The momentous advance in artificial intelligence demands a new set of ethics

South Korean professional Go player Lee Sedol puts his first stone against Google’s artificial intelligence program, AlphaGo. Photograph: Handout/Getty Images Let us all raise a glass to AlphaGo and mark another big moment in the advance of artificial intelligence and then perhaps start to worry. AlphaGo, Google DeepMind’s game of Go-playing AI just bested the best Go-playing human currently alive, the renowned Lee Sedol. This was not supposed to happen. At least, not for a while. An artificial intelligence capable of beating the best humans at the game was predicted to be 10 years away. But as we drink to its early arrival, we should also begin trying to understand what the surprise means for the future – with regard, chiefly, to the ethics and governance implications that stretch far…


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