11.0030 Deep Blue, human intelligence, and AI

Humanist Discussion Group (humanist@kcl.ac.uk)
Thu, 15 May 1997 18:26:05 +0100 (BST)

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 11, No. 30.
Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London

[1] From: Jascha Kessler <jkessler@ucla.edu> (15)
Subject: Deep? Blue

[2] From: Chris Floyd <cfloyd@carmen.murdoch.edu.au> (66)
Subject: Deep Blue, human intelligence, AI and Larry Taylor

[3] From: Patricia Galloway <galloway@mdah.state.ms.us> (14)
Subject: Re: 11.0022 Deep Blue, human intelligence and AI

Date: Tue, 13 May 1997 12:04:15 -0700
From: Jascha Kessler <jkessler@ucla.edu>
Subject: Deep? Blue

HennyPenny, the sky is falling! Not so, perhaps.
It seems to me, and I have remarked on this phenomenon before, but seem not
to have succeeded in getting my observations posted, ever...that... the
first time one of our species flaked a flint cat meat from a bone, instead
of tearing it with the teeth, we, yes we, were on the road that leads to
comuter chess games and beyond. the wheel didnt remove the necessity for
infants to learn to walk and run, and dance, etc. Why do "Humanists" get
upset by machines? Edgar Allan Poe would have loved this all. He had a
dwarf inside his chess playing machine! Who are the dwarfs behind Deep
Jascha Kessler

Jascha Kessler
Professor of English & Modern Literature, UCLA
Telephone/Facsimile: (310) 393-4648

Date: Wed, 14 May 1997 10:12:37 +0800
From: Chris Floyd <cfloyd@carmen.murdoch.edu.au>
Subject: Deep Blue, human intelligence, AI and Larry Taylor

>> "Does Deep Blue use artificial intelligence?
>> The short answer is "no."
>The short response is, "Ridiculous. Of course it's A.I.

Artificial intelligence is a contradiction in terms. That is the dilemma of
the Turing test. Intelligence is assumed to be the separation between
animals and humans. When computers reproduce human intellectual capacity,
the question is begged whether the intelligence duplicated is of nature.
There is little computer power required to renact the thought processes of
an amoeba (as distinct from its genetic construction) and many computer
viruses are more sophisticated than their natural counterpart. If the
development of intelligence is an evolutionary continuum then the break
between animal behaviour and human thought is artificial, with language
(and the manifest infrastructure of 'civilisation'), being the qualitative
difference. If the break is an artificial construct, then equally so is our
perception of what is intelligent. Do we know ourselves enough to define
intelligence? So we digress to a semantic tangent. Given that intelligence
is a part of evolution, then the intelligence of computers is not so much
artifical as it is an extension of human intellectual ability. It is at one
with the world since its becoming. We don't have artificial books. Books
exist despite writing originating with humans.

>Prediction made about 1957: Unless they are excluded from
>competition, a computer will be the world champion in chess
>within ten years (it may have been Simon. My books are still
>packed, and I can't easily look it up).


>Repeat after me: Since May 11, 1997, a computer is the best chess
>player in the universe. It can't talk, think about anything
>other than chess, or tie its shoes, but it is better at what it was
>engineered to do than ANY HUMAN ALIVE

There is a plethora of games people play with computers. For the beginner
user, often there is a choice of levels, from novice to expert, and grand
master. Some people search around for the good oil on the best tactics to
play them, to get 'cheats' to win. But would I really want to play against
Deep Blue? Is Deep Blue the best chess player for me? People choose
different levels. There is more to chess than winning, as there is in other
games. People also play for enjoyment and camaraderie. Does Deep Blue know
any good jokes?

Bobby Fischer was a world champion. A significant part of his game was
'psyching out' the opponent. I am not sure that Deep Blue would be
susceptible to this. I am not convinced this makes Deep Blue (sex unknown)
a more intelligent and 'better' chess player. Deep Blue might be proficient
at winning chess games, as it so has been engineered to do, but I wouldn't
invite it home to play chess. I wouldn't enjoy playing chess with it. I
like making extempore moves against an intelligent fallible human.

>THE PENNANT! (American baseball, c. 1951)

Who wins? The humans who engineered Deep Blue. If Deep Blue was
intelligent, it would do something more important than tie shoes, it would
realise the pointlessness of winning at all costs.

>Repeat after me

Sounds like hardware.

>Particularly significant was Kasparov's whining after his loss,
>which showed that his ego has been crushed.

No, Kasparov's ego remains. It is his ongoing consciousness of the world.
Deep Blue has no ego.

But then I am not sure if Larry is a computer. Maybe Larry is Deep Blue.
The Turing test is such a problem.


Dr Chris Floyd
Oral: +61 9 339 8632
Ink: +61 9 385 7443

Date: Wed, 14 May 1997 09:25:39 -0500
From: Patricia Galloway <galloway@mdah.state.ms.us>
Subject: Re: 11.0022 Deep Blue, human intelligence and AI

I quote from Larry Taylor's comments:

"Particularly significant was Kasparov's whining after his loss,
which showed that his ego has been crushed."

Let us appreciate the marvelous feat of human engineering and
electronic speed that Deep Blue's victory was; but let us acknowledge
that if the computer didn't consider it an analogue to war, the
engineers certainly did. Interesting that the *computer* isn't crowing
(note the loaded word "whining" here) about the "crushing" of cultural
constructs like egos; in fact the computer has no "interest" in
victory at all. This would seem to imply that inside this scenario
(engineers against chess masters) the computer is itself a
pawn....Does anyone remember George Steiner's essay about music,
chess, and mathematics?

Pat Galloway
MS Dept of Archives and History