From SSC on the Asilomar AI conference:
[quote]More interesting for the rest of us, AlphaGo is playing moves and styles that all human masters had dismissed as stupid centuries ago. Human champion Ke Jie said that:
After humanity spent thousands of years improving our tactics, computers tell us that humans are completely wrong. I would go as far as to say not a single human has touched the edge of the truth of Go.
A couple of people talked about how the quest for “optimal Go” wasn’t just about one game, but about grading human communities. Here we have this group of brilliant people who have been competing against each other for centuries, gradually refining their techniques. Did they come pretty close to doing as well as merely human minds could manage? Or did non-intellectual factors – politics, conformity, getting trapped at local maxima – cause them to ignore big parts of possibility-space? Right now it’s very preliminarily looking like the latter, which would be a really interesting result – especially if it gets replicated once AIs take over other human fields.
One Go master said that he would have “slapped” a student for playing a strategy AlphaGo won with. Might we one day be able to do a play-by-play of Go history, finding out where human strategists went wrong, which avenues they closed unnecessarily, and what institutions and thought processes were most likely to tend towards the optimal play AlphaGo has determined? If so, maybe we could have have twenty or thirty years to apply the knowledge gained to our own fields before AIs take over those too.[/quote]