Google’s AI won the game Go by defying millennia of basic human instinct

TOK TOPICS: Technology, Human Sciences, Intuition, Sense Perception, Ethics


Case Description: AlphaGo, an AI system from Google claimed victory in the best-of-five series, beating one of the best player at this ancient and enormously complex game, Go. AlphaGo was taught to play the ancient game using a deep neural network—a network of hardware and software that mimics the web of neurons in the human brain. Not only AlphaGo learns from human moves and the moves made when it plays itself , It also understands how humans play and how humans make their moves to an entirely different level of the game.



TOK LINK:  The game Go is much more complex than chess; to play it, AlphaGo needs the computer equivalent of intuition. What surprised the Grandmasters watching Lee Sedol, one of the world’s top Go players, lose to a computer, was not that the computer won but how it won.


A classic fear about Artificial Intelligence is that the machines we build to serve us will destroy us instead, because not only they become sentient and malicious but they also devise unforeseen and catastrophic ways to reach the goals we set them. On the contrary, machines, sentient or not, could help us break our intellectual bonds and see solutions that we couldn’t imagine otherwise – “So beautiful,” as one grandmaster said of AlphaGo’s game. With Big Tech Companies like Google, Facebook, Microsoft actively looking to create an intelligent, ‘learning’ machine, we need to think about the potential risks involved.


Sample KQs:

Can we assign ‘Humanness’ to ‘Sentient Machines’?


In a similar manner to Cloning, how far should humans stretch the boundaries of creation?