In May, 1997, I.B.M.’s Deep Blue supercomputer prevailed over Garry Kasparov in a series of six chess games, becoming the first computer to defeat a world-champion chess player. Two months later, the Times offered machines another challenge on behalf of a wounded humanity: the two-thousand-year-old Chinese board game wei qi, known in the West as Go. The article said that computers had little chance of success: “It may be a hundred years before a computer beats humans at Go—maybe even longer.”
Last March, sixteen years later, a computer program named Crazy Stone defeated Yoshio Ishida, a professional Go player and a five-time Japanese champion. The match took place during the first annual Densei-sen, or “electronic holy war,” tournament, in Tokyo, where the best Go programs in the world play against one of the best humans. Ishida, who earned the nickname “the Computer” in the nineteen-seventies because of his exact and calculated playing style, described Crazy Stone as “genius.”
Using a universally relevant metaphor, Zbigniew Brzezinski, former National Security Adviser to US president Jimmy Carter, wrote in The Grand Chessboard (1997): "Eurasia is the chessboard on which the struggle for global primacy continues to be played." China's New Silk Road strategy certainly integrates the importance of Eurasia but it…
By Subhash Kak Aug 31 2015 If Europe emphasises exploration and conquest, China relies on its Confucian heritage of consolidation of power, much like its ancient boardgame, weiqi Experts view the recent turmoil in the Chinese stock market as a consequence of the overcapacity of the Chinese infrastructure, misallocation of…
In Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), the super computer HAL easily checkmates astronaut Frank Poole. In real life, the victory of machine over man came true in 1997, when Deep Blue defeated chess world champion Garry Kasparov. But unlike in chess, where computers can vanquish even the best…
Graduation speeches are the last opportunity for a high school or college to educate its students. It's unsurprising, then, that these institutions often pull in some of the world's most powerful people to leave an equally powerful impression on their students. Here are the best of those speeches and some…
Motivation is a fire that must constantly be refueled if it is to continue to burn.
Noah Smith and Paul Krugman have both noted the strange fact that the financial class, almost across the board, continues to argue for more austerity and a tighter monetary policy, despite the adverse effects these policies could have on the economy as a whole. This kind of blinkered thinking is a hallmark of the 1 percent, which compared to the rest of the country is obsessed with deficit reduction and cutting social insurance.
Janet Yellen led her first monetary policy meeting as chair last week. But with Yellen’s emphasis so far on consensus and continuity, the key news from the Fed last week wasn’t anything Janet Yellen said, but what Federal Reserve Board Governor Jeremy Stein said at the International Research Forum on Monetary Policy on Mar. 21.
Jeremy Stein is currently the junior member of the Federal Reserve Board, having served only since May 30, 2012. (Several recent nominees to the Federal Reserve Board have yet to be approved.) But with Ben Bernanke’s departure, Stein now has the most distinguished academic record of anyone currently making decisions about US monetary policy. His background as a Harvard Professor of Economics and former President of the American Finance Association shows. He holds office hours for staff at the Federal Reserve Board, and from the half hour that I once spent with him, I can say that he stands ready to debate the fine points of economic models with anyone. In his speech last Friday, Governor Stein showed how much genuine light an academic approach can shed on practical monetary policy questions in the right hands.
This past week marked the annual gathering of bankers, financial officials, and other economic experts hosted by the Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. On Friday, Fed Chair Janet Yellen and European Central Bank head Mario Draghi both spoke; in a slow week for the markets, these…
Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen on Wednesday said interest-rate increases could begin in the first half of 2015, around six months after it winds down its bond-buying program. The Fed, in its policy statement, said the benchmark federal-funds rate will remain near zero for a "considerable time" after its signature…
Here’s what to look for when Janet Yellen testifies before the House Financial Services Committee today in her first public remarks since becoming Federal Reserve chairman on Feb. 3. Yellen’s prepared remarks will be released at 8:30 a.m., and the hearing will begin at 10 a.m. Yellen plans to speak…
Fed Chair Janet Yellen's first testimony before Congress is the big event for markets in the week ahead, as traders sift through economic data to see if the softness that showed up in January's jobs is more about bad weather, or something more worrisome. Yellen, who took the helm at…
On Tuesday, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen promised the House Financial Services Committee "a great deal of continuity" in monetary policy as she fills the shoes of Ben Bernanke. However, Yellen is not Bernanke. And depending on her read on the economy, she will use her powers to influence…