Delightful mind food … Dots


Nothing happens in a vacuum and everything that happens has repercussions and consequences that are impossible to forecast. “In 1918, the “War Guilt Clause” of the Treaty of Versailles held Germany and Austria-Hungary responsible for the entire conflict and imposed on them crippling financial sanctions, territorial dismemberment and isolation.” ( thus sowing the seeds that led, directly to WWII (

WWII led, amidst the great scenes of horror it unleashed, to a quickening in developments in the fields of plastic surgery ( and science and technology ( many of which are affecting and driving life today (

One of those developments was cryptography ( which made the ability to decrypt communications key in WWII and, in Britain, it led to the establishment of Bletchley Park ( which, in turn, resulted in the gathering together of some of the most underrated and brilliant minds of the time. People like Alan Turing ( who played a pivotal role in the development of modern computing and some of the notions we hold regarding the rise of A.I. and I. J. Good ( who gave us the notion of “intelligence explosion” ( that has become the core concept behind the technological singularity ( which some, like Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking have come to equate as an extinction level event (ELE) –, for humankind.

While all of this was going on, in the background, a 2,500 year old Chinese game, known as Go ( embodied everything that we have come to prize about the elegance of the human mind ( and its ability to create intricate, detailed models of great depth about the world that exists outside it.

In her book, Reality is Broken Jane McGonigal says: “Fun from games arises out of mastery. It arises out of comprehension…. With games, learning is the drug.” – Learning is the drug because through the game, through any game, we see the patterns of the world around us, laid bare upon a microcosm that the game world embodies. Through play we see not just how a game works but how the world works and, by extension, the people in it. And that really is the true secret.

The workings of the world matter little if they cannot help us fathom the motivation of the people it contains and this actually points to one of the primary reasons of intelligence. We use it to decrypt the patterns we observe and increase our sense of certainty in the face of mounting data that is truly chaotic in nature.

It is only very recently that we’ve began to come to terms with notions like structured data, entities, ontologies and our ability to organize information into layers of fresh meaning ( and we’re still questioning whether our intelligence has an upper limit we have already reached (

In our exploration of how all the dots exactly join up, we do what we usually do: create models that are externalized through the creation of new technologies, one of which is the multi-level machine learning algorithms that Google’s DeepMind is building ( which may, possibly, begin to do the impossible and solve the mystery of Go:

Should that happen we will have taken one more step towards understanding our own mind and, by definition, understand a little more about our own purpose in the universe.

No brain should be starved of food for too long which means that you should not even have started this read without having plenty of coffee at hand, followed by mountains of donuts, cookies, croissants and chocolate cake. Have one awesome Sunday wherever you are.

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