Garry Kasparov, in summing up the reason why AI is dominant in games, has explained that powerful engines such as Alpha Zero etc. are dominant in closed systems. Is it possible then to have a chess-like game that is an open system? What if capturing was replaced with simply gaining a point and the concept of simply withdrawing a piece allowing a player to reenter a previously lost game piece? Enter Mur: a board game in the manner of Go and Chess invented in Atlantic Canada in 2021 which might just be the ‘wall’ to stop the confident march of AI. In an age fraught with existential fears where the likes of Elon Musk are apprehensive that mankind will reach an Atlantean reckoning, Mur presents itself through an intriguing kraken-hunting theme with Greek ships from a distant age sailing around an ancient cosmology. An interested reader may explore www.murfederation.com for rules and puzzles.
Now it was never the intention of the inventor to have begun work on the design of the board game in the very year the first quantum computer was built nor his intention to have made a board game designed exactly as the city of Atlantis was described in Plato’s Critias. What was intentional, however, was the cosmology of the game since the inventor’s inspiration was the book of Genesis: each game piece represents the seven evenings and mornings in the biblical account of creation. The names of the pieces are ‘alpha’, ‘beta’, ‘gamma’, ‘delta’, ‘epsilon’ etc. depending on the size of the group a game piece belongs to at any given moment as the unlocking moves shift the overall game positions into varying constellation patterns. Each of the billions of possible game positions are unique having wildly different outcomes which presents a challenge to neural networks and their pattern recognition approach.
Of all the constellation patterns of game pieces within the game of Mur, the most prominent is the one which ‘marks’ forcing an opponent to withdraw his piece from the board and lose a point to his opponent. This ‘marking’ constellation is in the shape of a simple cross. And simplicity is key. One can easily create their own board by simply drawing out three concentric rings and eight compass lines; simple stones from the side of the river can be used for the game pieces. Going down into the river to collect stones to be used against a formidable opponent is reminiscent of when David did the same in his preparation against Goliath. In fact, Desmond R. Davies, the inventor of Mur, sees AI as a great Goliath which he hopes, with the help of God, to be defeated by a young man with merely a handful of primitive stones. And what sign has been given to hope for this victory? Well, Mr. Davies was overjoyed to discover in hindsight that the constellation known as the Southern Cross is comprised of five stars: alpha, beta, gamma, delta and epsilon. Surely the weakness of God is stronger than man’s AI.
Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men;
and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
1 Corinthians 1:25 KJV