Can Artificial Intelligence Solve Japan’s Demographic Decline?

BEIJING — Since Google’s computer program AlphaGo won four out of five matches against South Korea’s champion Go player, Japanese governmental officials are seriously wondering whether artificial intelligence (AI) is the way to rewrite Japan’s blueprint for the future. There is precedent for programs beating humans. IBM’s Deep Blue beat chess champion Gary Kasparov in 1997, and in 2012, computer programs beat professionals of Shogi, also known as Japanese chess. But the Japanese government has never been as shaken as this time. That’s because Go, which is played on a grid of 19 horizontal lines and 19 vertical lines, is considered “the last bastion of human intelligence.” It’s a game of greater depth than chess or Shogi, and the player depends mostly on intuition and experiences. Google has said the…

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