The near future of computer chess

Discussion of anything and everything relating to chess playing software and machines.

Moderators: bob, hgm, Harvey Williamson

Forum rules
This textbox is used to restore diagrams posted with the [d] tag before the upgrade.
User avatar
fern
Posts: 8755
Joined: Sun Feb 26, 2006 3:07 pm

Re: The near future of computer chess

Post by fern » Fri Nov 18, 2011 9:06 pm

My dear Don, I cannot count how many times I have used a caveat here to separate what is the obvious improvement made using what other did From sheer copy of an entire product. I am not so much asinine and dishonest as you seems to believe I am, neither I am or I have been in the company of all those you mention directly or indirectly.
Nevertheless, it is still not a bad idea to consider that the frontier between just using ideas of others and what someone could call "copying" products of others is not so much clear cut as it seem verbally expressed.

My best
Fern

User avatar
fern
Posts: 8755
Joined: Sun Feb 26, 2006 3:07 pm

Re: The near future of computer chess

Post by fern » Fri Nov 18, 2011 9:08 pm

I am 62, so you could theoretically include me in the category of pensioners, but I am afraid I am still working, no hope of pensions yet.
I envy Bob and Ed if they are.
If I was Greek I would be one, for certain.

Envious regards
Fern

User avatar
Don
Posts: 5106
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2008 2:27 pm

Re: The near future of computer chess

Post by Don » Fri Nov 18, 2011 9:08 pm

jdart wrote:
Don wrote: Ed is suggesting that it's just plain ok to take anybody's program as a starting point and start your own chess project from that, WITHOUT any regard to the rule of law or the licensing or the feelings of those who did not want their own work plagiarized.
I pointed out (above) that this is not allowed and I don't support it. But I think Ed's larger point was that incremental evolution from a very strong starting point is becoming the norm and if that starting point is legitimate, and the derivation from it is clear and legal, then that is a good way to advance the state of the art IMO.
Incremental evolution from a very strong starting point has ALWAYS been the norm - this is not at issue. So this statement is just noise - it has no meaning except as a sound bite or cliche. Someone always wants to recite some cliche in order to bury some lie inside some noble sounding words.

But if you want to focus on this issue, let's focus on the "legitimate starting point" issue which IS relevant here.

I absolutely despise the dishonest tactics often used on this site, taking something obviously true and noble sounding (Fern is the master of this) and then trying to sneak in (usually be inference) something that is just plain wrong.

Everyone wants to hide the issue of plagiarism by immediately and dishonestly recasting it as normal and legitimate idea sharing. If I copy a book you write, would you accept my argument that I was just sharing ideas or would you be furious?

I feel compelled to speak out against it because it's done so skillfully that I fear many people will not realize they are being misled.

User avatar
fern
Posts: 8755
Joined: Sun Feb 26, 2006 3:07 pm

Re: The near future of computer chess

Post by fern » Fri Nov 18, 2011 9:13 pm

I hope it is as you say: I still need to work to pay my house to the bank and the rest.

Maybe not from the grave yet regards
Fern

User avatar
Don
Posts: 5106
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2008 2:27 pm

Re: The near future of computer chess

Post by Don » Fri Nov 18, 2011 9:15 pm

fern wrote:My dear Don, I cannot count how many times I have used a caveat here to separate what is the obvious improvement made using what other did From sheer copy of an entire product. I am not so much asinine and dishonest as you seems to believe I am, neither I am or I have been in the company of all those you mention directly or indirectly.
Nevertheless, it is still not a bad idea to consider that the frontier between just using ideas of others and what someone could call "copying" products of others is not so much clear cut as it seem verbally expressed.

My best
Fern
I wanted to make it clear that I was not attacking you, but I am try to address the constant and what I consider "dishonest" implication that I am opposed to progress in computer chess by sharing ideas. That is just not the case.

I think you are victim of propaganda because the copying is very clear cut - it's not at issue for many of the instances we have been talking about. The ICGA study was thorough and conclusive. It was attacked, but that's what politicians do and that is called propaganda.

User avatar
fern
Posts: 8755
Joined: Sun Feb 26, 2006 3:07 pm

Re: The near future of computer chess

Post by fern » Fri Nov 18, 2011 9:25 pm

Don:
I know you are not attacking me
Never I said you are opposing progress.
In fact, never my discussion has been centered in the particular issue of this or that program that copied this or that code.
The entire issue interested me in general terms, no more.
My issue were and are about question as what is original?, what is to use other work? how this operates in this world, no?, etc.

Fern

User avatar
Don
Posts: 5106
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2008 2:27 pm

Re: The near future of computer chess

Post by Don » Fri Nov 18, 2011 9:37 pm

fern wrote:My dear Don, I cannot count how many times I have used a caveat here to separate what is the obvious improvement made using what other did From sheer copy of an entire product. I am not so much asinine and dishonest as you seems to believe I am, neither I am or I have been in the company of all those you mention directly or indirectly.
Nevertheless, it is still not a bad idea to consider that the frontier between just using ideas of others and what someone could call "copying" products of others is not so much clear cut as it seem verbally expressed.

My best
Fern
I also believe that since you are not an expert in computer chess it's difficult to explain the concept of copying versus using ideas. To you it's all the same. I'm struggling for a good analogy, but the concept is that a chess program is not the sum of the parts, it's way more than that. It a very tedious engineering exercise.

I think many of the people on this forum (including even some programmers) have the illusion that if a new really strong program comes out all you have to do is take the ideas in it, implement them, and presto! You have just produced a program that is just as good.

An analogy you might understand - take a great work of literature and rearrange the sentences, chapters and paragraphs. The "new" works has the same number of words - the sum of the parts is equal to the sum of the parts of the great work. But even if you find an ordering of the sentences that make some sense, you don't have a great work.

In chess you can implement a program using all the ideas in some other program but unless you copy it in it's entirety, you end up with less. On the other hand, what some "so called" authors have done is copy the code directly because they were unwilling to do the creative stuff. It's not difficult to find a few improvements one you have taken the work of someone else that is top notch.

It's entirely feasible that someone could take a great work of literature and improve it with minor modifications. In literature such a thing would be completely obvious - but in Chess it's not quite that obvious - but as it turns out it actually is pretty obvious after all.

I think if you look at this issue in a fair minded way you should be able to see that this is what is being done in computer chess. You take a great work of literature, make some improvements and then put your name on it and claim that you are a creative genius and that your work is a true original. When pressed, just say that you were "influences by all the great works that came before yours" and it makes you sound humble and noble minded even though you are a common thief.

You have already stated that you don't think chess programs are anything more than just cold technology and so I can easily understand why you cannot see it in a holistic organic way - to you it is just the sum of it's parts - but that is your misconception. That is no more true than for me to say that what you write is just a bunch of words on a page. YOU know it's much more than that but try to explain that to someone who doesn't want to believe it.

jplchess
Posts: 115
Joined: Mon Jan 25, 2010 6:13 am

Re: The near future of computer chess

Post by jplchess » Fri Nov 18, 2011 9:41 pm

I do remember when the Rebel website is "what would be like for CC in 2010". It has arrived.

I am more interested in "critical mass" in the middlegame for CC even if it means 2 or more sharing of ideas to create the higher peak mountain of CC rating.

I myself have made four chess computer improvements in the last 30 years.

In addition, I am a dinosaur when it came to scholastic chess in which I won the regional tournament for about 8 consecutive years. I look in the eyes of a 10 year old in 2010 and they have great potential.

Most of you believe there will be more improvements to come (except opening library and endgame tablebases) and I have faith more will happen.

Jonathan Lee

jdart
Posts: 3842
Joined: Fri Mar 10, 2006 4:23 am
Location: http://www.arasanchess.org

Re: The near future of computer chess

Post by jdart » Fri Nov 18, 2011 9:43 pm

If you think of chess programs as works of art, then what you are saying makes sense. But I don't think of them in this way. They are technical artifacts, and unlike works of art, their relative quality (or at least a major dimension of it, playing strength) is measurable.

--Jon

User avatar
Don
Posts: 5106
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2008 2:27 pm

Re: The near future of computer chess

Post by Don » Fri Nov 18, 2011 9:44 pm

fern wrote:Almost.
Fact is the age of crafty men like you and me is over.
I hate to burst your bubble but there are still enormously creative people around who are capable of independent thinking without relying on a team of people to get things done.

A lot of those people are buried inside of organizations that take credit for their work, but those people are alive and well and there is no shortage of great original ideas that come from INDIVIDUALS.

Please don't twist this into a statement about "standing on the shoulders of giants" - this is not a denial of that.



We can complain all we want, but it is so.
I still cannot understand that smart people here thinks his pet programs, no matter how much they invested in time and effort to develop them, must have a different destiny that the one experimented by everything created by human brains.
Warning: I am not talking, as some put the problem here, of 100% copies of commercial stuff. I am not talking of copyrights, etc. I am talking of techniques that are used, as in everything else, to create new particular things.
And "New particular things" means, in my view, something that perform best or differently to the one which was used as a starter.
A good illustration of this is given by painting history. Themes, techniques, etc, all of them used by one generation of artists after the other, all of them using without shame what other has used to get a higher work.
In my field, writing, a great writer said this, which maybe goes to the point:
" A great writer" he said, "is not who invented a new plot or writing technique, but the one who uses better plots and techniques invented by second rate writers".
a hug from the museum and reading Orwell, dear Bob
Fern

Post Reply