Today’s my 44st birthday.
Shira and I went with our friends Jarrett and Beth to The Book Bindery on Friday night, to celebrate both my birthday and Jarrett getting hired at Microsoft. I took a bottle of ’90 and a bottle of ’96 Aldo Conterno Barolo. The ’96 has already integrated its tannins, I think I need to start drinking through my stock of ’95 and ’96 ; Jarrett generously offered to help with that onerous task. The meal was very good; my favorite dishes were the Risotto appetizer that Shira ordered and Mishima “Flavor Curve” that I got on Jarrett’s recommendation.
I recently bought a copy of Crazy Stone, a program for playing Go. It plays at around the 5 Dan level, which is just incredible to me; it was only a few years ago that I could beat the best Go programs in the world, and now I’ve got a program on my PC that would be able to beat me even if I quit my job and devoted my life to learning and studying the game. They’ve made incredibly rapid progress. To my dissapointment, the techniques they’re using are not very different than those used to make Chess programs so strong (standard Monte Carlo algorithms). I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, but I was hoping that making a strong Go opponent would require some sort of AI related breakthrough.