What I Learned This Week

How can we get along with machines that are unpredictable and inscrutable?

It used to be that we programmed machines to reason according to human logical and rules. Anyone who examined the code could understand the machine's inner workings. But a different school of thought emerged that suggested that machines should take their inspiration from biology. Instead of the programmer writing the code to solve the program, the machine, learning by observing and experiencing, generates its own algorithm based on example data and desired outcome. Machines essentially program themselves and in doing so, they are reaching into their own imaginary spaces - places where humans cannot follow. Consider the much-celebrated contest between the Korean Go professional Lee Sedol and…

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