More news on the AI front.
The people at google's AI research dept. have developed a new computer called Alphazero. It is a descendant of the compter program which consistently beat the worlds best Go players.
It is extremely important to note the improvement: Alphazero is not programmed to play any game. It was programmed to take rules for play...any rules at all...and then to play games against itself to learn how to play the game. It had been noted with the Go computer that humans had to teach the computer how to play so you could really think of it being human intelligence being transfered to a computer.....but with alphago there is no human training....alphago teaches itself how to play.
After eight hours of self-play, the program bested the AI that first beat the human world Go champion; and after four hours of training, it beat the current world champion chess-playing program, Stockfish. Then for a victory lap, it trained for just two hours and polished off one of the world's best shogi-playing programs named Elmo (shogi being a Japanese version of chess that's played on a bigger board).
What many people might not see at first is that this kind of ability is not restricted to games. Any problem or situation which can be defined in terms of rules of interaction and outcomes could be addressed with this approach. This could be applied to everything from dating to warfare to politics to industrial processes to infrastructure development.
I think that this will have a big impact on society, politics, etc. Do you think it is trivial? Do you think "well that's pretty good but if this is the pinnacle of AI then I"m not concerned"........news for you: this is not the piccacle.....this is only the beginning....the very beginning. It took decades to develop the computers which could win at chess and Go and which required huge human inputs for programming in order to be able to win.... Now one team of researchers in a year or two have developed a computer which is better than those and which can teach itself to be better than those starting with no knowldege except for the rules to be better in a matter of hours.
This is massive.
Maybe it would be good to start thinking about this and what all it implies....maybe you should try to get your representative (or would be representative) to start thinking about this and sharing their ideas with you......or maybe it would be better to just ignore it and wait for the disruption so that you can complain about it then.
I forgot to mention that this computer is (I'm pretty sure although I haven't verified this) is a silicon based digital computer...a very powerful one of course....but do be informed that researchers developing quantum computers are on the verge of creating practical usable quantum computers. In these computers the number of qubits is an indication of their power. Two years ago or so the number of qubits they could assemble was so low that regular silicon based digital computers existed which were way more powerful (the quantum computers were not practical for anything)....but now the number of qubits about at the level where quantum computers as powerful as the most powerful digital computers are possible.....AND....the important thing is that there is no indication that the number of qubits is limited to present abilities. Every indication is that soon there will be quantum computer (soon meaning years, not decades) that are 1000 times more powerful OR MORE....
So........match up the advances in AI as described above with computers that are several orders of magnitude more powerful.....and Putin's claim that whoever masters AI first will control the world (or something similar I'm not sure exactly his words).....don't you think it would be good to give these issues a bit more consideration?