Start Thinking About AI Now

David Gunkel’s “Perspective” (March 23, 2016). Given all the press surrounding the U.S. presidential campaign, you may have missed something truly remarkable. AlphaGo, an artificial intelligence developed by Google’s DeepMind, won four out of five games of Go against one of the best players on the planet — Lee Se-dol, from South Korea. Decades ago, computers mastered checkers. In 1997, Deep Blue defeated Gary Kasperov in chess. And in 2011 Watson conquered Jeopardy. But Go — a notoriously difficult game from ancient China — was considered our last line of defense. Is this the robot apocalypse foretold in countless science-fiction stories? Yes and no. It is certainly the end of an era. AlphaGo can out maneuver a human player in what is considered one of our most sophisticated and cerebral…

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