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   Author  Topic: 2015 Arimaa Challenge Match results invalid  (Read 16918 times)
kzb52
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Re: 2015 Arimaa Challenge Match results invalid
« Reply #60 on: May 3rd, 2015, 5:51pm »
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on May 3rd, 2015, 5:38pm, supersamu wrote:

Again:  
You absolutely don't need to apologize for telling Omar of the bet. I fully support your decision, and I would also have fully supported your decision if the challenge match were declared invalid, or any other scenario you can imagine happened.

 
Just posting to agree emphatically with this.
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lightvector
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Re: 2015 Arimaa Challenge Match results invalid
« Reply #61 on: May 4th, 2015, 12:15am »
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on May 3rd, 2015, 5:38pm, supersamu wrote:

You absolutely don't need to apologize for telling Omar of the bet.

 
Agreed as well.
 
Setting all questions of right and wrong aside, I feel responsible for having taken an action that, one way or another, contributed and led to the happening of events of the previous several days. And the impact of these few days here has been one of extreme disagreement and discord.  
 
Going forward, I intend to proceed with the projects I've mentioned before and hope to restore some fun and energy to things. I never particularly valued winning the Challenge - writing a bot gave me something interesting to do, but what kept me here was the game and the people. So in keeping with that, if it was at all unclear before: I will be donating the Challenge prize money back to fund future tournaments and prizes and events for Arimaa over the next several years.
 
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chessandgo
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Re: 2015 Arimaa Challenge Match results invalid
« Reply #62 on: May 4th, 2015, 2:58am »
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I agree 100% with the above posts. You did the right thing Heyckie, no need to apologize for anything.
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CraggyCornmeal
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Re: 2015 Arimaa Challenge Match results invalid
« Reply #63 on: May 4th, 2015, 1:44pm »
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I also agree. Heyckie absolutely did the right thing.
 
I don't think anyone's actions were bad. But by chance, the confluence of these actions produced stressful results. Stuff happens. Once in awhile bad actions produce good results. And once in awhile good actions produce bad results.
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PotatoeTheCat
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Re: 2015 Arimaa Challenge Match results invalid
« Reply #64 on: May 9th, 2015, 3:13am »
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Arimaa does not exist in a vacuum: its participants are subject to the same standards as any other gamers/athletes.  All published codes of ethics are clear on his point: no side betting allowed.  Period.
eg  
http://www.egba.eu/pdf/Athletes_COC_A5_EN_v08.pdf
 
One must accept the participants' statements in good faith that the side-bets were not intended to, and did not affect the motivation or conduct during the challenge games.
 
However, the impartial observer will note that Browni lost his first two games (while the Challenge was still up for grabs) reserving his normal, superlative bot-bashing form for the third game (only after the Challenge was decided).
 
Unfortunately, the non-Arimaa world will not have the time or patience to wade through a 6-page forum note.  Rather, it will look at the side-bets and sequence of Browni-bot_sharp games, and conclude (perhaps superficially) that the outcome of the Challenge match is tainted, and possibly corrupt.
 
Sorry guys: that is how it is.  And there is no simple fix for this.
 
This is a shame for Arimaa, Browni and (especially) for David Wu, who has contributed tirelessly & selflessly to the Arimaa community over a number of years with a number of iterations of bot_sharp.  
 
bot_sharp could perhaps be considered a little fortunate to have faced an off-form Browni (and chessandgo) in R1 & R2.  
 
But, so what: sporting encounters often are decided in such fashion!  David fully deserves recognition as the creator of the first programme to defeat a team of humans over the Computer Challenge format.
 
David's offer to return his prize to fund future Computer Challenges is fair one, and (to any reasonable & informed observer) obviates any allegation of corruption.
 
Congratulations to David - I am looking forwards to watching the next iteration of bot_sharp fighting it out with Brown & Co in 2016!
 
« Last Edit: May 9th, 2015, 3:37am by PotatoeTheCat » IP Logged
chessandgo
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Re: 2015 Arimaa Challenge Match results invalid
« Reply #65 on: May 9th, 2015, 4:44am »
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on May 9th, 2015, 3:13am, PotatoeTheCat wrote:
bot_sharp could perhaps be considered a little fortunate to have faced an off-form Browni (and chessandgo) in R1 & R2.  

 
And harvestsnow in R1 & R2 & R3. And the rest of humankind in the screening.
 
Or maybe you have it wrong, and Browni and I are the ones fortunate to have faced an off-form sharp in R3?
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browni3141
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Re: 2015 Arimaa Challenge Match results invalid
« Reply #66 on: May 9th, 2015, 4:19pm »
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on May 9th, 2015, 3:13am, PotatoeTheCat wrote:
Arimaa does not exist in a vacuum: its participants are subject to the same standards as any other gamers/athletes.  All published codes of ethics are clear on his point: no side betting allowed.  Period.
eg  
http://www.egba.eu/pdf/Athletes_COC_A5_EN_v08.pdf

 
The following is assuming you are talking about only my bet with Fritzlein, despite your plural "bets," since the thing with lightvector was not a bet but an offer.
 
Why should I adhere to ethical guidelines set by any organization with absolutely no jurisdiction over Arimaa? I am NOT subject to their standards or yours. I do not regret my side bet and unless rules regarding them are established I would do it again.
 
In no way is side-betting disallowed by any written rule, and relying on "unwritten rules" is completely unreasonable as a reasonable person following a reasonable set of ethics may not consider certain side-bets even a minor breach of ethics.
 
Quote:

One must accept the participants' statements in good faith that the side-bets were not intended to, and did not affect the motivation or conduct during the challenge games.

 
No one mustn't. Reason can show that I was not affected in any logical decisions, and common sense suggests I shouldn't have been affected psychologically, which is irrelevant anyway, unless people really expect me to make perfect decisions regarding ensuring my top mental condition for my games. Maybe the side bet decreased my performance ability. Maybe not drinking enough water decreased my performance ability.  
 
Quote:

However, the impartial observer will note that Browni lost his first two games (while the Challenge was still up for grabs) reserving his normal, superlative bot-bashing form for the third game (only after the Challenge was decided).

Maybe I should have thrown my final game then, but I'd much rather simply not care what some people might think.
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russ
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Re: 2015 Arimaa Challenge Match results invalid
« Reply #67 on: May 10th, 2015, 5:31am »
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on May 9th, 2015, 4:19pm, browni3141 wrote:

 
The following is assuming you are talking about only my bet with Fritzlein, despite your plural "bets," since the thing with lightvector was not a bet but an offer.

 
Sure, but an offer to pay you if and only if you lose to the bot does not exactly look better, or less fishy, than a bet does. Smiley
 
(To be clear, I'm not attributing illicit motives to anyone, but I am continually surprised that so many of the people directly involved are seemingly not seeing at all why an offer to pay a competitor if and only if the competitor loses to the payer's bot might not at least look a bit ethically strange...)
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supersamu
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Re: 2015 Arimaa Challenge Match results invalid
« Reply #68 on: May 10th, 2015, 9:54am »
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on May 10th, 2015, 5:31am, russ wrote:

 
Sure, but an offer to pay you if and only if you lose to the bot does not exactly look better, or less fishy, than a bet does. Smiley
 
(To be clear, I'm not attributing illicit motives to anyone, but I am continually surprised that so many of the people directly involved are seemingly not seeing at all why an offer to pay a competitor if and only if the competitor loses to the payer's bot might not at least look a bit ethically strange...)

 
 
It is because browni does not get payed. After accepting lightvector's offer, browni's situation is as follows:
 
- If browni loses, he gives x$ to Fritzlein and receives x$ from lightvector. Net result: Browni has no monetary incentive to lose.
- If browni wins, he does not receive any amount of money from any individual. Net result: Browni has no monetary incentive to win.
 
One can also look at the bets differently:  
Fritzlein pays browni 2$, and browni gives Fritzlein x$. If the challenge is defended, browni receives x$ from Fritzlein. If the challenge is not defended, browni does not receive any money.
 
After accepting lightvector's offer:
If the challenge is defended, browni receives x$ from Fritzlein.
If the challenge is not defended, browni receives x$ from lightvector.
 
Why does that look strange to anyone?
 
It is true that browni had a monetary incentive to win his game before he accepted lightvector's offer, but before the second game browni played, he knew he had to win 2 games in a row or lose x$, a risk he willingly took himself.
Lightvector's offer gave browni the chance to forget about that risk. How that affects his play, we cannot know.
Lightvector's offer removed a monetary incentive to win, but gave no monetary incentive to lose.
 
So yes, if you only know about lighvector's offer and nothing else, sure it does look ethically strange. But anyone who reads further  and thinks about the situation will realize that browni had no reason to throw his games.
 
Actions are not ethically wrong because they look ethically wrong on the surface.
« Last Edit: May 10th, 2015, 10:15am by supersamu » IP Logged



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PotatoeTheCat
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Re: 2015 Arimaa Challenge Match results invalid
« Reply #69 on: May 10th, 2015, 12:46pm »
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The following abstract example might help make some of the issues clearer.
 
A is an athlete playing for his team in the final of a sporting event.  If his team loses, he stands to personally lose $x.
 
B is a professional gambler who has bet heavily on the final.  If A's team loses, B stands to win $50*x.
 
B becomes aware of A's financial incentive, and offers to indemnify any loss to A, should A's team lose.
 
It's perfectly clear that the sport's governing body, are going to regard both B's offer, and A's acceptance of it as morally squiffy.
 
The fact that the result of the final is financially neutral to A, assuming that he accepts B's offer, is besides the point.  
 
The offer (and acceptance of it) will be viewed as unethical precisely because it eliminates A's financial incentive to ensure that his team wins.
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russ
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Re: 2015 Arimaa Challenge Match results invalid
« Reply #70 on: May 10th, 2015, 1:16pm »
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on May 10th, 2015, 9:54am, supersamu wrote:

 
 
It is because browni does not get payed.

Yes, I'm quite aware of how the 2 transactions would cancel out.
 
Quote:
Why does that look strange to anyone?

If you really sincerely don't get how it wouldn't look strange that the bot's programmer offers to pay a challenger money if and only if the challenger loses to the bot, I honestly don't know what else to say.
 
Suppose 2 large corporations each offer to donate a million euros/dollars to a politician, one to encourage him to vote for a proposal and one to encourage him to vote against a proposal. He thus has no financial incentive to prefer voting for or against the proposal! So is this perfectly ethical?
 
Quote:
Actions are not ethically wrong because they look ethically wrong on the surface.

Agreed, but also remember that a large point of the Arimaa challenge was gaining favorable publicity to the game, and surely to create a clearly "fair play" environment. Having the programmer pay a player if and only if he loses to the programmer's bot is pretty obviously working counter to that, from a public relations point of view, even if you personally truly believe that the "cancelled out transactions" mean that logically there was no ethical issue.
 
It was, in effect, a scientific experiment: can a program beat some of the top human players? In other areas of science, it would be considered quite ethically dubious if, e.g., a tobacco company said "We'll pay you X dollars if you find that our tobacco does not cause health damage" or something like that, even if that financial offer happened to "merely cancel out" some other financial incentive the experiment's participants had encouraging the other direction.
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mattj256
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Re: 2015 Arimaa Challenge Match results invalid
« Reply #71 on: May 10th, 2015, 2:15pm »
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on May 10th, 2015, 1:16pm, russ wrote:
even if you personally truly believe that the "cancelled out transactions" mean that logically there was no ethical issue.

The problem here is that there was no rule on the books prior to the Challenge.  It has already been said on the forum that Omar and browni3141 were operating from two different ethical frameworks, and that hasn't changed.
 
on May 10th, 2015, 1:16pm, russ wrote:
It was, in effect, a scientific experiment: can a program beat some of the top human players?
If browni were the only defender I would be totally open to considering that some kind of unintentional / unconscious bias affected the results.  The fact is that Sharp beat three different strong human defenders, AND went undefeated in the Computer Championship, AND has won 34/36 of its games since Omar made the bot available to the public.  [1] (And the public version of Sharp2015CC is running on weaker hardware than what was used for the challenge!)
 
I think it's really unfair to browni to keep dragging and re-dragging and re-re-dragging him through the mud over this.  Do you want changed or clarified rules for next year?  That's a great thing to talk about.  The fact is that Omar was only joking when he called into question the results of the challenge. [2]  The challenge is over, lightvector is going to get his prize money, and I'm more than ready to move on to other things.
 
I don't want to stifle debate, but I also don't think it's healthy for the community for this debate to continue indefinitely.  Hopefully some older and wiser (and higher-rated) players will help me out here.  I'm not going to fault browni for operating out of a different ethical framework than Russ or Omar.  If there had been a written rule on the books, or if browni had made the bet against himself first, this would be a completely different story.  As it stands, I simply don't know what there is to be done other than agree to disagree and move on.
 
[1] http://arimaa.com/arimaa/gameroom/playerpage.cgi?id=23751
[2] I personally didn't realize that this was a joke at the time.
« Last Edit: May 11th, 2015, 9:08am by mattj256 » IP Logged
browni3141
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Re: 2015 Arimaa Challenge Match results invalid
« Reply #72 on: May 10th, 2015, 3:07pm »
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on May 10th, 2015, 2:15pm, mattj256 wrote:

 
  [1] (And the public version of Sharp2015CC is running on weaker hardware than what was used for the challenge!)
 
[1] http://arimaa.com/arimaa/gameroom/playerpage.cgi?id=23751

Actually, I'm pretty sure that bot is running on the Challenge hardware at full strength until the end of the month.
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Re: 2015 Arimaa Challenge Match results invalid
« Reply #73 on: May 10th, 2015, 6:22pm »
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on May 10th, 2015, 2:15pm, mattj256 wrote:
Do you want changed or clarified rules for next year? That's a great thing to talk about.

 
How can we prevent a situation like like this from arising again? There are two things we should try to thwart:
 
1) Actual misconduct.
2) Apparent misconduct. Because even though nothing truly unethical happened this time, no one wants wants to endure another of these arguments.
 
I liked the idea of mandating that all bets be posted on the forum for everyone to see. But awhile ago in chat, Browni argued that this would encourage people to bet through private channels, driving the practice underground and making it impossible to police.
 
This is a good point, so I'd like others to share their ideas.
 
By the way, since the Challenge concluded, Browni has played three games against Sharp. He's 1-2. So if the Challenge had been replayed, the results would have been exactly the same.
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Re: 2015 Arimaa Challenge Match results invalid
« Reply #74 on: May 11th, 2015, 8:05am »
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I agree that we shouldn't keep debating for something that doesn't matter anymore. But then we should think about ways to prevent problems like that in the future.
I quite like the idea of a betting thread and I don't think that would lead to people betting through private channels since the effort to post a bet is close to 0 and there's no reason to bet in chat but not in forum.
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