After the defeat of Lee Sedol by the AlphaGo, I have started losing sleep on the thoughts of the evolution of machine intelligence. I don’t think anybody should, but let us see whether the news is worth pondering.
The game Go is from China. It is a simple game with black and white stones on the board in which the players try to capture the opponent’s stones or surround empty space to make points of territory. Though the rules are simple, it is jaw-droppingly complex. As per the mathematicians, there are more positions in Go that there are atoms in the universe. Did you get the number? If not it is googol times complex than chess. Still, you did not get it, it is defined as 1 followed by 100 zeroes.
This game has been considered the most challenging classical games for artificial intelligence owing to the enormous space and difficulty of deriving the positions and the moves. This was an epic game in which a computer program defeated a professional human player, which was previously considered at least a decade away.
I think with the advent of this victory we are concurring to the dangers that Nick Bostrom the global authority on superintelligence, had his concerns on. According to him the development of superintelligence may pose an existential risk to humanity over the coming century. We would not be a match for the evolving machines. The cognitive performance of these machines would considerably exceed the capacity of all the mankind put together. Is there a way out from this catastrophe?
The superintelligence is a baby that is being conceived by the defeat of Lee Sedol, but it should not be the defeat of the humanity. As the guardians of the concept, the thought leaders has the moral responsibility to ensure an ethical application of science. I believe we as a mankind should drive science to reduce the existential risk of humanity and use the superintelligence to protect the humanity from the existential risks posed by nature or any other similar technologies.
A baby is never born criminal, it is the environment and the people who mould it are responsible for the behaviour. Will our generations venerate us for developing the ethical sense on machines or would they curse us for making a Frankenstein’s monster?