Game changers: Do clever machines add up to AI?​

In March, a computer achieved what many thought impossible when it won a best of five series against world-class go champion Lee Sedol. The victory by the DeepMind computer was the most significant milestone in artificial intelligence (AI) since Deep Blue beat chess Grandmaster Garry Kasparov in 1997, and once again sparked many predictable headlines about humans being knocked off our IQ perch. The question is, what do such human versus computer matches tell us about AI? Is it the harbinger of a machine-led future or are computers just very good at playing board games? To see how this might play out, we first need to look to the past. Despite being extremely bad at playing board games as complicated as chess and go for decades, there was almost a…


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