Sunday Music, Monday Edition

I spent the weekend mostly sleeping, coughing, or in hot water in my bathtub. Yesterday I went out and visited the university’s library, for the first time in ages. I need to refresh my knowledge on some specific subjects, preferably fast & over the next few days. I hope the cerebellum will jump-start without spluttering.
Work was work, mostly uneventful.
Some interesting things happened in the world, for example the German Bundestag, our parliament, came together for its first & constituent meeting after the election (Ger., Eng.). With more than seven hundred members it is a pretty large convent nowadays, and fascists are there too, 94 to be precise. One should not forget that the fascists are the strongest party in Saxony. Experience from the state parliaments shows that they fail in these institutions, usually. One may wonder what will happen here in the future.
While fascists came into the Bundestag our Eastern neighbour, the Czech Republic, elected a new “leader”, who fits perfectly into the pattern of Eastern European “leaders” we have to deal with now. Austria included. In fact it all looks a bit like “K.u.k”-revisited. On the same day the Hungarian “leader” gave a speech. He declared East-Central Europe for “migranten-frei” / “migrant free”, not a mean feat against the combined efforts of “Europe” and the “Jewish capital” – heck yeah, this is what he said : It’s the good old “Welt-Finanzjudentum”. Don’t get fooled : This guy knows exactly what he says, knows exactly what words he uses, this is no mistake.
It is all pretty sickening, I really thought we would have left this shit behind us. But obviously there are societies that prefer old “explanations”, and prefer to repeat all the inhumane nonsense previous generations already have lived through : There is no progress in human development, there is no automatic enlightenment, there is no “learning from history”.
But there is automatic learning – and I find this very very interesting : I talk about the new “go” playing computer / software / intelligence.
You may remember that roughly 18 months ago a machine won (Ger., Eng.) over the then reigning world champion, Lee SEDOL (Ger., Eng.). This computer was called “AlphaGo”, consisted of pretty powerful hardware, and used at least two nets of “neuronal software”, among other sophisticated stuff. This “neuronal” software is good at learning, and “AlphaGo” learned, it was fed thousands of human go-games, and played against itself.
Soon a better version came, “AlphaGo Master” – it still learned by the input of human games, and swept away the best sixty go-players of the world in early 2017.
Now we have “AlphaGo Zero”. With only one neuronal net, with remarkably less sophisticated hardware, “Zero” was given the rules of the game only – nothing else, and played against itself. After three days “Zero” played against his “grandfather”, the machine that had triumphed over SEDOL – and beat the older machine 100:0.
After additional training – that is, playing with itself – “Zero” stood against “Master”, and beat it 89:11.
The remarkable thing about all this is that the new machine was not given any examples of how humans play the game : The machine did learn it all out of itself.
Read it here.
I have no clue what this will mean for us humans in the future, but I know that it is important. Many things in our daily lives are already run by algorithms, by machines, by software. Now it learns – without our example : The thing emancipates itself.

But enough, the future is in a murk – what a nice word, MsScarlet gave it to me when she described her outlook towards Dartmoor (here she shows her garden).
But this Sunday Music not only needs, but lives from “murk” – Truls MØRK (Ger., Eng.) and the Artemis Quartet give us their version of movement 3 Scherzo of SCHUBERTs String Quintet D956 (Ger., Eng.). I hope you enjoy the music, may we all have a peaceful week without crashing computers, and nasty “algo”-rythms.



15 thoughts on “Sunday Music, Monday Edition

  1. If you do not want to read the linked article, here is the conclusion :

    “Our results comprehensively demonstrate that a pure reinforcement learning approach is fully feasible, even in the most challenging of domains: it is possible to train to superhuman level, without human examples or guidance, given no knowledge of the domain beyond basic rules. Furthermore, a pure reinforcement learning approach requires just a few more hours to train, and achieves much better asymptotic performance, compared to training on human expert data. Using this approach, AlphaGo Zero defeated the strongest previous versions of AlphaGo, which were trained from human data using handcrafted features, by a large margin.
    Humankind has accumulated Go knowledge from millions of games played over thousands of years, collectively distilled into patterns, proverbs and books. In the space of a few days, starting tabula rasa, AlphaGo Zero was able to rediscover much of this Go knowledge, as well as novel strategies that provide new insights into the oldest of games.”

  2. I don’t understand what good a Go playing computer is? I don’t understand why boffins the world over seem to think that creating A. I. is a good thing? Why create an intelligence that’s just going to be poked and prodded by us puny humans until it has enough and either destroys itself, or us? Are the governments putting them up to it as they believe we shouldn’t think for ourselves when machines can do it for us?
    Perhaps I need an A. I. evolved from a Go-playing machine to help me understand?

  3. One day we’ll wake up in a modern form of Alphaville mürk LẌ … but at least we have a chance to drive a Mustang, even when it is called “Galaxie” …

    Old Franz’l wrote a lot of songs, I never have heard them all, and never will. I once read somewhere that some are remarkably funny, but frankly I never had it, no spark. But his Quintet is zum Niederknien, one wants go down on the knee for admiration.
    Artemis & Mørk do it with verve. A nice chance to listen to the whole thing, dearest Dinahmow.

    As I get it, the idea is to have software, or “artificial intelligence”, that can solve problems we tiny humans with our limited birdbrains can not. What would mean that we would use solutions we can not understand to problems we can not fully analyse.
    I do not think that this is a good idea or something we should follow further. The next thing where we will see the application of “A.I.” is autonomous driving – something I heartedly despise as someone who earns the rent by driving a vehicle. But this is just the most apparent application IDV. Others may include image recognition, translations, new materials, medicamentations … This “intelligence” knows no ethics, so it is not even “bad”, it is absolutely neutral, sterile in any respect. These engineers are going too far it seems.

    Greetings to Sid/ney, dear MsScarlet, don’t forget your thermovest …

  4. Are you hijacked by artificial houseboys, Mistress ??
    I wonder whether “a.i.” can be funny, make jokes … if a “joke” is a violation of a social boundary in any way, can “a.i.” learn about these limits and their developments ? Any way, there is only one Mistress, thank GOd …

  5. How fascinating! A learning machine. For now, I’m impressed! And if in the end the machines take over, well, why not? Humanity hasn’t done a great job with the world. We still fight amongst ourselves. Perhaps an AI is the unifying force, the push humanity needs to get past the self-destructive instincts. Survival of the fittest. I hope we’re fit to survive…

  6. Be impressed by the speed of this thing learning, Eroswings, by the skill it develops from scratch. This thing will get its head around complicated issues us humans have difficulties to grab. While at the same time it becomes even more difficult for humans in some societies to converse with each other, to find common ground. While words are re-branded, filled with new meanings.
    I doubt that AI is a unifying force that helps humanity to overcome the self-destructive instincts. It will – as always in our history – be used as a means of reign, or rule (Herrschaft) of man over man.
    When “the thing” really emancipates itself, we can only hope that someone (literally) pulls the plug. This intelligence needs computers to live, data, power, networks to act. If all what gargle / f*ckbook / the-big-river & the bloody rest throw together, is combined with the rule over electric grids and any kind of cable- & wave-based communication, a kind of “Alphaville” is possible.
    Look at societies like Southern Korea or Baltic States, where a digital society is already not “in the making”, but reached. New (born) citizens are part of the digital “web” from the start – we, people like you and me, who are born in pre-digital times, will sooner or later be gone. Those born after – say – 1990, have another childhood, grow up in another reality. As every generation before did, yes, but there is a fundamental change. Somewhere in the last twenty years of the last millenium there was a step of / into another quality, at least in the digitally developed societies. The more important are archivists.
    Survival of the fittest – ach GOd Eros, I already had my heart attack, I am glad if I survive the next thirty years and am allowed to die peacefully in my bed, hopefully healthy and without payne. I have no clue how the world will look around 2050 – someone should bring all data and stuff together and make a guess ! Not this trallalah-nonsense of self-styled “Zukunftswissenschaftler”, rather a data based analysis of what developments are not only possible but likely.

    Now, dear readers & visitors, wish me luck, see you on Sunday.

  7. Hate is alive and well here in the United States under the reign of Lord Dampnut, who is really just the mad monkey dancing to distract the masses from the evil organ grinder.
    I hope you’re feeling better. I haven’t had my flu shot yet and with the exposure to the public in my current job, I hope I don’t catch the flu before I have a chance to be inoculated.

  8. What’s in our future? Perhaps mates. I can’t listen to the music yet since I’m in a public place. I do hope you are feeling better.

  9. Sometimes I think the leader is really just a distraction tool, it is important what they do un-watched, how they get rid of many laws.
    The flue shot is on the list, maybe next week. I feel better now, thank you Cara.

    I have no idea about thai cuisine. I only ate Vietnamese and Korean. The Vietnamese table was filled with little bowls, & cups with a lot of different sauces and mouses etc – all remarkably lecker, some with different tastes of fish.
    The Korean table looked very similar with the notable exception that their sauces were ready to burn a hole through the China – but nevertheless it was really enjoyable ! And garlicky.

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