25 October 2016

Not a human move

[AlphaGo] doesn’t perceive the world or move within it, and the totality of its behaviour is manifest through the moves it makes on the Go board. Nevertheless, the intentional stance is sometimes useful to describe its behaviour.

...Commentating on the match, the European Go champion Fan Hui remarked: ‘It’s not a human move. I’ve never seen a human play this move. So beautiful.’ According to AlphaGo’s own estimate, there was a one-in-10,000 chance that a human would have used the same tactic, and it went against centuries of received wisdom. Yet this move was pivotal in giving it victory.
from What other kinds of minds might be out there? by Murray Shanahan

12 October 2016

"Dance all night on the shore of another world"

One legend of the Yurok people says that, far out in the Pacific Ocean but not farther than a canoe can paddle, the rim of the sky makes waves by beating on the surface of the water. On every twelfth upswing, the sky moves a little more slowly, so that a skilled navigator has enough time to slip beneath its rim, reach the outer ocean, and dance all night on the shore of another world.
from The Fantastic Ursula K. Le Guin

Image via California Slaughter, See also a Yurok house here