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About the author
Daniel Ray’s work has previously appeared in Westerly, Overland, Island, Cordite, Voiceworks and Cicerone Journal’s 2020 anthology, These Strange Outcrops. He is currently studying...
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Non-fictionThis was the late ’60s, early ’70s and surfing in Wales was regarded by the parent generation as delinquency. It was for losers, layabouts, rogue males. In those early days Welsh surfers numbered around one hundred, congregated on half a dozen beaches down fifteen miles of coastline west of Swansea, known as the Gower. I knew each one of those surfers by the styles they deployed on the waves. So idiosyncratic was early Welsh surfing that out on the road if you saw a car with boards on the roof coming at you, both drivers would pull over for a chat.
Non-fictionThe history of computer science is bound up with the game of chess, whose innate complexity and clearly defined rules make it the ideal proving ground for artificial intelligence. And yet the game not only survived the defeat of Garry Kasparov in 1997 by IBM’s supercomputer Deep Blue, but also seemed to flourish in its wake. According to International Chess Federation figures, more people are playing the game than ever before, and not merely over the internet. Now, as a new generation of AIs aces the Turing test – according to which a machine may be deemed intelligent if the human interacting with it can’t tell if it is a machine or not – it might be worth taking a closer look at chess as a social and creative phenomenon that speaks to the limits of ‘smart’ machines.
Non-fictionIn the 1990s, increasing fiscal and social rationalisation shifted responsibility for leisure from the state to the individual and from the public to the private sphere. Leisure studies, with its emphasis on providing research and data to inform leisure quality, accessibility and access, was rationalised to enhance the ‘bottom line’ of universities that were now attuned to the pragmatic desires of industry sectors.