No books, no human intervention, no training data and yet it learns, from first principles. Google-owned DeepMind showed last week that its artificial intelligence (AI) programme Alpha Go Zero was able to learn what knowledge was from itself. That’s spooky. Comparisons of AI to the invention of the steam engine or printing press for impact on humans now seem understated.

Even though a lot of AI expertise resides in the top 10-12 tech companies, governments are waking up to it as if it were an arms race. It may well be. In mid-October, the United Kingdom came out with its AI strategy.


Seema Singh

Seema has over two decades of experience in journalism. Before starting The Ken, Seema wrote “Myth Breaker: Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw and the Story of Indian Biotech”, published by HarperCollins in May 2016. Prior to that, she was a senior editor and bureau chief for Bangalore with Forbes India, and before that she wrote for Mint. Seema has written for numerous international publications like IEEE-Spectrum, New Scientist, Cell and Newsweek. Seema is a Knight Science Journalism Fellow from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a MacArthur Foundation Research Grantee.

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