Sunday, March 13, 2016

game on: the end of the old economic system is in sight

globalguerillas | The surprise of this victory isn't that it occurred.  Most expected it would, eventually...  
Instead, the surprise is how fast it happened.  How fast AlphaGo was able to bootstrap itself to a mastery of the game.  It was fast. Unreasonably fast.
However, this victory goes way beyond the game of Go.  It is important because AlphaGo uses a generic technique for learning.  A technique that can be used to master a HUGE range of activities, quickly.  Activities that people get paid for today.
This implies the following:
  • This technology is going to cut through the global economy like a hot knife through butter.  It learns fast and largely on its own.  It's widely applicable.  It doesn't only master what it has seen, it can innovate.  For example: some of the unheard of moves made by AlphaGo were considered "beautiful" by the Grandmaster it beat.  
  • Limited AGI (deep learning in particular) will have the ability to do nearly any job currently being done by human beings -- from lawyers to judges, nurses to doctors, driving to construction -- potentially at a grandmaster's level of capability.  This makes it a buzzsaw.
  • Very few people (and I mean very few) will be able to stay ahead of the limited AGI buzzsaw.   It learns so quickly, the fate of people stranded in former factory towns gutted by "free trade" is likely to be the fate of the highest paid technorati.  They simply don't have the capacity to learn fast enough or be creative enough to stay ahead of it.
Have fun,