Sunday, April 8, 2012

Sport and Artificial Intelligence

Some UK viewers might have seen the recent BBC Horizon programme on Artificial Intelligence which was a remarkable account of the current abilities of cutting edge computers. However, despite computers having surpassed human ability in many areas (memory, calculations, even general knowledge of trivia) they struggle in many areas where humans excel including the ability to learn new skills - particularly that of kinaesthetic skill development. The programme's presenter, Marcus Du Sautoy, demonstrated how he was able to learn the new skill of balancing across a tightrope with an ease which a machine would find nigh on impossible if they had a body equivalent to ours. This thought led me to a quick online search which produced the 2012 robot football cup which shows you how far machines have to go with being as graceful and skillful as a human player. Nevertheless, even if machines were developed to play football with the same skill as a human, the question remains whether they would have any interest in doing so - what would they need in order to hold the lusory attitude that is so vital in sport?

1 comment:

Unknown said...

The difference between humans and machines with regards to adopting the illusory goals of sport is that machines are programmed with a specific intention and are thus incapable of illusion. On the other hand, humans can create fake goals and rule frameworks because we understand the world in terms of created frameworks and patterns. Rules of society and rules of sport are similarly constructed, and in order for a robot to have an 'interest' in playing a sport the robot would need to be able to enter into a fake framework. Since all robot frameworks are real and programmed into robots by humans rather than constructed by robots themselves, I'm unsure how a robot could enter into sport as a context separated from its per-programmed purpose.