Badsnookerplayer wrote:OK - so given that theoretically, any position on a snooker table is solvable (I think this is true i.e. a computer/robot could identify and execute a clearance from any position including break-off) where is the art? The game would not be much of a spectacle as the robot with the break-off would clear with a 147 every time.All games would be won by a single frame by the robot who took the initial break. Essentially all matches would be decided by the decision on who breaks first - the coin toss!
Oh, I see what you did there! Very clever!
You do have a valid point. The strictly "science" route would work in theory, though watching Robot A versus Robot B would not likely be very entertaining which is the point of the endeavour at least from a commercial perspective. The first shot or two from this guy would be fine:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nH08-JQwsZQ
but I think his constant gloating would not go over too well with fans.
There is a poster in my house that my wife fancied. It states: "Sometimes the heart should do things without the brain's permission" with some modern art type splashes of colour in the imagery. The point is that while the strictly science approach is possible, the artistic approach, without the scientific knowledge base is certainly workable and far more entertaining (while at the same time and for the exact same reason, more prone to failure). The cold calculation of Robots A and B would be predictable and plodding. The imagination of Alex or Ronnie provides a sort of poetry in motion, each stroke shuffling the balls around the table in such a way that we the audience then see the lines of travel of the balls on the canvas of the baize the same way the "artist" had imagined those lines the moment before.
But of course, the best players in history have been a unique blend of the two. They would certainly not be very good technically without the scientific knowledge, and they would likely not be very entertaining without the artistic flair.
You want a really strange analogy? Imagine the lines of the snooker balls as being a "connect the dots" type puzzle from when you were a kid. The robot would simply connect the dots to create a square, or a triangle, or just the simplest of geometric patterns. The artistic player would find a way to connect the dots to show us a bird, or a tree, or a majestic sailing ship weathering a storm in the mighty Atlantic. While the science of simple geometry is solid and predictable, artistry and creativity provide far more entertainment value to improve quality of life. It is like surviving being fed through a tube versus savouring the finest offerings of a world renown chef.
Lastly, you are coming to this party about 60 years late, Player. You might be interested in this, an old time science fiction radio show from 1957 that explores this exact topic only using golf instead of snooker. If you have 20 minutes to devote, you may well enjoy this: https://archive.org/details/XMinusOne570123OpenWarfare
I won't spoil the end for you, you will have to listen to find out if art or science will win.