Michael Redmond is an american 9-dan professional Go player. He did a fantastic job during the historic battle between AlphaGo and Lee Se-dol, helping players of all levels understand and enjoy the matches.
During match 3, he talked about the role of intuition in professional go play, and what he said caught my attention. I’ve transcribed it here:
When I was young, I used to think that intuition was sort of like some god-given inspiration that came out of nowhere. But nowadays I've come to think that actually it's a memory or experience that we have, and it's just that we cannot really define it.
It's something that you could call a half-memory, actually.
It's something that we know, but we don't really know why we know it. So we have a feeling about a position, and it's pretty automatic, but we can't really define all the reading or the pattern recognition that goes into it, because we don't have a clear memory, a conscious memory.
I think we have a subconscious memory of all the variations that we studied (or played) in decades, that we "sort-of-remember", actually.
I’ve long suspected there’s an important link between learning, intuition, and the limits of the conscious versus the unconscious. I love to hear masters of any art talk about this topics: they’ve pushed the limits of human performance and have a special understanding of how this processes work. They give a very refreshing and practical approach to hard problems of epistemology, consciousness, and learning.