Mind Matters Natural and Artificial Intelligence News and Analysis


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The Search for the Universal Algorithm Continues

Why does machine learning always seem to be rounding a corner, only to eventually hit a wall?

DeepMind, a part of Alphabet (i.e., Google), has made many headlines in the past. The biggest was its development of AlphaGo, which used reinforcement learning to beat the number one Go player at the time (2017). DeepMind generalized this into AlphaZero, which is supposedly able to solve any two-player game of perfect information. DeepMind has come back into headlines recently with the attempt to build an AI which can generate any algorithm. While they are starting with map data, the goal is to generalize this and generate any desired algorithm. The search for such a “universal algorithm” has been essentially equivalent to the search for a perpetual motion machine in physics. The allure of both is obvious. In physics, if you…

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Why AI Cannot Successfully Run the Economy

Artificial intelligence is insufficient to predict and plan for the vast complexities of an individual human being, let alone an entire country

Optimists talk about artificial intelligence (AI) as magnificent tools and ultimately a source of world salvation. Pessimists warn that AI can produce the implements of tyranny and ultimately soulless world domination. Many people in both camps take these views without seriously questioning the limits of AI.  To challenge the optimists: Can AI run a human society’s economy better than humans? Governments are expanding and taking more power to run everything, and many people accept or even cheer them for doing so. To carry out that mission, such Leviathan governments invariably increase taxes and impose regulations upon economic activity: prices, wages, investments, interest rates, use of private property, transfers of ownership, and permissible or forbidden transactions.    Leviathan’s cheerleaders don’t explain how all-powerful governments claiming to run national economies can actually succeed.…

Gold chess piece on computer mainboard. Concept of IT strategy, making decision, technology background.

Why AI Chess Champs Are Not Taking Over the World

Mastery of closed-world games does not mean that AI can take over and run everything

At one time, the AI that beat humans at chess calculated strategies by studying the outcomes of human moves. Then, it turned out, there was a faster way: In October 2017, the DeepMind team published details of a new Go-playing system, AlphaGo Zero, that studied no human games at all. Instead, it started with the game’s rules and played against itself. The first moves it made were completely random. After each game, it folded in new knowledge of what led to a win and what didn’t. At the end of these scrimmages, AlphaGo Zero went head to head with the already superhuman version of AlphaGo that had beaten Lee Sedol. It won 100 games to zero. Joshua Sokol, “Why Artificial…

Gold chess piece on computer mainboard. Concept of IT strategy, making decision, technology background.

Henry Kissinger on Why We Must Adapt to AI

He thinks chessbot AlphaZero is “no longer constrained by the limits of human knowledge.” But is the story much simpler?

Walter Bradley Center fellows aren’t really in a position to respond to the demands for "metamorphosis" (total transformation); they could and did, however, respond to specific claims made in the article for winning chessbot AlphaZero.

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Artificial Intelligence Playing Go

10. Is AI Really Becoming “Human-like”?

AI help, not hype: Here’s #10 of our Top Ten AI hypes, flops, and spins of 2018

A headline from the UK Telegraph reads “DeepMind's AlphaZero now showing human-like intuition in historical 'turning point' for AI” Don't worry if you missed it.

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