Thursday, December 7, 2017

The Robots are Coming, at Least for Your Chess Trophies

The latest:
The game of chess is the most widely-studied domain in the history of artificial intelligence. The strongest programs are based on a combination of sophisticated search techniques, domain-specific adaptations, and handcrafted evaluation functions that have been refined by human experts over several decades. In contrast, the AlphaGo Zero program recently achieved superhuman performance in the game of Go, by tabula rasa reinforcement learning from games of self-play. In this paper, we generalise this approach into a single AlphaZero algorithm that can achieve, tabula rasa, superhuman performance in many challenging domains. Starting from random play, and given no domain knowledge except the game rules, AlphaZero achieved within 24 hours a superhuman level of play in the games of chess and shogi (Japanese chess) as well as Go, and convincingly defeated a world-champion program in each case.
We're getting more useless every day.

1 comment:

G. Verloren said...

Once we're all useless, we can stop ruthlessly competing with each other to see who can be the "most useful" at the expense of others.

Secure the basic needs of everyone through machines, then allow them to tend to their own luxuries beyond that. When people don't have to spend all their time doing menial work, they can devote that time to bettering themselves and their lives.

Your home is modest, and you'd like to improve it? If you didn't have to work 40 hours a week as a drone, you could spend that time learning construction skills and improve it yourself. If you needed materials, you could invest time in obtaining them, either learning to create them yourself, or trading your time to others who possess the means you lack. If you needed help with the work, you could ask any number of people to assist you, who previously were too busy earning their bread.

Want to grow your own food? Learn to cook? Learn to paint? Learn a language? Et cetera? So many creative and productive endeavors will open up to people once they no longer spend the majority of their waking hours chasing a paycheck.

And yes - some significant percentage will decide they're just going to spend their newly found free time doing absolutely nothing of value. But what's the harm in that? How is that any worse than having those same people spend their entire lives driving trucks, working cash registers, et cetera, and never doing anything of value outside of those dead end jobs?