Friday, March 18, 2016

Are We Paying Attention? (part 5)

Very recently, South Korean Lee Se-dol (the world's greatest “Go” player) was beaten 3 out of 5 games by the AI, “AlphaGo.” The game of Go has been played by humans for over 3,000 years, and AI mastery of the game was believed to be at least a decade away. Yet AlphaGo taught itself to play the game by playing it against itself millions of times to learn and correct its weaknesses. The AI was able to teach itself from an amateur player to a world champion in less than a year. Some have projected that the singularity—the event when AI surpasses all human control and understanding—is within our lifetime, with dates ranging as early as 2027 to as late as 2045. Considering previous projections about AI (AlphaGo, for instance, projected to take ten years longer than it did to achieve Go mastery), it is reasonable to assume that the current rate of progression in AI technology is going to accelerate beyond our expectations. We need to do something, now, and not be reactive to a situation we may find has quickly moved beyond our control. I've always considered science fiction as a warning. Are we paying attention?

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