[Computer-go] Are the AlphaGols coming?

David Ongaro david.ongaro at hamburg.de
Mon Jan 9 14:03:53 PST 2017

> On Jan 9, 2017, at 6:51 AM, Robert Jasiek <jasiek at snafu.de> wrote:
> On 09.01.2017 07:19, David Ongaro wrote:
> >> accurate positional judgement
>> you also rely on “feelings” otherwise you wouldn’t be able to survive.
> In my go decision-making, feelings / subconscious thinking (other than usage of prior sample knowledge, such as status knowledge for particular shapes) have an only marginal impact. For me, they serve as a preselection filter besides my used methodical preselection filters. In blitz, the impact is larger when time is insufficient for always using the methodical ones.

It is understandable that you believe that. That seems to be one of these strong illusions wich are helping survival. But tests have shown that decisions are normally made subconsciously seconds before we get aware of them (and therefore seconds before we consciously rationalize them). Among others John-Dylan Haynes did a lot of interesting related experiments for that. E.g see a short summary for two of them at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CT43MogXAjI&feature=youtu.be&t=8m3s. Don’t be distracted by the fact that these where relatively simple experiments, with not much reasoning for making a choice involved. E.g. split brain experiments have shown that people can rationalize their action with one half of their brain while the other half actually did the decision and action for a different reason. The scary part is that they are convinced that the rationalization was actually the reason for their action. (If needed I can look up references for this, but I guess you already heard about these experiments.) 

I’m sure if you could make such a test while playing a Go game you would be surprised about the results.

David O.

PS: It should be said that “feeling” was an inaccurate word here, but I gather from your answer that you understood what I meant: i.e. the unconscious decision process. In fact, when we get aware of a “feeling”, when defined in the stricter sense as a product by the "limbic system”, the decision may already have been made.

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