Episode 04: Shall We Play a Game? Rise of the Machines

For about as long as there have been computers, there have been computer programs that play games. This episode considers some of the history of game playing computers, and how that has shed light on the nature of human intelligence.

Game References

Chess, Go, Jeopardy!, Pong, Tic-tac-toe, Uncharted, Video Olympics

Research References

Isaacson, W. (2014). The Innovators: How a Group of Inventors, Hackers, Geniuses and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution. Simon and Schuster: New York: NY.

Licklider, J. C. (1960). Man-computer symbiosis. IRE Transactions on Human Factors in Electronics, 1, 4-11.

Metz, C. (2016). What the AI behind AlphaGo can teach us about being human, Wired.

Montfort, N., & Bogost, I. (2009). Racing the Beam: The Atari Video Computer System. MIT Press: Cambridge, MA.

Short update

Hi All! I have been working bit by bit on this, but after the flurry of activity that surrounded Spring Break, haven’t posted here in a while. My intent is to do a podcast, and I’m laying the groundwork for that. I’m a bit nervous about talking steady for 20+ min, so I’m going to mostly script the first show and see how that goes. It’s a lot more work, of course, but I won’t have to be as mindful about the “umms” and “uhhhhs” and awkward pauses! I have much of a first show in draft form.

The first episode is going to be about activation in long-term memory and how that plays out in games like Codenames, Taboo, and Scattergories. Not sure what the second episode may be, but will probably switch to a video game topic, like maybe attention and first person shooters. Also in the first handful of shows will be expertise and game-playing (lots of chess stuff there, of course), AI and game-playing, talking about Deep Blue and AlphaGo, something about proactive and retroactive interference while playing games (that happened to me recently when playing this deductive game called Antidote), and then there’s at least 2-3 episodes one could do on the Khaneman and Tverksy stuff. That’s 5 right there, and I can rattle off some more as well (what about the use of narrative in games and the power of story?)

I hope to get a a small number of episodes (well, at least 2; maybe 3) in the can before putting them up on a RSS feed so that iTunes can pick them up. That should happen mid-summer-ish?