[ExI] Superhuman Poker

John Clark johnkclark at gmail.com
Thu Jul 18 12:57:11 UTC 2019

On Thu, Jul 18, 2019 at 8:05 AM Dave Sill <sparge at gmail.com> wrote:

*> Unlike the human genius, the poker program can't talk or understand
> speech or converse in any language. It's like an idiot savant. If if could
> talk, it'd just say "I just pick the statistically best play".*

People were always asking human geniuses like Einstein and Feynman how they
got their ideas but they could never give satisfactory answers, if they
could we'd all be as smart as they were.

*> Machine learning isn't self-modifying code. The code never changes. The
> learning process builds huge tables of statistics recording the outcomes of
> different plays.*

I don't know what you mean by that, the changes that the program made in
its own code is the very thing that made it extraordinary; if it only used
the code that the humans had written it would play lousy Poker.

*> These AIs are learning very narrowly-defined games in very simple
> domains and a tiny set of well-defined rules.*

I think you're whistling through the graveyard. Everyday the field of AI's
expertise becomes less narrow, and the super impressive thing is we didn't
teach them how to do it, they taught themselves.

*> What they do is impressive to us in the same way that a calculator is
> impressive to us at doing arithmetic. *

A calculator doesn't get better at arithmetic every day and it can't teach
itself things.

> *> They don't have a strategy beyond making the play that the numbers say
> is the best one.*

Call it a strategy or call it something else, whatever they're doing
they're doing it better than you or I can do it.

> *Their benefit to us will not be as teachers*


> *but as tools*

Things become unstable and unpredictable when the tool becomes more
intelagent than the tool user. It's called a singularity.

John K Clark
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