Recently an AI created by Google beat a top player at Go. This AI is scheduled to play against THE top player in the world right now in March. Chess, with it’s closed puzzle-like gameplay has been solved by computers who can never be beaten by a human player again, which is understandable since the game is so limited in scope. Go is different since it’s such a wide open, piece-free board with such an incredible number of possible, good, fairly good and very good moves, that computers couldn’t crunch puzzle their way out of it– there were too many lines of play based on a single placement of a stone to figure out. Humans can do it because of fuzzy logic, and just knowing where a fairly good place is to play as well has having a general plan of what they want to do. The AI doesn’t crunch all lines, it learns how to play like a person does.
So, I think this March may be a marker in human evolution where we may in the future say: “The day Lee Sedol lost to an AI in Go is the day we should have destroyed all thinking machines across the planet and slaughtered every Google employee down to their families and even internet acquaintances just to make sure, because after that, it was too late.”
From Samuel Butler’s Erewhon, Chapter 9,
“… about four hundred years previously, the state of mechanical knowledge was far beyond our own, and was advancing with prodigious rapidity, until one of the most learned professors of hypothetics wrote an extraordinary book (from which I propose to give extracts later on), proving that the machines were ultimately destined to supplant the race of man, and to become instinct with a vitality as different from, and superior to, that of animals, as animal to vegetable life. So convincing was his reasoning, or unreasoning, to this effect, that he carried the country with him and they made a clean sweep of all machinery that had not been in use for more than two hundred and seventy-one years (which period was arrived at after a series of compromises), and strictly forbade all further improvements and inventions”