AlphaGo: the importance of human

I watched the documentary AlphaGo. The documentary covers the work of the AlphaGo team at deepmind, a google funded research lab. The team created an Machine Learning model that learned how to play Go. The most interesting part about the documentary wasn't the technology itself, but the way humans reacted to it specifically the audience and the Go players.

What makes Go an interesting game for a computer?


That's how many possible positions there are in Go. Unlike chess, where a robot can easily calculate possible future moves, Go has almost infinite uncertainty, with more combinations than atoms in the universe.

Go is a game where you place stones to try to trap your enemy and gain the most stones on your color.

AlphaGo vs Humanity.

AlphaGo was put into a 5 game tournament against the best Go player, Lee Sedol. The game was played in Seoul, South Korea, arguably the "home" of Go. I found it incredibly interesting the parallels between how the machine was treated back then versus today with modern AI systems like GPT.

Many doubted the capabilities of a computer to play go. Notably Sedol said, "I believe human intuition is still too advanced for AI to have caught up". How robots impact how we view ourselves.

AlphaGo shocked the world, winning 4-1. More importantly than the win, it changed how the general public viewed AI. If a machine learning model could beat a human at the "impossible", what else could be done?

How robots impact how we view ourselves.

The most interesting part of the entire documentary is how Sedol treated himself at defeat to the robot. After the second loss, he apologized for failing humanity. He explained that losing was a personal failure. Sedol's view on defeat quickly changed after the matches ended, setting an example of how to use technology, rather than fear it.

Don't compete with robots, embrace them as tools.

After the match, Sedol didn't lose for the next two months. The machine taught him something new about the game. Sedol explained that he "found the purpose of the game" after playing AlphaGo.

I think this idea can be applied to current and future technologies. The fears of AI and other technologies are mostly unwarranted. Most jobs that AI can do shouldn't exist (although the capabilities of AI are often overstated).

AI can be used as a useful tool, as seen by Sedol's performance after playing AlphaGo.

We should embrace the human elements that robots can't emulate, and abandon meaningless tasks that AI can help us with.