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Notes From Range - Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World By David Epstein : Chapter 1

    1. Chess has Centaurs - Repercussions for AI

    Apparently, modern chess matches are played with combinations of humans and computers dubbed 'Centaurs'. The computers make short-term tactical decisions while the humans are in charge of longer term strategy. I wonder if this kind of relationship and skill building will play out in the realm of AI.

    2. Tiger vs Roger - Kids Sports - Elite

    Tiger Woods did nothing but golf from an early age. Roger Federer hardly played tennis at all till his late adolescence but sampled many other sports.

    3. Kind Vs. Wicked Learning Environments

    Chess, Golf and music can be 'kind' learning environments where the desired outcome is understood and failures provide immediate feedback. Wicked learning environments (like most of the real world) don't always have a 'right' answer that you know you're trying to reach.

    4. Pattern Recognition In Memory Feats

    Chess prodigies showed signs of eidetic memory by being able to see a chess board in mid-game for a matter of seconds and being able to reproduce it on a board. However, if they were shown a board with random placement of pieces (that could not occur within a game) they were unable to recreate that board. Clearly pattern recognition plays a role in feats of memory.

    5. Chunking In The Above

    A mechanism known as chunking where individual facts or figures are grouped together is also part of memory work. I'm not entirely clear on the distinction between the two.

    6. Recombining Layers of Thinking (while sucking at individual layers)

    Champion Real-Time Strategy (e.g. Starcraft) gamers excel at combining tasks like exploration, resource management, defensive building, attack formations in a way that will beat the computer even when the computer does better at these tasks individually. It's synergy.

    7. The Best Scientists Have Hobbies

    Nobel winners were all accomplished in more than one field.

    8. Shannon Theory Came From Boolean "Philosophy"

    All digital communication is based on the work of Claude Shannon, but he only discovered his insights that make the binary '1' and '0' of digital communication by having studied Boolean logic - which you learn nowadays as a building block of computer studies, but at the time was considered an esoteric and useless branch of philosophy.

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