Google’s AI AlphaGo Is Beating Humanity At Its Own Games (HBO)


For decades, human beings have
played games against computers. At first, computers struggled… but then, they started winning. — Watson? — What is Creed? — Yes! — And now, they’ve become so dominant that they’re raising doubts
about the future of humanity. The latest emblem for existential dread
is Google’s DeepMind project, which created AlphaGo— an A.I. program that’s become unbeatable at
the most complex strategy game on the planet. While the game of checkers has
10 to the power of 20 possible outcomes, and a game of chess has
10 to the power of 40 possible outcomes, Go has 10 to the power of 80 possible outcomes. AlphaGo is trained to analyze situations itself, by breaking the game down into tiny parts
and visualizing all possible moves. Last week, it played the world’s
best Go player, 19-year-old Ke Jie, with the help of a human handler. AlphaGo beat him three times and, after doing what it was designed to do, retired from the game. — If a system like AlphaGo can learn all the
moves in Go well enough to beat a person, then it has the potential to replace lawyers
and accountants, among dozens of other jobs. It might be perfect, but it has no way
to navigate human politics. The Chinese government banned the
livestream after Jie lost the first game— the loss to an American company
was an attack on the country’s pride. — The Chinese government has made a big effort to proclaim that they are moving ahead
rapidly in artificial intelligence, that they will be the people who dominate A.I. To have the dreaded Google come in
and beat China at its own game— it’s just piling insult on top of insult. It’s kind-of amazing. — But it was more than a national crisis.

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