Freestyle Chess on the Blockchain

Weak human + machine + better process was superior to a strong computer alone and, more remarkably, superior to a strong human + machine + inferior process.

Michael Mauboussin

Michael Mauboussin, former managing director and head of Global Financial Strategies at Credit Suisse, wrote an report exploring:
[T]he applicability of freestyle chess to the world of investing, where fundamental analysts are “man” and quantitative analysts are “machine.” More pointedly, might there be a way that investors can combine the strengths of fundamental and quantitative analysis while sidestepping the weaknesses?
After witnessing the great success of the PRO Chess league:
As the number of spectators swelled to more than 6,000 this past Sunday during the final, the success of the league was even greater than the founders had imagined, according to Grandmaster (GM) Alejandro Ramirez. “The number of viewers showed that chess can compete with any eSport,” said Ramirez.

Money raised by ICO

And learning that according to Coinschedule, so far this year, more than $3 billion has been raised via ICOs or Initial Coin Offerings.
We are exploring the idea of Freestyle Chess on Blockchain as a vehicle of exploring better investment strategies, in addition to exploring Garry Kasparov’s ideas of using the decision-making process of chess as a model for understanding and improving our decision-making everywhere else and how we have discarded innovation and creativity in exchange for a steady supply of marketable products.
Garry Kasparov & Deep Blue

Garry Kasparov during his rematch against the IBM supercomputer Deep Blue, 1997

In a book review of Diego Rasskin-Gutman’s Chess Metaphors: Artificial Intelligence and the Human Mind, Garry Kasparov wrote about freestyle chess:
In 2005, the online chess-playing site Playchess.com hosted what it called a “freestyle” chess tournament in which anyone could compete in teams with other players or computers….
Lured by the substantial prize money, several groups of strong grandmasters working with several computers at the same time entered the competition. At first, the results seemed predictable. The teams of human plus machine dominated even the strongest computers. The chess machine Hydra, which is a chess-specific supercomputer like Deep Blue, was no match for a strong human player using a relatively weak laptop. Human strategic guidance combined with the tactical acuity of a computer was overwhelming.
The surprise came at the conclusion of the event. The winner was revealed to be not a grandmaster with a state-of-the-art PC but a pair of amateur American chess players using three computers at the same time. Their skill at manipulating and “coaching” their computers to look very deeply into positions effectively counteracted the superior chess understanding of their grandmaster opponents and the greater computational power of other participants. Weak human + machine + better process was superior to a strong computer alone and, more remarkably, superior to a strong human + machine + inferior process.
Combining computer and human capabilities has been far more fruitful than the pursuit of machines that could think on their own.
Walter Isaacson

Walter Isaacson, president and CEO of the Aspen Institute, a nonpartisan educational and policy studies organization moderates the “A Conversation with Richard Haass and Walter Isaacson: America’s Role in the World” event at the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California April 30, 2012. REUTERS/Fred Prouser

In a lecture, Walter Isaacson also talked about the power of the partnership between humans and technology:
[T]this type of artificial intelligence [where computers are not only smarter than humans but can also design themselves to be even supersmarter] may take a few more generations or even centuries. We can leave that debate to the futurists. Indeed, depending on your definition of consciousness, it may never happen. We can leave that debate to the philosophers and theologians.
There is, however, another possibility: that the partnership between humans and technology will always be more powerful than purely artificial intelligence. Call it the Ada Lovelace approach. Machines would not replace humans, she felt, but instead become their collaborators. What humans –and humanists – would bring to this relationship, she said, was originality and creativity.
The past fifty years have shown that this strategy of combining computer and human capabilities has been far more fruitful than the pursuit of machines that could think on their own.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s