Saturday, February 04, 2017

Inflection Point


in·flec·tion point

noun

1. MATHEMATICS
    a point of a curve at which a change in the direction of curvature occurs.

2. US
    (in business) a time of significant change in a situation; a turning point.
For Google's DeepMind/AlphaGo and its relationship to go, an inflection point regarding AI and humanity has been reached as machines are now making their first move away from the control of their creators.

‘It’s not a human move. I’ve never seen a human play this move.’

Rather unexpectedly, I felt this sadness as the match ended and I walked towards the post-game press conference. I was soon stopped by a Chinese reporter named Fred Zhou, whose home country has so closely followed this match. According to Google, 60 million Chinese watched the first game on Wednesday afternoon. Zhou said he was so happy to talk with another technology reporter, lamenting how many journalists were treating the match like sport and hailing the power of Google’s machine learning. But then his tone changed. He said that although he was so very excited to see AlphaGo triumph after Game One on Wednesday, he now felt a certain despair. In the first game, Lee Sedol was caught off-guard. In the second, he was powerless.

Read Wired's post to see why Musk, Altman and Hawking, among significant others, regard this open ended tech with quiet trepidation.

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