[ExI] AI wins at Poker now!

spike spike66 at att.net
Mon Jan 23 03:17:52 UTC 2017



From: extropy-chat [mailto:extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org] On Behalf Of William Flynn Wallace
Sent: Sunday, January 22, 2017 4:40 PM
To: ExI chat list <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org>
Subject: Re: [ExI] AI wins at Poker now!


>>…I can easily imagine that scenario playing out in one sport after another, then in the trades and crafts.  spike


>…Now I can see AI doing fashion design and fabrics, wood carving, basket weaving ("I just got out of basket therapy and I'm still weaving") and many more, but not sports…


Coupla thoughts on that.  Computers own chess and now Go; poker is coming.  The top humans have not a chance against an ordinary laptop running 200 dollar commercial chess software.  Yet we still have world championship chess tournaments and it still attracts plenty of viewers and pays big purses.  That one interests me because there is not a lot of advertisement money generated from that game, and not much money in selling the equipment.


On the other hand, there is a robot game that I think will be really big, at least for a while: motorcycle racing.  Reasoning: we already know it costs a cubic ton of money to build a competitive race car, a million bucks to get one up to where its speed is up against material limits in the tires, which really is as fast as we can go until we work out that limitation somehow.  But with motorcycles, you can get a bike that takes us to material limits in the tires for sooooo much less money, 25k$ is enough.  So you figure, 25k$ for a production fast bike, a couple thousand bucks in actuators and cameras and sensors and gazazzafraztes then you have a state-of-the-art racer that will go like hell and you just know, you KNOW that would be fun to watch, those bikes shrieking around the track with no prole aboard, yeeeeeeehaw that would be rollicking good fun.  I think at least for a while that would be as popular as human motorcycle racing, and… the bikes would go faster.  They would lose a quarter of the weight, about a tenth of the frontal area, reduce the coefficient of drag, they would go faster because if there is only a few k$ at risk and no flesh, the programmer can take bigger risks with them.


But wait, there’s more.  In motorcycle racing there are displacement classes but all the bikes must be scaled to carry an ape.  OK so what if that restriction is suddenly gone? 



These are called pocket bikes, made for kids to race, but think it over, and realize that if we don’t need to carry an ape, even a young one, a tiny frame could be wrapped around a powerful engine, low to the ground, light, stretched just enough to keep the front end on the ground as it powers out of the turn.  I can imagine these little things hitting insane speeds, a pocket-bike-scale frame with a really sincere hyperactive half-liter racing engine retrofitted.  Something like that would get us to tire material limits with perhaps even less money than a stock production bike.


Granted to BillW’s point, that whole notion defeats the spirit of human competition, the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat, etc.  Well… sorta, sure.  But the visuals for something like this would be spectacular, and if they do some epic wipeouts, well no worries, no actual apes were harmed in the making of this crazy-fun silliness, so it’s all in good fun.  I would kick in a few bucks for a Go-Fund-Me on that.


Or this: we could market a kit for converting existing bikes to track-only riderless.  I can imagine it with really not a hell of a lot of equipment: a Go-Pro class CCD camera for recognizing the inner and outer boundary lines on the track, some solid state accelerometers and angular rate sensors and such, perhaps a Raspberry Pi-class processor, actuator for steering, actuator for forward brake, actuator for throttle, actuator for clutch, actuator for shifter, compressed air cylinder to drive it all, software (that I don’t know how to write (but someone does)) and we are ready to race.  


I can imagine a conversion kit like that could be put together for a couple thousand bucks, with most of the kit recoverable in the event of even a most crowd-satisfying epic crash.  Used motorcycles are cheap.  Motorcycles that have been crashed but the frame is undamaged are cheap.  I predict we will see this starting up before this decade is out.  Oh there is money to be made here, cubic buttloads of it.






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