Underlinings (#49)

Rohit Gupta on the world-historic confluence into AlphaGo:

Dutch computer scientist John Tromp noted that comparing Go to chess is “not even like comparing the size of the universe with the nucleus of an atom”. As the game progresses, the smallest error made in this dynamic universe of Yin and Yang can magnify surreptitiously into an irreversible cataclysm. A butterfly flutters its wings, slaves mutiny on a ship, corporations go bankrupt, the Soviet Union breaks apart, a black asteroid strikes the earth and dinosaurs go extinct. […] Artificial intelligence too, like this ancient boardgame, goes back to the very dawn of human civilisation. A Roman tutorial on rhetoric for orators called Ad Herennium (86-82 BC) says this about memorisation technique, “…and now we will speak of the artificial memory.” Many Greeks, including Socrates, were against the invention of the written word, because they feared it would destroy the ability of human beings to remember. Millennia later, the rise of computers has released the art of memory like a gigantic djinn from Aladdin’s lamp, just as telescopes opened up the horizons of astronomy. …

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