Rise of the Machines

beatings by a machineA computer has beaten a professional Go player. It’s pretty shocking really as compared to Chess, where humans do not stand a chance, Go presents incredible problems due to the sheer number of places that a stone could be played in any given turn.  Humans can instantly eliminate 95% of the spaces of play on the board and focus on the areas that most need a stone; seeing the strategic as well as the tactical implications, reading eventual shapes long before the actual stones are played. A computer, coming from the much more flatly tactical game of chess, would have to crunch through all the possibilities, eliminating each only when the entire tactical line of possible moves was ruled out.  This proved to be impossible, and for many years computers could barely keep up with middling amateurs (of which I don’t even rank near middling).  All I can conclude with is we should be prepared to kneel before our robot masters sooner than later after a breakthrough like this.