China should take active role in robotics

WHEN human wisdom is put to the test against artificial intelligence and found lacking, many interpret the situation in apocalyptic terms. That’s what we’ve been seeing ever since AlphaGo, a Google-powered computer program, scored a series of victories over South Korean Go master Lee Sedol. Many a media outlet ran stories under such sensational headlines as “Does the news (of Lee’s defeat) signal a coming era of robot dominance over man?” and “What if AlphaGo were used by evil forces against us?” Amid the latest round of scare mongering, many professional Go players (mostly Chinese, who are perhaps upset that they were not invited to take on AlphaGo themselves) have been debating about where their South Korean counterpart went wrong. Since I know next to nothing about Go, I’ll refrain…


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