Tuesday, May 23, 2017

DeepMind MEdia Dragons beat world's best Go player in new round of matches

AlphaGo is at it again. Google DeepMind’s Go-playing AI has defeated Ke Jie, the world’s number one player, in the first of three games played in Wuzhen, China.

The AI won by just half a point – the smallest possible margin of victory – in a match that lasted four hours and fifteen minutes. Though the scoreline looks close, AlphaGo was in the lead from relatively early on in the game. Since the AI favours moves that are more likely to guarantee victory, it doesn’t usually trounce its opponents.

In March last year, AlphaGo beat Lee Sedol, one of the world’s top Go players, winning four out of five matches. The AI challenged more Go masters in January 2017, winning a series of 50 online games including two victories against Ke Jie.

Daphne Page, 52, says she bought the “sticks of dynamite” novelty alarm clock for $1 at a garage sale and was going to give it to her daughter as a gag gift. After she left it in the back seat of her car at a grocery store, someone noticed it and raised an alarm which drew emergency fire and police response. “Page was charged with the manufacture, possession or use of explosives — a statute that includes the manufacture and possession of hoax devices.” [Ned Oliver, Richmond Times-Dispatch]

“I think I ought to begin by saying that I’m not a militant member of any school of poets or poetry. I don’t have any poetic theories to sell. I don’t feel any impulse to tell other poets how they ought to write; I’d rather let them surprise me. To listen to some of the critics nowadays, especially those who write for the popular magazines, you’d think the American poetry scene was a battlefield with beats and squares and intermediate types all locked in deadly combat.”

Wilbur says the best American poets have always been “independent operators—what they call wildcatting in Texas,” which describes his own practice. He goes on:

“I do, of course, have opinions on other things besides poetry. I’m for God and Lyndon Johnson and conservation and civil rights, city planning, the nationalization of the railroads, and a few other things. However, I think it’s not generally for opinions and ideas that poets are interesting. Some [deadly word] poets are intelligent men, and they are entitled to their thoughts, but abstract argument and intellectual pioneering are not the special function of a poet.”

Wilbur reads and discusses three of his poems – “Seed Leaves,” “Beasts” and “Love Calls Us to the Things of This World.” Some of the discussion by students and teachers is tiresome, but that’s not Wilbur’s fault. Poetry, good or bad, brings out the pretentiousness in a lot of people, especially those who pursue “meaning” like predators.