[ by Charles Cameron — in courtroom and intel agency, the same problem ]
It’s an issue for the defense — both against criminal prosecution and terrorist attack — the defense needs to win 100%, the attack only needs to succeed once.
I’d seen the counterterrorism version quite a few times, though I didn’t know until today that it originated with a press release from the IRA — but this is the first time I’d seen the same sort of idea put forward by a defense lawyer, and again, the resemblance presented in this DoubleQuote shows me there’s a pattern I should be on the lookout for.
In the past, computers have won such games as Pong and Space Invaders:
Google’s AI system, known as AlphaGo, was developed at DeepMind, the AI research house that Google acquired for $400 million in early 2014. DeepMind specializes in both deep learning and reinforcement learning, technologies that allow machines to learn largely on their own. Previously, founder Demis Hassabis and his team had used these techniques in building systems that could play classic Atari videos games like Pong, Breakout, and Space Invaders. In some cases, these system not only outperformed professional game players. They rendered the games ridiculous by playing them in ways no human ever would or could. Apparently, this is what prompted Google’s Larry Page to buy the company.
I can’t corral all the games they’ve played into a single, simple timeline here, because the most interesting discussion I’ve seen is this clip, which moves rapidly from Backgammon via Draughts and Chess to this last few days’ Go matches:
Jeopardy should dfinitely be included somewhere in there, though:
Facing certain defeat at the hands of a room-size I.B.M. computer on Wednesday evening, Ken Jennings, famous for winning 74 games in a row on the TV quiz show, acknowledged the obvious. “I, for one, welcome our new computer overlords,” he wrote on his video screen, borrowing a line from a “Simpsons” episode.
What’s up next? It seems that suggestions included Texas Hold’em Poker and the SAT:
Artificial intelligence experts believe computers are now ready to take on more than board games. Some are putting AI through the ringer with two-player no-limit Texas Hold’ Em poker to see how a computer fairs when it plays against an opponent whose cards it can’t see. Others, like Oren Etzioni at the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence, are putting AI through standardized testing like the SATs to see if the computers can understand and answer less predictable questions.
And of course, there’s Rock, Paper, Scissors, which you can still play on the New York Times:
In a follow-up post I want to present what in my view is a much tougher game-challenge to AI than any of the above, namely Hermann Hesse‘s Glass Bead Game, which is a major though not entirely defined feature of his Nobel-winning novel, Das Glasperlenspiel, also known in English as The Glass Bead Game or Magister Ludi.
I believe a game such as my own HipBone variant on Hesse’s would not only make a fine challenge for AI, but also be of use in broadening the skillset of the analytic community, and a suitable response also to the question recently raised on PaxSIMS: Which games would you suggest to the US Navy?
As I say, though, this needs to be written up in detail as it applies to each of those three projects — work is in progress, see you soon.
At first, Fan Hui thought the move was rather odd. But then he saw its beauty.
“It’s not a human move. I’ve never seen a human play this move,” he says. “So beautiful.” It’s a word he keeps repeating. Beautiful. Beautiful. Beautiful.
The move in question was the 37th in the second game of the historic Go match between Lee Sedol, one of the world’s top players, and AlphaGo, an artificially intelligent computing system built by researchers at Google.
Phillip’s example of imitation / flattery involves a pun on the name of the Prophet’s first battle, that of Badr:
Please note that there is absolutely nothing to be gained from these juxtapositions but sheer delight — there’s no “actionable intelligence” therein — yet two extremely sharp analysts nevertheless find them of sufficient interest to exchange tweets about them.
An eye for symmetries, similarities, parallelisms and oppositions will not always come up with useful correlations, but it’s nonetheless an aspect of mind that’s close to both creativity (see Arthur Koestler) and what bin Laden analyst Cindy Storer (in Manhunt) called “magic” —
not the analysts doing it, but other people who didn’t have that talent referred to it as magic.
As an observer of the global scene, these two tweets are about bribery and corruption — but they are also recursive. As an analyst, I find that formal property, present in each case, compelling: these are not simply example of corruption, but of the corruption of the anti-corruption process.
But there’s more, there’s yet another form here, a pattern which allows us to connect otherwise unrelated dots. It is found in the doubling effect of the quick succession of the Ukrainean and Iraqi tweets. This pattern is that of repetition — more fancifully put, echo or rhyme. We see here something more than a simple isolated incident no matter how interesting — an being cognizant of that, we can be on the alert for it elsewhere in the future.
To the heuristics follow the money and cherchez la femme, I’d add take note of the form — use pattern recognition as an analytic tool to cut across disciplines and silos, and thus capture aspects of life’s complexity that the trammels of linear cause-and-effect thinking will tend to miss.
For the DoubleQuotes aficionado, these two tweets are a rich haul indeed.
[ by Charles Cameron — an interesting research angle to keep an eye on? ]
I haven’t explored my friend John Kellden‘s project, Sceenius, yet, but thought some Zenpundit readers might be interested in the suggestion by his colleague Ron Scroggin that accomnpanies this diagram:
The current tension between the world’s momentum and its inertia is playing itself out in Nepal’s ancient cultural landscape, revealed in interacting social, economic and geographical forms, which include some of the worlds lowest, and its highest features. What is happening in the world is happening in Nepal.
Small in geographical area, Nepal’s spectacular landscape rises from 194 ft elevation in the tropical Terai to 22,966 ft, at the summit of Sagarmatha (Mt Everest), where arctic weather conditions prevail. Its timescape spans the worlds of the ancient nomadic culture of the Raute people in western Nepal, and of the jet-age culture of capital city Kathmandu.
Nepal’s extremes in many dimensions make it a highly readable barometer of life’s conditions. The people, divided by caste, religion, ethnicity, and politics are stitched together in a social quilt which mirrors the country’s radically exaggerated terrain, weather, and ecosystem.
Nepal is therefore a crystal ball into which we can project the world’s social, organizational and political conditions, and see there the jobs, pains and potential gains they entail, reflected in exaggerated relief.
If you find that idea interesting — and any opportunity to study organic, high-dimensional “model worlds” seems worth checking out to me — the whole piece is worth reading, and maybe you’ll want to check in with Kellden, Scroggin and the Sceenarius team.
Zenpundit is a blog dedicated to exploring the intersections of foreign policy, history, military theory, national security,strategic thinking, futurism, cognition and a number of other esoteric pursuits.