勝負手 / Shōbute by Yiğit Kolat published on 2017-10-19T16:58:59Z Ryoko Aoki, Noh-voice Ryuji Masumoto, piccolo 15 October 2017, Shibaura House, Tokyo In March 2016, the computer program AlphaGo defeated Lee Se-dol, a South Korean Go player of 9 dan rank in the first game of Google DeepMind Challenge Match. AlphaGo’s victory meant a monumental achievement in the field of artificial intelligence—and immediately revived age-old questions about the nature of artificial and “natural” intelligence. The main inspiration of the piece comes from these unanswered questions. The piece is based on two layers of processing, a machine layer and a human layer. The machine layer consists of mapping the data taken from the game log of the Se-dol vs. AlphaGo game into musical parameters and eventually to musical notation, using a custom-written notation software. The Noh-voice is based on the black moves (Se-dol), while the piccolo part is based on the white moves (AlphaGo). The human layer consists of spontaneous repurposing, alteration, and amplification of the machine layer. Additionally, commentaries made about the game by various Go masters both provided the text, and are used to shape the dramatic contour of the music. The machine-human dichotomy, in terms of certainty and uncertainty, or calculation and intuition, also exists in the two modes of performance: each musician uses two types of notations that differ in their communication of how specific the musical result should be. One of these notational systems is based on the yowagin scale that is often employed in Noh theater. Shōbute is a Go term, signifying a risky play that is employed in an attempt to bring balance when one is at disadvantage. As a tactic that involves considerable risks, shōbute is an emotionally charged choice, symbolizing an inherently human aspect of the game.