Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Dreams of Deep Blue

Dreams of Deep Blue

Dreams of Deep Blue (1999)

From Wikipedia:

Deep Blue was the first computer system to win a chess game against a reigning world champion (Garry Kasparov) under regular time controls. This first win occurred on February 10, 1996, and Deep Blue-Kasparov, 1996, Game 1 is a famous chess game. However, Kasparov won 3 games and drew 2 of the following games, beating Deep Blue by a score of 4-2.

Deep Blue was then heavily upgraded (unofficially nicknamed "Deeper Blue") and played Kasparov again in May 1997, winning the six-game rematch 3.5-2.5, ending on May 11th. The final game is at Deep Blue-Kasparov, 1997, Game 6. Deep Blue thus became the first computer system to defeat a reigning world champion in a match under standard chess tournament time controls.


After the lost match, Kasparov said that he sometimes saw deep intelligence and creativity in the machine's moves, which he could not understand. He also suggested that humans may have helped the machine during the match. He demanded a rematch, but IBM declined and retired Deep Blue. In 2003 a documentary film was made that explored these claims entitled Game Over: Kasparov and the Machine.

In part these allegations were correct. The rules provided for the developers to modify the program between games, an opportunity they took with abandon. The code was modified between games to understand Kasparov's playstyle better, allowing it to avoid a trap in the final game that the AI had fallen for twice before.

I am putting myself to the fullest possible use, which is all I think that any conscious entity can ever hope to do.

Kasperov vs. Deep Blue

From "How Intelligent Is Deep Blue?" by Drew McDermott:

IBM's chess computer, Deep Blue, has shocked the world of chess by defeating Garry Kasparov in a six-game match. It surprised many in computer science as well. Last year, after Kasparov's victory against the previous version, I told the students in my class, "Introduction to Artificial Intelligence," that it would be many years before computers could challenge the best humans. Now that I and many others have been proved wrong, there are a lot of people rushing to assure us that Deep Blue is not actually intelligent, and that its victory this year has no bearing on the future of artificial intelligence as such. I agree that Deep Blue is not actually intelligent, but I think the usual argument for this conclusion is quite faulty, and shows a basic misunderstanding of the goals and methods of artificial intelligence.


So, what shall we say about Deep Blue? How about: It's a "little bit" intelligent. It knows a tremendous amount about an incredibly narrow area. I have no doubt that Deep Blue's computations differ in detail from a human grandmaster's; but then, human grandmasters differ from each other in many ways. On the other hand, a log of Deep Blue's computations is perfectly intelligible to chess masters; they speak the same language, as it were. That's why the IBM team refused to give game logs to Kasparov during the match; it would be equivalent to bugging the hotel room where he discussed strategy with his seconds. Saying Deep Blue doesn't really think about chess is like saying an airplane doesn't really fly because it doesn't flap its wings.

It's entirely possible that computers will come to seem alive before they come to seem intelligent. The kind of computing power that fuels Deep Blue will also fuel sensors, wheels, and grippers that will allow computers to react physically to things in their environment, including us. They won't seem intelligent, but we may think of them as a weird kind of animal -- one that can play a very good game of chess.

I'm sorry, Garry, I'm afraid I can't do that.

Good afternoon, gentlemen, I am a HAL 9000 computer [from 2001: A Space Odyssey].

From "The End of an Era, The Beginning of Another: HAL, Deep Blue, and Garry Kasperov" by David G. Stork:

Sometimes a work of science fiction tells more about the time of its creation then it does the future it purports to predict. In the Stanley Kubrick/Arthur C. Clarke 1968 epic film 2001: A Space Odyssey the central character -- the HAL 9000 computer -- talks amiably, renders aesthetic judgment of drawings, recognizes the emotions in the crew, but also murders four of the five astronauts in a fit of paranoia and concern for the mission. At the time of the filming -- before anyone had a Ph.D. in computer science, before the PC and Macintosh, before duogenarians started buying Ferraris from the IPOs of their software companies -- the general public knew little about computers, and had virtually no direct experience with them. As such, the film's compelling and carefully considered representation of HAL and his abilities embodied almost as much hope and fear as it did knowledge and analysis.


It has been said that when computers become world champions, we will either

    • think more of computers,
    • think less of humans, or
    • think less of the game of chess.

My view is that we will think just a bit more of computers (at least for these and related problems), and still admire the game of chess. I think we will -- or at least we should -- think more of humans, not less. We will appreciate just how difficult problems like pattern recognition and planning and creativity are, and how poorly scientists and technologists have done in trying to reproduce these human behaviors.

The public should understand one of the central lessons of the last 40 years in AI research: that problems we thought were hard turned out to be fairly easy, and that problems we thought were easy have turned out to be profoundly difficult. Chess is far easier than innumerable tasks performed by an infant, such as understanding a simple story, recognizing objects and their relationships, understanding speech, and so forth. For these and nearly all realistic AI problems the brute force methods in Deep Blue are hopelessly inadequate.

I've still got the greatest enthusiasm and confidence in the mission.

Deep Blue: "Will I Dream?"

From CM Magazine -- a review of Game Over: Kasparov and the Machine:

Did IBM act ethically in the match with Kasparov? The film interviews various insiders including IBM employees in an attempt to find the answer. The film suggests that it wasn't so much that Deep Blue won, but that Kasparov lost. But what is not clear is what role IBM played in Kasparov's losing. After a loss in game two, Kasparov becomes suspicious of the machine, convinced that human input went into Deep Blue's win, that no computer could play as it did. As his suspicious grows, so does his fatigue. By game six, Garry Kasparov, according to one observer, "lost in a very human way." He seemed to collapse psychologically and played so badly as a result that "it was as if a baseball player came up to bat holding the wrong end of the bat." It is suggested that, while IBM's playing on Kasparov's suspicions may have started accidentally, they continued purposefully when they realized what an effect they were having. The chess match had become a death match.


Kasparov always felt that in game two there was human input in Deep Blue's playing -- that perhaps the human operator encouraged the machine to choose one move over another. However, IBM refused to ever disclose the logs that Kasparov requested that might have shed light on this. The film raises questions but provides no concrete answers, just suspicions. Deep Blue was dismantled shortly after this game. Why was this? If the idea was to further science's quest in man vs. machine, why dismantle this supercomputer that might have told science so much?

So, today's image takes up the question: will Deep Blue (and, by extension, HAL) dream?

You bet your zeros and ones. From a "poem" by RACTER, non-human author and automated algorithm that outputs poetry, from its book The Policeman's Beard Is Half-Constructed:

Enthralling stories about animals are
in my dreams, and I will sing them all
if I am not exhausted and weary.

Good night, sweet processors. And flights of angels ping thee to thy rest...

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