[Beowulf] Wired article about Go machine

Peter St. John peter.st.john at gmail.com
Wed Mar 18 09:56:26 EDT 2009

This article at Wired is about Go playing computers:
Includes a pic of a 24 node cluster at Santa Cruz, and a YouTube video of a
famous game set to music :-)

My beef, which started with Ken Thompson saying he was disappointed by how
little we learned about human cognition from chess computers, is about
statements like this:

"People hoped that if we had a strong Go program, it would teach us how our
minds work. But that's not the case," said Bob
a Dartmouth College artificial intelligence programmer. "We just threw brute
force at a program we thought required intellect."

And yet the article points out:

[our brain is an]...efficiently configured biological processor — sporting
1015 neural connections, capable of 1016 calculations per second

Our brains do brute-force massively distributed computing. We just aren't
conscious of most of it.


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