Self Wright

Human Mental Games

Was watching Queen’s Gambit today (up to four episodes now), and realized how different the attitude to chess (and perhaps Go too) would’ve been back then.

Today, in a post-Deep Blue, post-Alpha Go, post-<you-know-what> world, we don’t see any mystery about any game of thought.

We simply assume it isn’t even worth trying to get better at it, because why bother — why bother if we can never get as good as machines are?

This earlier time seems so different, because there isn’t a limit perceived to how good someone can be. Contrast this with today, when we are circumscribed somehow, by the knowledge of a “ceiling of competence”. Yes, it’s still a good sport to watch, but it means less, somehow.

What might be the equivalent of this today?

What still counts as an area where humans can compete, where the frontier is open, where we might be surprised at how good one of us is?

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1 Comment

  1. Gautam Brahma

    That is a profound thought

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