Art is dead

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Sean Hayden
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Art is dead

Post by Sean Hayden » Tue Jun 12, 2018 6:52 pm

If you don't like chess then you may not appreciate the implications of this computer's play. But for those of you who can, what do you think?



You can skip to about 11:25 to see the point. This position is beautiful. But is it creative? I think chess provides an interesting opportunity to explore how we misunderstand the ways in which we actually operate. In particular how we create narratives after the fact to explain behaviors and abilities we can't quite put our finger on.
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Re: Art is dead

Post by laklak » Tue Jun 12, 2018 7:05 pm

Nah, he's only sleeping.
Yeah well that's just, like, your opinion, man.

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Re: Art is dead

Post by Rum » Tue Jun 12, 2018 7:16 pm

I used to play chess at competition level when I was a kid. I wasn't very good, but I learnt the rules of course and gained some idea of how complex it had the potential to get.

I'm not sure I see the significance here though. Alpha Zero is an even cleverer engine as far as I can see. Without understanding the underlying algorithms, coding and so forth my only conclusion is that someone has made an even smarter chess playing box. It favours 'activity over material' - the guys concludes.

Can you tell me what I'm missing?

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Re: Art is dead

Post by Sean Hayden » Tue Jun 12, 2018 7:44 pm

You're missing how we've tended to talk about chess. Though it is changing now: Move First, Think Later: Sense and Nonsense in Improving Your Chess

It has become much more concrete than it used to be i.e. it is possible to outplay the very best humans by merely calculating very deeply many lines. But more importantly to this discussion is that it is possible to arrive at beautiful positions, the most beautiful, without creative inspiration.
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Re: Art is dead

Post by cronus » Tue Jun 12, 2018 8:04 pm

Not around here it isn't. More art shops than book shops.
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Re: Art is dead

Post by Sean Hayden » Tue Jun 12, 2018 8:12 pm

:lol: That's good. But will you accept the first bot art shop?
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Re: Art is dead

Post by Svartalf » Tue Jun 12, 2018 8:17 pm

what does this have to do with art, and I totally suck at chess, so I can't even guess at the meaning behing the OP illo.
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Re: Art is dead

Post by cronus » Tue Jun 12, 2018 8:20 pm

Sean Hayden wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 8:12 pm
:lol: That's good. But will you accept the first bot art shop?
Depends on the life story of the AI for that. Who it shagged and how bohemian a lifestyle it led. Did it live in Paris for a time? Plenty of failed talented artists on account of boring lives.
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Re: Art is dead

Post by Sean Hayden » Tue Jun 12, 2018 8:28 pm

I tend to take an interest in the artist after I've encountered their work.

But that's still an interesting point.
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Re: Art is dead

Post by Sean Hayden » Tue Jun 12, 2018 9:08 pm

Svartalf wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 8:17 pm
what does this have to do with art, and I totally suck at chess, so I can't even guess at the meaning behing the OP illo.
A machine has created a beautiful position, a position which will rival what any person is capable of. Now the machine has not only proven itself better in terms of its ability to win, but also now in terms of the beauty of its play. This is interesting.

Have we overstated the existence of artistic expression in chess? --perhaps-- Is chess the only endeavor we may be guilty of doing that in? Or have we misunderstood artistic expression in some fundamental way? --maybe-- :hehe:
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Re: Art is dead

Post by Rum » Tue Jun 12, 2018 9:12 pm

I suspect the latter - with no actual knowledge of the programming involved. Artistic creation assumes some sort of inspiration - often out of the blue - a confluence of skill, ability, imagination and flare. Programming an engine to win a game - however complex - doesn't seem to me to be that at all.

Unless of course they can now code for imagination and flare..

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Re: Art is dead

Post by pErvinalia » Tue Jun 12, 2018 11:37 pm

Sean Hayden wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 9:08 pm
Svartalf wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 8:17 pm
what does this have to do with art, and I totally suck at chess, so I can't even guess at the meaning behing the OP illo.
A machine has created a beautiful position, a position which will rival what any person is capable of. Now the machine has not only proven itself better in terms of its ability to win, but also now in terms of the beauty of its play. This is interesting.

Have we overstated the existence of artistic expression in chess? --perhaps-- Is chess the only endeavor we may be guilty of doing that in? Or have we misunderstood artistic expression in some fundamental way? --maybe-- :hehe:
I'm missing one of the premises - that there is such a thing as a "beautiful position" in chess. What is that? :think:
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Re: Art is dead

Post by pErvinalia » Tue Jun 12, 2018 11:43 pm

Rum wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 9:12 pm
I suspect the latter - with no actual knowledge of the programming involved. Artistic creation assumes some sort of inspiration - often out of the blue - a confluence of skill, ability, imagination and flare. Programming an engine to win a game - however complex - doesn't seem to me to be that at all.
I'm not sure what Sean is saying in relation to chess, but it seems that the broader point is probably about the concept of a "mechanical mind" and whether that's exactly what humans have. In that scenario, beauty and creativity is the result of nothing more than a meat computer. In which case we shouldn't be surprised to see that a silicon computer can be creative. I'm a hard core materialist and think that we are just mechanical meat computers. There's no extra stuff in there. It's just atoms interacting like they do in every other clump of matter in the universe under similar temperature and pressure. It's also likely that consciousness is just a post hoc theatrical play we perform for ourselves.
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Re: Art is dead

Post by Brian Peacock » Tue Jun 12, 2018 11:48 pm

"Art isn't dead. It just smells funny." -- Richard Whitely.
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There are two other possibilities: one is paperwork, and the other is nostalgia."

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Clinton Huxley » 21 Jun 2012 » 14:10:36 GMT
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Re: Art is dead

Post by JimC » Wed Jun 13, 2018 12:17 am

Art Linkletter is definitely dead...
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