Eldrick aces Scottsdale's 16th hole!

DOWN IN ONE: Eldrick managed to hole this shot from the tee. Credit: PGA

Back in 1997 Eldrick Tont (Tiger) Woods made and ace on the 16th hole at Scottsdale as he was playing the TPC. 
Making a hole in one shot, an ace, in a golf tournament is an extremely rare event. It is probably a blend of mastership and luck (with the latter playing a very significant role, although Gary Player, a golfer, told one bystander complimenting him for his luck: "the hardier I practice the luckier I get).

Now another Eldrick, this time a robot, aced the 16th hole at Scottsdale to the amazement of the people gathered there to see a robot playing golf.

Here there is still a bit of luck in the equation but most of it is about sensors and software. 

Another area were robots are showing their might. 
This looks much more mechanical, than playing a Go game or playing Chess. So it may create less wonder and in a way we may not feel threatened by them, as much as we can feel when we perceive that there is something going beyond some mechanistic activity. We don't feel embarrassed by a car traveling faster than we can walk, it is just cogs and wheels. We feel more suspicious about a self driving car because it shows some sort of intelligence and it is us the ones who have the exclusivity on intelligence.

As a matter of fact, the more we study and the more we understand about the brain, the more we realise that intelligence is an emerging (perceived) property of some mechanistic (chemical, electrical communications and computation in a complex network).

The feat performed by Eldrick is not that much different from the one of the robot playing Go, or the one inside Adobe Photoshop that decides how to complete an image by recreating a credible set of pixels to replace the ones I am not happy with...

Author - Roberto Saracco

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