Edi­tor’s Let­ter

The World of Chinese - - NEWS -

Ever since first fash­ion­ing a spear, hu­mans have used tools to sub­orn the world to their will. We’ve come a long way since the wheel and in this post-in­dus­trial world of apps and AI, the ma­chines now seem poised to take over us. The game of Go may not be quite as old as the wheel (de­spite some cer­tain fan­tas­tic claims), but has cer­tainly evolved along sim­i­lar lines. Where once mas­ters un­der­stood only a few quarks of its com­plex­ity, our grasp of Go has since ad­vanced to atomic lev­els. Mean­while, ma­chines—namely, Al­phago, an ad­vanced AI built in Google’s lab­o­ra­to­ries—have learned to strad­dle the in­fin­ity of Go’s uni­verse. At the Fu­ture of Go Sum­mit in Wuzhen, TWOC watched China’s top play­ers com­pete, de­ter­mined to best, or at least un­der­stand, Al­phago’s daz­zling progress. That epic bat­tle, and its full ram­i­fi­ca­tions, are laid bared in this month’s equally epic cover story—along with bat­tle be­tween bots, the brave tale of Bei­jing’s “nail neigh­bor­hood,” a hand­some his­tory of ham, how a Cal­i­for­nia city be­came the Chi­nese Bev­erly Hills, and of course, much more Robert Foyle Hun­wick Man­ag­ing Edi­tor

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