Just finished watching a stunning documentary on the ancient game of “Go” and the match between the world’s top-ranked player versus an AI computer programme. As you’d expect it’s nerd porn full of programmers and board game devotees but that’s not what you should focus on if you see it.
In the past I’ve discussed the flow state element to daygame, along with the parallels to chess and poker of pickup being both a science and an art. I’ve explored how skilled daygamers are multiple moves ahead, seeing deep into the game rather than than taking things move by move. There’s precise probability calculations plus artistic creativity.
On the surface, the documentary project seems like a re-run of the “Man vs Machine” 1997 match between chess legend Garry Kasparov and the IBM supercomputer ‘Deep Blue‘ (which the computer won). But this film based on Go, an older and more complex game than chess, is something far more abstract and profound, like the game itself.
Without spoiling the finale of the film, I still wanted to note down some of the practical revelations in relation to daygame that I got from the nerdy overdose of theory in the movie:
- The game is a mirror to the player. Personality shines through.
- You shouldn’t change your game style to try to adapt to your opponent – that’s always a sign you’re heading for a loss
- There’s the logical “If X, Then Y…” tree of variations that has to be learnt but on top of that the game has creativity and fluidity. Great Go players have outstanding intuition to face the game tree complexity of 10360 per move.
Whilst the world champion is battling the AI computer (suitably named “AlphaGo“ by the team of not-so-alpha programmers) the commentators realise that the computer is not only coming up with new moves (that at first seem odd or mistakes) based on depth perception but that it’s also playing “slack moves”
“We’ve been using score as a proxy for ‘chance of winning,’ i.e. the bigger my margin of territory, the more confident I am that I will win. AlphaGo says no – it doesn’t matter how much you win by, you just need to win by a point. Why should you be seizing all this territory when you don’t need it”
AI researcher in the film
This is enlightening for daygame and pickup. You either fuck her or you don’t. As I’ve said before, you don’t get extra brownie points for doing more attraction, more comfort or more seduction than is necessary. The aim of the game is to win, not to waste energy showing off (and in doing so potentially forgetting what the aim actually is).
Anyway, enough geek porn for one evening. Watch the movie yourself and then go outside to talk to some hot girls so you don’t end up like the programmers or board game professionals in the documentary 😉