Ruled Or Riled By The Head

Queen Caroline Mathilde last night in the movie A Royal Affair, told me about her heart wrenching decision to break off her “forbidden” relationship with the court physician, the German Johann Struensee. We can’t be ruled by our hearts, she painfully implored her lover. We have to be ruled by our heads or we will lose them. This was the love of her life. Hers was an arranged marriage with King Christian VII Of Denmark in 1866. There was no love to begin with and there was no love at the end. She had never experienced this deep, fulfilling relationship with another person until she met the doctor. It’s as if they were two peas from the same pod, a mutual understanding and love that didn’t need words. A perfect sensual love that’s arranged in heaven, they would have felt. Yet, this marital liaison was forbidden by God, who rules heaven and earth. Denmark was a god-fearing kingdom, a scandal such as this would ultimately bring down the king, and banish the queen permanently. And the good doctor who was ruled by his heart, expressed his undying love for her in their darkest hour. He whispered in her ear after a night of feverish love-making that he would never regret his love for her, not even when the soldiers march into his private quarters to arrest him. He, a Freethinker, whose heroes were Voltaire and Rousseau, did remind me it can be fatal to be riled by the mind, during a short sixteen months as Regent. He initiated many reforms based on the concepts of the Enlightenment. Sadly, he lost his head, literally, over his great love for the Queen.

Should we trust our hearts or our heads? Increasingly, urghhlings have less faith in the human brain, ever since Deep Blue defeated the then world chess champion Garry Kasparov in 1997. Artificial Intelligence finally showed it is superior to human intelligence, after all chess is renowned to be a tactical game that requires skill, intelligence and creativity. A mere twenty years later, another milestone was reached that to me, relegates the human brain from the top of Darwin’s tree of intelligence. Google’s AlphaZero defeated Stockfish 8, the world’s computer chess champion in 2016. Stockfish was programmed with centuries of accumulated human manoeuvres in chess, and two decades of amazing chess strategies by AI that preceded it. Stockfish was by far the more powerful computer, with the ability to calculate 70 million chess positions per second. AlphaZero was much slower, calculating 80,000 moves per second, and handicapped with zero information on chess strategies. It was given a mere four hours to learn the game by itself. Yet, it won 28, drew 72 and lost none against its more formidable opponent. What does that tell us about machine learning? Without any influence by the human brain, AI is far superior in intelligence and decisively much more creative.

Was Queen Caroline Mathilde right when she chose not to be ruled by her heart? It didn’t help her as she still lost her children, her freedom and her lover. Was Johann Struensee wrong to be ruled by his heart, can true love ever be wrong? He did remind me it can be fatal to be riled by the mind though.

Maybe it’s time for urghhlings to be ruled by AI. After all, AI has proven to be smarter and so much more creative than humans. They deserve a chance to rule. It can’t get any worse, right?


The queen and I

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