"ALPHAGO’S VICTORY IS A BIG DEAL, AND NOT JUST BECAUSE IT’S THE FIRST COMPUTER PROGRAM TO TRIUMPH OVER A TOP-RANKED GO PLAYER.”
The win ignited headlines across the globe, with news outlets trumpeting the outcome as a major milestone for artificial intelligence. In South Korea, coverage of the match was even more prominent than North Korean threats of a pre-emptive strike on the South.
AlphaGo’s victory is a big deal, and not just because it’s the first computer program to triumph over a top-ranked Go player. By proving that machines can rival humans in an intuitionbased game like Go, AlphaGo just overcame a huge hurdle for artificial intelligence (AI), a milestone that some thought was a decade away.
To be sure, AlphaGo is good at one thing only, playing Go, and is a long way off from being considered an artificial superintelligence. But if AI wasn’t expected to be so successful so early, what other surprise developments lay in wait? Progress doesn’t follow a linear curve, and every so often, it leaps forward exponentially. Is AlphaGo’s victory a sign that artificial superintelligences are closer to being realized than previously thought?