This Chess Problem Will Help Solve Human Consciousness
Human consciousness is among the most interesting and hard to understand things in the universe. We are nowhere near to understanding it or how it works, then we are to knowing the actual reality of the world surrounding us.
In fact, some scientists are even proposing the idea that human consciousness is another state of matter.To this end, researchers have devised a chess problem that seems to be impossible for even the most powerful computers to figure out. This is why they’ve made it public, hoping that people will be able to solve it, and with it, bring a possible answer and explanation that differentiates our minds from those of machines.
“If you put this puzzle into a chess computer, it just assumes a black win because of the number of pieces and positions, but a human will look at this and know quickly that is not the case,” Sir Roger Penrose from the Mathematical Institute of Oxford told The Telegraph.
“We know that there are things that the human mind achieves that even the most powerful supercomputer cannot, but we don’t know why.”
To this end, the Penrose Institute, a research group associated with the Oxford University and University College in London, has made it its business to analysing the human brain and its link with the quantum mechanics and general relativity. And more exactly, it wants to see what is consciousness, really.
The human brain is often times compared to a super-computer, but as it turns out, not even the mighty quantum computers are a match to the human brain. This is why Roger Penrose believes that understanding the mysteries of quantum physics may shed some light on human consciousness and what makes us self-aware. Quantum physics has been observed in photosynthesis and bird migration, and it wouldn’t be inconceivable to find it in the human mind as well.
The Chess Problem
Here is a chess problem that computers can’t solve. The idea is that you are the white player and the goal is to beat or draw against the black. But as Sarah Knapton at The Telegraph explains, any computer will automatically assume that the black player will win the moment it sees the three bishops. Seeing them, the computer will start generating all possible positions and the search will quickly exceed the entire computational power on Earth.
But by knowing the rules of the game, a human could solve it with relative ease. If you are able to solve it, please e-mail your result and technique to firstname.lastname@example.org. The institute is also curious if the results came to you in a moment of sudden realisation or it took you days of contemplation.
It is obvious that by solving this chess problem will not open the gates to understanding the whole of human consciousness, but “If we find out how humans differ from computers, then it could have profound sociological implications,” Penrose told The Telegraph.
“People get very depressed when they think of a future where robots or computers will take their jobs, but it might be that there are areas where computers will never be better than us, such as creativity.”