American Go E-Journal

Go Spotting: The inscrutability of artificial intelligence in go… and nuclear warfare

Sunday October 6, 2019

In a September 7th article titled “Battle algorithm,” The Economist writes of a “paradox” that may be familiar to readers who analyze their games using Leela Zero and other AIs. “AI might at once penetrate and thicken the fog of war, allowing it to be waged with a speed and complexity that renders it essentially opaque to humans.” The article notes that in AlphaGo’s March 2016 victory over Lee Sedol, the AI “played several highly creative moves that confounded experts,” and this led a workshop at the Chinese Academy of Military Science to conclude that, in the words of one source, “an AI could create tactics and stratagems superior to those of a human player in a game that can be compared to a war-game.”

While the article in The Economist focuses on conventional warfare, the strengths and weaknesses of go-playing AIs also appear in recent publications on nuclear warfare.

In 2017, the American think tank RAND Corporation held a series of workshops on AI and nuclear war, which noted that AlphaGo’s victory “astonished even AI and strategy experts.” “[T]he decisionmaking in Go is far simpler to address than in nuclear war…. but by the year 2040, it does not seem unreasonable to expect that an AI system might be able to play aspects or stages of military wargames or exercises at superhuman levels.” It is “likely that humans making command decisions will treat the AI system’s suggestions as on par with or better than those of human advisers. This potentially unjustified trust presents new risks that must be considered.”

This year, an August 16 commentary by two American researchers also cites AlphaGo. The commentary notes that AlphaGo Zero “learned through an iterative process”; “in nuclear conflict there is no iterative learning process.” “The laws of war require a series of judgments…. Software that cannot explain why a target was chosen probably cannot abide by those laws. Even if it can, humans might mistrust a decision aid that could outwardly resemble a Magic 8-Ball.” Nonetheless, the commentary argues for having AI take more control over US nuclear weapons.

Thanks to Fred Baldwin for once again spotting go, this time in “Battle algorithm.”

-edited by Joe Cua

Players win cash and pumpkins at San Diego Go Club Back-to-School tournaments

Saturday October 5, 2019

The San Diego Go Club scheduled on Sunday, September 29, at the San Diego Chess Club in Beautiful Balboa Park, two Back-to-School tournaments – one 19×19 and a 13×13 for youth players – plus a pizza party, and professional instruction by Yilun Yang 7P. Over 50 players competed for pumpkins, vintage Go Worlds, and cash.

In the Open, Tyler Oyakawa 6d went 3-0 to win a giant pumpkin and an envelope of money. Taking second, with a 2-1 record, was Michael Zhou 6d. In the handicap section, the top three finishers were James Acres 1k, 3-0 and the brothers Yang, Tony and Kevin, both 1 dan with 2-1 records. In the 5k-19k section, Arunas Rudvalis 6k, Addison Lee 19k, and Aaron Jones 10k, all went 3-0 with Arunas winning the pumpkin after tiebreakers. In the 20k-35k section, Chloe Li 23k, 3-0, George Spellman 22k, 2-1, and Aenaelle Acres 23k (daughter of James), 2-1, beat the rest of the field.

Concurrently, Hai Li 5P ran a 13×13 youth tournament for 16 kids. He was the tournament director, adjudicator, and teacher for the 4-round competition. The boy and girl winners in the 13×13 Open competition were Johnny Wu 35k, and Jolina Jian 24k respectively. Several of Hai Li’s 13×13 students graduated to the 19×19 tournament this Sunday and did well.

A free pizza break took place after the two tournaments and then Yilun Yang entertained a standing room only group for 2.5 hours with a clear and concise lecture. Matching funds from the American Go Foundation made it possible to have professional go expertise at this event.

-photos by Henry You
-report by Ted Terpstra

Gotham Go Tournament set for November 2nd

Saturday October 5, 2019

GOTHAM GO TOURNAMENT
Saturday, November 2nd, 2019
AT
Hostelling International New York
891 Amsterdam Ave (btw 103rd & 104th)
Tournament Director: David Glekel 3d Assistant TD: Jino (Steven) Choung (1k) Organizer: Peter Armenia
Players of all strengths welcome!
Breakfast bagels, snacks, coffee and goodies provided!
click here to register early – space limited to 90 players!

WHAT?
GOTHAM GO TOURNAMENT
4 rounds, AGA rated – cash prizes in all sections – open section for strong dans
$30 entrance fee

WHEN?
Saturday, November 2nd, 2019
Check in 10:00, first round starts at 11:00 sharp! (Yes, it’s a little later start, but now there are no excuses for a late arrival.)

WHERE?
Hostelling International New York – 891 Amsterdam Ave (btw 103rd & 104th) Subway 1 to 103rd, walk one block east or C, B to 103rd and walk 3 blocks west
Room location – The Ballroom (NOTE: This is upstairs from our usual room)

WHAT ELSE?
Space is limited to 90 players so register earlyPlease pay online to registerWe’re nice – full refunds if you have to cancel!AGA membership required. Click here to become an AGA member.

WHY?
Because we love Go!
Click here toREGISTER NOW

Go & Ski International Winter Camp in Vaujany, France

Saturday October 5, 2019

If you like mountains, snow, skiing, and (of course) go, you might want to check into this unique opportunity to mix them all together in the French Alps this winter. The Grenoble Go Club and the French Go Federation are teaming up to organize the Go & Ski International Winter Camp January 25th through February 1st, 2020.

The camp will be held in the resort village of Vaujany, France, directly adjacent to the splendid ski area of the Alpe d’Huez. Inseong Hwang 8d, Tanguy Le Calvé 1P, and others will be on hand to teach go and make this go-ski camp an unforgettable experience. More information about the Go & Ski International Winter Camp can be found at http://stage-go-ski.jeudego.org/en/.

If you like competition, you may also want to keep the momentum going and register for the International Grenoble Go Tournament (TIGGRE – Ellie Cup) which will take place in Grenoble on February 1st and 2nd.

-edited by Roger Schrag

Categories: Europe,Main Page
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AGF College Scholarship

Tuesday October 1, 2019

Applications are now being accepted for the American Go Foundation(AGF) college scholarshipThe program  recognizes high school students who have served as important youth organizers and promoters for the go community. To apply, download and complete the application form here.  Applicants should describe their accomplishments and volunteer work in a short essay. Letters of recommendation may also be included. Applicants whose enthusiasm and ambition have helped spread go in under-served areas will be given special consideration. Strong players who spend much of their time voluntarily teaching will also be considered, although the award focuses on promoters and organizers who have made substantial contributions during their go career. Applications are due Nov. 5th this year. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor.  

Pandanet AGA City League Year 8 registration continues

Tuesday October 1, 2019

Pandanet AGA City League registration begins again for a new year. Registration will be open until Saturday November 2nd.The first round will start on November 17th. Please see the updated rules for the year for any questions. Registration and questions can be sent to steve.colburn@usgo.org. We hope to see your city compete this year!

New AGA Chapters for September 2019

Tuesday October 1, 2019

The AGA is regularly asked for new chapters around the country. These are the newly registered chapters from September 2019:

Grande Ronde Go Club – Le Bebe Cakes, 1103 Washington Avenue, La Grande, Oregon – 5:00pm – 8:00pm on Thursday – Contact Steve Tanner

Members should check their information when logging in. If you are not receiving the EJ make sure your email is up to date. Chapters can always update their current chapter through the AGA Membership Manager if they have changed.

Stephanie Yin 1P to represent North America at Bingsheng Cup

Monday September 30, 2019

Last week’s elimination qualifier resulted in a win for Stephanie Yin 1P (at right), who will travel to Suzhou, China and compete in the 10th Suzhou Qionglong Mountain Bingsheng Cup from October 29 to November 4. National Tournaments Coordinator Jeff Shaevel reports that Yin won both games, first defeating Wan Chen 3d, then Yinli Wang 5d in the final round. “Congratulations to Stephanie, and best of luck!”

-photo by Karoline Li

Oregon State Go Championship crowns new champion Robert Tirak, open section winner Steve Stringfellow

Monday September 30, 2019

Robert Tirak 4d

“The Oregon State Go Championship was played on September 21 and 22 at the beautiful Portland Japanese Garden,” writes tournament director Roy Schmidt. “Due to space limitations, the field was limited to 28 players.  Top honors in the Open section went to Steve Stringfellow 4d, of Tacoma, Washington, with a perfect 5-0 score.  The highest finishing Oregon resident, and thus the new State Champion, was Robert Tirak 5d, with a score of 4-1, losing only to Stringfellow by half a point.

“In the Handicap section, first place was claimed by Tyler Moore, 4k, (5-0) from the Bay area, CA.  Second place was a tie at 4-1 between Andrew Zhang 1k and Stewart Towle 7k.

Garden visitors were guided through an observation area, where they could watch the games in progress. 

Peter Freedman adds, “Doug Cable and I spent Saturday and Sunday teaching people to play Go in the Japanese Garden. The place was packed on sunny Saturday, but not so much on rainy Sunday.  Still, we must have taught 50 people how to play, and probably 20 got to hear my talk on Go history and its cultural relevance to Japan.”

– photos by Neal Wright
edited by Nate Eagle

New York Go Association monthly tournament series begins October 12

Friday September 27, 2019

Cash prizes will be available for all sections of the NYGA new monthly tournament series, beginning Saturday October 12. Each tournament will be four rounds played in a single day, with light snacks provided and a several hundred dollar total prize pool based on registration. All tournaments will be located at the New York Institute of Go founded by Stephanie Yin 1P, who is excited about the start of a regular tournament series. “It’s a great opportunity to practice and learn Go on a regular basis, network with other go players and have fun!” Click here for all the details and to register. Confirmed tournament dates for the remainder of the year are October 12, November 9, December 14.