Hyperchess: a challenge

Lyle Burkhead (LYBRHED@delphi.com)
Mon, 16 Sep 1996 22:44:43 -0500 (EST)

I want to introduce a new game, called Checkmate (aka hyperchess).
It is the same as chess, with two exceptions:

1. There is no such thing as a draw or a resignation in Checkmate.
You always play the game to a conclusion. Either it ends with a mate,
or it is a null game, in which mate cannot be forced. A game is not
declared to be null until it is obviously and provably null.

2. The players are teams, consisting of humans and computers
working together. There can be as many humans as you want -- as
many as you can get to work together without getting in each other's
way. Coordinating their efforts is part of the challenge of hyperchess.
A team can either be led by a computer, which makes the moves with
advice from the humans, who are in turn using other computers with
specialized functions; or a team may be led by a human, who plays
with the advice of other humans, all of whom are using computers.
Another possibility is that a team may not have a leader at all. It is also
possible to have a minimum team, consisting of an individual human
and one computer -- with either the human or the computer acting as
lead player.

In other words: your task, as a player of hyperchess, is to design and
build a SuperIntelligence. How you do it is up to you.

I hereby issue a challenge to the Extropians: two years years from now,
in September of 1988, the first annual Checkmate tournament will take
place. Be there or be square.

The interesting thing about this is that to play hyperchess, you have to
design a SuperIntelligence. In other words, you have to design a mind.
How do you do that? This is a philosophical problem -- or a problem in
philosophical engineering. You (the Extropian team) can use Ayn
Rand's metaphysics, Ian Goddard's logic, Max More's philosophy of
mind, Marvin Minsky's insights into AI, Tim Freeman's expertise in
computer science, and so forth, to design a SuperIntelligence. There are
many people on the list who could make theoretical contributions, and
many programmers who can write the code that will have to be written.

Meanwhile I will also be designing a SuperIntelligence, using my
metaphysics, my logic, and so forth, and recruiting a team to help me
write the code and play the game.

I am going to extend this challenge to other memes as well. This fall
I am going to be travelling to various college campuses. My main
purpose is to recruit students for my own projects, but I will also
attend meetings of on-campus Christian organizations, and invite them
to enter a team in the hyperchess tournament. They can design a
SuperIntelligence based on their metaphysics (monotheist), their logic
(Thomist), their philosophy of mind, and so forth, and they can use
Christian chessplayers to play the game and Christian programmers to
write the code. (Yes, Christian programmers do exist.) The idea of a
SuperIntelligence is not new to them -- according to the Bible, the
church itself is a kind of SuperIntelligence, with Christ as the head and
the church as the body. The idea of competition is not new to them,
either; way back in the Roman Empire, they set out to be superior to
the heathens in every way -- intellectual, spiritual, social, whatever.

There are various other memes that might want to enter teams.
IBM can enter Big Blue, assisted by human players. That is the level
on which the game will be played. Surely the Extropian world-meme
can compete on this level... ?

SuperIntelligences have existed for a long time. Corporations are
SuperIntelligences; so are armies, so are nation-states, so are churches.
The only new factor is that now SuperIntelligences can make use of
computers, but this doesn't change the situation in any essential way.

May the best SI win. May the best philosophy win.