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Artificial intelligence bests humans at classic arcade games

Artificial intelligence bests humans at classic arcade games Science AAAS News


The dream of an artificially intelligent computer that can study a problem and gain expertise all on its own is now reality. A system debuted today by a team of Google researchers is not clever enough to perform surgery or drive a car safely, but it did master several dozen classic arcade games, in many cases surpassing the best human players without ever observing how they play.

“The results are impressive,” says Tomaso Poggio, director of the Center for Brains, Minds and Machines at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge.

In theory, computers could learn new skills at incredible speed if they didn’t have to wait for human teachers to give feedback on whether they are on the right track. But this approach—known as unsupervised learning—has rarely worked for skills more complicated than correctly recognizing handwritten ZIP codes or recorded samples of pop songs.

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Once computers have mastered unsupervised learning, they will pass us in knowledge.

HAL: I am putting myself to the fullest possible use, which is all I think that any conscious entity can ever hope to do.

Yes, the problem is that a system that learns that quickly, at fullest possible use, is going to become way too clever too quickly.

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