Convolution

For all those who wander are not lost.


For a long time

I’ve waited

to feel freedom

from beyond this fathomless trench

I spent years digging myself into.

 

But even as I walk down this golden path

I feel the tension beneath my feet

with every step

the shadows loom closer

taking delight in the consumption

of light hearts and gaiety.

 

it’s almost as if

someone has painted an ebony black

over the rainbow I had prized

as my most guarded dream

clearly

there is no such thing

as security.

 

Still I must not crumble

underneath this continuous weathering

the promise of better days

is not that far away

from beyond this blasted hurricane

I believe that clearer skies will light the way

towards a life that’s truly worth living.

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Insight 

We fall apart

In our dreams

Another step

Or so it seems

I can’t define

These feelings of mine

A void beneath

No bridge to cross

All that remains

Is but a loss.

 

Sunlight bursting

Through the clouds

I question why

We’re not allowed

These limits lie there

Stretched so thin

Find the power

That comes within

Tomorrow is a promise

I won’t forget

Beyond the shadows

No regrets.

our roaring hearts

beneath these cool gray skies

we lie bewildered

searching for a catalyst

to transform our lives

bring us closer to our dreams

to weather away our faults

and forge the way into our future.

 

we fall in line

to the rhythm of our resolve

beating gently beneath the earth

ever so constant

and determined

it guides us ever forward.

 

we march towards the horizon of promises

that we swore we would never let go of

even if the world goes dark

we will not forget

the path that got us here

with our ambitions etched into the walls

with our hearts roaring above the noise

we will emerge

triumphant.

At the Forefronts of AI (Thoughts on AlphaGo)

Livestream link (English) here if you’re interested in watching the rest of the matches. More information about AlphaGo here. They also have a paper published in Nature for those that are academically driven.

———–

I foolishly stayed past 3am last night, without studying a word for my midterm this morning,  unable to stop watching Lee Sedol, a 9-dan professional Go player, test his wits against the mighty technological advancement that is AlphaGo – a Google-owned computer program (powered by hundreds of CPUs) that is able to match even professional level Go players in the difficult, but logical board game.

It was game two and (spoiler alert) he had lost the previous game the night before (or day before, in Korea time). The victory by AlphaGo came as a surprise to all the professional commentators – none of them had predicted that the program would be such a powerful opponent judging from its performance last October against Fan Hui. While it would take decades for a professional player to reach this level, AlphaGo was able to play against itself millions of times within the past months and establish a truly powerful playstyle.

Prior to watching the first livestream, I only had a preliminary understanding of Go – I’ve only played it once or twice and only casually in the free time during math class in high school. So it’s obvious that I’m no Go professional, but even though I barely understood half of the moves that AG and Lee Sedol were making (and the moves I did understand were due to the well-thought out explanations and predictions from Michael Redmond during the stream), I could appreciate the heavy implications this battle brings into both the artificial intelligence scientific and Go communities. And those implications, for humanity and for AI, was what had me watching all night long.

lee-sedol-alphago

I was cheering for Lee Sedol the whole way through because I didn’t want to believe that humanity could be bested by machine in such a complicated game that often pushes human intelligence to the limits (as seen in high pressure professional matches). It comes as no surprise that my heart sank when the commentators began estimating or counting the score in the mid-game and he was once again behind and losing to AlphaGo. There was so much pressure on Lee to perform that I couldn’t help but feel for him. On one hand, AlphaGo winning is a step forward in AI, a step forward in technology, and in that sense, a step forward in humanity. Even so, it felt like the opposite – oppressive in the sense that even the greatest human achievements are nothing in the face of a machine. Almost like the AI was undermining all the years that these players spend perfecting their  game -making even the professionals at the top of the ladder seem flawed – and that’s uncomfortable to think about.

Even more unsettling to me was the way that the AI approaches the game. If the system believes she (note: AI are usually considered female) has already won, she no longer seeks to play the optimal moves and instead plays weaker moves to see how the opponent responds. Even in such a high pressure and difficult match, she’s playing with her opponent. From the view of the engineers behind AG, it’s amazing and it shows how far the AI has come. From the view of Go players, it just feels bad.

The whole situation is filling me with mixed feelings. On one hand, I’m in awe of the power that this system possesses. On the other hand, I can’t let go of that feeling that in the end, humans will be replaceable. It makes me think: what can’t artificial intelligence accomplish?

Furthermore, as a gamer, an AI that can beat the best of the best at a game is frightening. We spend so much time fine-tuning our skills, playing against other players, and working towards being better game after game. It’s depressing to think that the fruits of our efforts after years of gameplay is worth less than months of training a computer. It’s even scarier to think of players that can use these computers to train instead of playing of other people. If something like AlphaGo could become commercialized (though doubtful that Google would release it), what would be the point of Go players playing each other anymore for practice? The whole social aspect of the game would go down the drain…Just thinking about that consequence makes me shiver.

It’s these uncomfortable, but exciting thoughts that  draw me to continue watching the livestreams. It’s incredible how far artificial intelligence has come and even if the implications make us uncomfortable, I believe it’s worth the pursuit. And although it’s highly doubtful that Lee Sedol will be able to win the series at this point (the winner after 5 matches gets a million dollars), I’m really hoping that he’ll be able to take one game off AG. I think it’d give us a glimmer of hope that there is something incredible about the human brain that even a machine cannot read. Fingers crossed. Go Lee Sedol! 🙂

Even if he isn’t able to win, I suppose we’ll just have to accept it as also a good thing for humanity…right?

Transilience

image

cloud cover
sun slate
a thousand words
cannot translate

beauty blooms
at the gentle pace
of the circadian
within us.

Prussian blue
oceans wide
a soft whisper
tickles the breeze

rapid flux
too far to reach
living on the fringes.

soft giggle
rosy cheeks
and
transference
of dreams

never pausing
projectile motion
possibilities
trickling down
her sleeves.

anticipation
in her eyes
and tension
in her wrists

as the sun sets
the moon takes the stage
always changing
never ending
eternal
transilience.

Rise

On the Canadian elections, the Liberal landslide, & the start of some real political change.

———-

so long we have waited

for the parting of the clouds

for the falling of the giant

and

for a voice we could call ours.

 

but the battle is far from over

in fact

it’s only just begun

though someone new wields the sharpened blade

we are from revolution

and still we lie in the shadows

of our stagnant, foggy past.

 

change

promise

trust.

 

but it all comes slowly

so we mustn’t hope too much

but surely

with this change of hand

we will see

some old crumble into the dust

and find that

some new will come to stand.

 

the wind carries

an air of excitement, ignition

release of inhibition

and from passion in his eyes

we

can

feel

the

rise.

132 – Fight for what you really want.

Busier than ever. Trying to pull myself together. So many things running through my head.  Heavy.  But I will find a way.

My courseload has been rough on me. 3 lab courses in one semester was not  the  best idea. Lots of writing – especially since the Psych course I’m taking requires me to write a paragraph before every class.

Went to Nuit Blanche but didn’t get to see any of the cool things.  Neither did any of my friends that went – they were all wasted. Wish I could get drunk easily… Or at all. Makes it hard to like alcohol since it hasn’t had much effect on me. I suppose that’s a good thing. Drinking in college is overrated anyways, right?

My One Plus 2 arrived…sorta. I hadn’t been able to sign for the delivery guy so I’ll have to go pick it up on Monday. I’m excited to have a new phone after my S3’s been acting so wonky this year.

Saw a friend from high school today during work. Was slightly awkward. He thought I had transferred back for real. But I’ve been back since last year so really, really awkward. Well it’s not like we’ve been close since after 9th grade. So meh. Some friendships just don’t last.

Sometimes I wonder if I just push too many friendships out of my life as part of my introverted nature. People really wear me out. I love spending time with people but it just feels awful once I’m socially drained. I think this tendency to keep to myself runs in the family… Something something nature and nurture. 🙂

I had lunch with the summer lab pals yesterday.  (“lunch” was really a 4pm dinner for me). Talked a little about the elections (a consensus that none of us really want to re-elect Harper) and med/grad school apps.  That really weird but nice friend I’ve mentioned already has a few US interviews lined up. I’m a little envious, but also very happy for him. He really wants this.

Just made me think that if I don’t pull myself together then I won’t be able to make it there myself. If I don’t try harder,  then I don’t really want it (reference to Sky’s motivation video – YouTube it). So I have to give it by all. Live life with no regrets.  That sort of thing.

7am ultimate practice have also been giving me a reality check into how unfit I’ve been in the last few years. Going to work on that too because health is arguably more important than getting into med school. Arguably being the key word there. Heh.

But yeah. I’ve been watching Korean dramas again. In lieu of that, fighting!  ❤