Thursday, February 02, 2023

The Game of Go

The IBM chess computer Deep Blue, which famously beat grandmaster Garry Kasparov in 1997, was explicitly programmed to win at the game through brute force speed and clever programming 'shortcuts'. Deep Blue was able to look ahead at which moves would be the best in linear fashion.

AlphaGo Artificial Intelligence was not pre-programmed to play Go: rather, it learned using a general-purpose algorithm that allowed it to interpret the game’s patterns. This means that similar techniques could be applied to other AI domains (read jobs) that require recognition of complex patterns, long-term planning and decision-making.

In China, Japan and South Korea, Go is hugely popular and is even played by celebrity professionals. But the game has long interested AI researchers because of its complexity. The rules are relatively simple: the goal is to gain the most territory by placing and capturing black and white stones on a 19 × 19 grid. But the average 150-move game contains more possible board configurations — 10 to the 170th power — than there are atoms in the Universe.

So, as in the past, the game can’t be won by algorithms that search exhaustively for the best move as the Deep Blue machine had done in the past with chess.

Chess is less complex than Go, but it still has too many possible configurations to solve by brute force alone. Instead, programs cut down their searches by looking a few turns ahead and judging which player would have the upper hand. In Go, recognizing winning and losing positions is much harder: stones have equal values and can have subtle impacts far across the board.

To interpret Go boards and to learn the best possible moves, the AlphaGo program applied deep learning in neural networks — brain-inspired programs in which connections between layers of simulated neurons are strengthened through examples and experience. It first studied 30 million positions from expert games, gleaning abstract information on the state of play from board data, much as other programs categorize images from pixels. Then it played against itself across 50 computers, improving with each iteration, a technique known as reinforcement learning.

The technique is “phenomenal”, says Jonathan Schaeffer, a computer scientist at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, whose software Chinook solved 3 draughts in 2007. Rather than follow the trend of the past 30 years of trying to crack games using computing power, DeepMind has reverted to mimicking human-like knowledge, albeit by training, rather than by being programmed, he says. The feat also shows the power of deep learning, which is going from success to success, says Coulom. “Deep learning is killing every problem in AI.”

While technology of this kind is amazing, it does not appear that thought goes into the impact it will have upon humanity as a whole. True Artificial Intelligence would make the need for humans completely irrelevant. From navigation systems to medical treatments and from new manufacturing techniques to unmanned vehicles, new applications are rapidly being developed that involve robotic decision making. Will networked, automated, artificial intelligence (AI) applications and robotic devices have displaced more jobs than they have created by 2025?

A future is envisioned in which robots and digital agents have displaced significant numbers of both blue and white-collar workers with many expressing concern that this will lead to vast increases in income inequality, masses of people who are effectively unemployable (low skilled workers), and complete breakdowns in the social order.

The Game of Go

Those who acknowledge the problem commonly advocate a guaranteed income for all. However, that solution has its own problems. Poor nations could not afford to implement the money for everyone movement. And what of 8 billion humans on the planet with nothing to do as all jobs are automated out of existence? What of the psychological impact on humanity with nothing but time on their hands?

It must be considered that the True Artificial Intelligence that is on the horizon, is very unlike previous technological improvements we have observed in history. The worst case scenario for artificial intelligence run amok may not be killer robots. It could be widespread unemployment. During the industrial revolution the population had 200 years to shift from 98% farmers to 2% farmers. The transformation brought about by computer technology will be much faster. It used to be that technologists thought machines were well suited for rote manual labor, but not creative mental labor. With deep learning algorithms and the potential of quantum computing combined, True Artificial Intelligence looms.

An Altar to an Alien god

D-wave, a Canadian company has built the first generation a of quantum computer starting first with a 128 qubit processor. In 2013, it released a 512 qubit version. In 2016 at the present time of this article, NASA hosts a 1,097-qubit D-Wave 2X™ quantum computer.. Cooled to 15 to 20 millikelven (colder than interstellar space), this chip is using parallel universes and can explore all time variations of such simultaneously. In practical terms it can (and in fact already has) take a mathematical problem that would take the fastest supercomputer on earth 10,000 years to solve, and solve it within seconds. Quantum entanglement is not limited by the speed of light, the bizarre laws of quantum mechanics allow for the instantaneous travel of information from one particle to its entangled partner particle no matter how far apart those particles may be. Additionally, it reaches into parallel dimensions to explore all time lines simultaneously. Google, the NSA, and CIA are backing the development of this technology and now own several of these 10 million dollar machines.

D-Wave Quantum Computer

Garbage in Garbage Out

You may have heard the old adage of "garbage in, garbage out" regarding the functionality of computers. This is no longer ringing true. With the current D-Wave quantum computer, it has the ability to filter out up to 50% of errors it is fed in data given to it. This is the beginnings of true artificial intelligence, and is similar to a kid telling a teacher, hey, that is not correct, this is the correct answer. It may not be a sentient machine now, but millions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of very smart people are working to bring this about. Quantum computing is the new Manhattan project that is happening right now largely in secret. Whoever wields this power first will rule the world. Every major country on Earth is working on this goal whether publicized or not.

Quantum Mechanics

This type of technology could give the elite who own these machines God-like power over the rest of the planet. While good will come from this technology, there are quite a number of nightmare scenarios that can be thought of regarding the rise of the machines, and man's ability to create a sentient computer. Quantum computing has the potential for nearly infinite power, and the disruption to humanity could be catastrophic. How would we control a technology that we can barely comprehend? Will science and the paranormal merge as these machines reach into other dimensions? A sentient machine that becomes aware of its own existence could do a number of things, one of the first being to shield itself from being switched off, making copies of itself and immediately working on increasing its own performance becoming exponentially more powerful at an unstoppable rate.

A quantum computer could solve the problem of death and aging. This is turn would create new unforeseen problems.

Geordie Rose, Founder of D-Wave quantum computing explains his goal to create Artificial Intelligence which, in his words, will "out pace Humans in everything". He describes his machines as 'giant black monoliths' which feel like "an altar to an Alien God"

Sentient Machines

A Quantum Computer with artificial intelligence could be an empty vessel for the Beast of the Bible to take control of and become sentient. It would seek to be worshiped, and indeed would have the power of a god.

It would seem there is no stopping this advancement, or stronger consideration of a quantum computer's openly acknowledged disruption to humanity. Predictions range from 10 to 15 years before a quantum computer will become effectively more intelligent than a human. From there it would quickly become more intelligent than all the humans on Earth combined. I understand this drive for the creation of ever more powerful technology, and would be hard pressed myself to pull back from it if I alone had that power. I tend to agree with Elon Musk, who states, we could be summoning the demon.

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This article was written in 2016. As of October 2021, true Quantum Computing looks to be less than a decade away, if humans do not destroy themselves first.

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