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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

AI, THE HUMANITY! AlphaGo’s victory isn’t a defeat for humans — it’s an opportunity

"A loss for humanity! Man succumbs to machine!

If you heard about AlphaGo’s latest exploits last week — crushing the world’s best Go player and confirming that artificial intelligence had mastered the ancient Chinese board game — you may have heard the news delivered in doomsday terms.

There was a certain melancholy to Ke Jie’s capitulation, to be sure. The 19-year-old Chinese prodigy declared he would never lose to an AI following AlphaGo’s earthshaking victory over Lee Se-dol last year. To see him onstage last week, nearly bent double over the Go board and fidgeting with his hair, was to see a man comprehensively put in his place.

But focusing on that would miss the point. DeepMind, the Google-owned company that developed AlphaGo, isn’t attempting to crush humanity — after all, the company is made up of humans itself. AlphaGo represents a major human achievement and the takeaway shouldn’t be that AI is surpassing our abilities, but instead that AI will enhance our abilities."

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