In Seoul, South Korea, a Google-created artificial intelligence has been squaring off against a mortal man in the 2,500-year-old strategy game, called Go, that’s several orders of magnitude more complicated than chess.
When it was finally over, Google’s AlphaGo won four out of five matchups, making AlphaGo a role model for young artificial intelligences everywhere.
How did the robot pull off such a decisive win?
Wired reported that “AlphaGo relies on deep neural networks—networks of hardware and software that mimic the web of neurons in the human brain. With these neural nets, it can learn tasks by analyzing massive amounts of digital data.”
That’s bad news for SEOs the world over, because Google isn’t just using neural nets to beat Koreans at board games, it’s also using these advanced networks to make their search results more efficient. And in the process Google might just create the artificial intelligence science-fiction authors have been dreaming about for decades.
When will Google become sentient?
For eons, our foremost philosophers and scientists believed that man’s ability to make tools set him apart from the animals. It was actually Jane Goodall who smashed this macho theory to bits after she witnessed chimpanzees making rudimentary tools.
Now, many scientists instead believe that it’s our unique capacity for language that truly sets us apart from the beasts of the world. In the quest to give birth to artificial intelligence, computers’ inability to comprehend human speech is one of the main stumbling blocks – as anyone who’s ever tried to talk to Siri can attest.
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