Computer  Chess

Cinema Arts Centre Huntington, NY


Kyle Daruwalla

NeuroAI Scholar, Cold Spring Harbor Lab


Ari Benjamin

Postdoctoral Researcher, Cold Spring Harbor Lab

Computer Chess— The science of computer learning

Join us for an entertaining and illuminating evening focusing on the surprising similarities and differences in how computers and the human brain learn, featuring a conversation with scientists Kyle Daruwalla and Ari Benjamin from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory about why playing chess is easy and what we misunderstood about intelligence.

Cinema Arts Centre Huntington, NY

Film Synopsis

A 1980s-set story centered around a man-versus-machine chess tournament.

Set in the early 1980s, in and around an isolated roadside hotel, computer programmers gather for a tournament that pits their chess programs against each other. The action is centered on the junior programmer of an academic team who begins to suspect that their computer is able to detect the difference between a computer opponent and a human one, and thus is exhibiting elements of self-consciousness. He also learns from another member of the team that the computer had been engaging him in gnomic philosophical dialogue and hinting that it thinks it’s alive.

About the Speaker

Kyle Daruwalla is a NeuroAI scholar at Cold Spring Harbor Lab. Previously, he completed his B.S. in Computer Engineering and Mathematics at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, then his M.S. and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering at University of Wisconsin-Madison. His research brings together perspectives from computer science, machine learning, and neuroscience. Specifically, Kyle studies how evolution and neural development can guide us to produce artificial intelligence that learns with less data and fewer energy resources. He also works with the Hou Lab at CSHL to study facial expressions in rodents. Outside of the lab, he enjoys playing guitar, woodworking, and hiking with his dog, George. Watching George learn is a constant source of curiosity and inspiration for Kyle.

Ari Benjamin studies the similarities – and differences – between the design of artificial intelligence systems and the brain. Despite their strikingly similar capabilities, such as abstract association, prediction, and styles of pattern recognition, their underlying architecture is not as similar as many AI proponents lead on. At Cold Spring Harbor Lab, Ari is a postdoctoral researcher working in Tony Zador's lab to study the reasons why the brain has so many cell types whereas AI systems have so few (arguably just 1). Other interests include the differences in learning algorithms, what either system finds easy or hard to learn, and the ethical issues of AI systems in society. Prior to CSHL, Ari received his PhD at the University of Pennsylvania and BA in physics at Williams College.