Google DeepMind, the artificial intelligence division of Alphabet, has swept grand master and current Go world champion Lee Sedol 3-0 in a historic battle of AI vs human. Go an ancient Chinese board game that traces its origins back nearly 3,000 years is said to be much harder to master than chess
Because of Go’s simple rules combined with a large combination of possibilities, the game has been a popular subject for AI research since many believe that it was impossible for computers to play Go at a world-class levels.
The victory over Lee Sedol was recognized by Elon Musk who tweeted, “Congrats to DeepMind!”.
Congrats to DeepMind! Many experts in the field thought AI was 10 years away from achieving this. https://t.co/5gGZZkud3K
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 9, 2016
Musk is keenly aware of the promise and pitfalls of artificial intelligence, calling it “potentially more dangerous than nuclear weapons.” He shared some of his ideas on AI with the audience at the GPU Technology Conference last year. He also co-signed a letter last year warning of the potential dangers of AI. Stephen Hawking and many other experts in the field joined Musk as co-signers as well. Musk is particularly concerned about the boundless destruction that AI enabled weaponry could visit upon the world and its people.
“I think the best defense against the misuse of A.I. is to empower as many people as possible to have A.I.,” Musk said in a 2015 interview with Backchannel. “If everyone has A.I. powers, then there’s not any one person or a small set of individuals who can have A.I. superpower.” Musk used that occasion to announce the creation of OpenAI, a non-profit organization whose goal is to disseminate information about developments in AI so that no one person, corporation, group, or nation will be able to dominate the field.
He has attracted some high profile supporters for his OpenAI initiative. Funding for the project comes from such tech luminaries as Reid Hoffman, Peter Thiel, and Jessica Livingston. Together, they have pledged more than a billion dollars to fund the organization. Elon is co-chair of OpenAI, along with Sam Altman, the CEO of Y Combinator.
Watch AlphaGo vs Lee Sedol in Match 1 of the series.