to at least this kind of decision making, we are well below the best in the world.

The contests between the machines are already so scintillating, so deep, and so intricate in their tactics that even the best human players have trouble following what is going on nowadays.  The moves of the machines show, regularly, how puny and reliable our intuitions are, even if we spend decades studying chess.
     It makes you wonder if the same is true about the rest of our lives.
     Imagine using machine intelligence to guide our daily decisions.

-Tyler Cowen,  Average Is Over:  Powering America Beyond The Age Of The Great Stagnation

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