If you are in the Artificial Intelligence game you are undoubtedly familiar with Googles AI division Deep Mind and the AI they have developed previously called AlphaGo. This AI famously won from the top ranked Go player at the time, who was also the World champion. It was also the first AI to do so in this game. AlphaGo also became very good at chess. But it did all this with a specific set of rules handed to it.
Well, they did it again and went one step further. Recently the Deep Mind division has built further upon AlphaGo and they created an even more advanced AI called MuZero. This AI has the capability to learn chess without initially having the set of rules implemented. This means it can observe and derive the rules from that observation.
While I am a software developer I am not very well versed in Artificial Intelligence, so feel free to correct me on any mistakes. This particular article caught my attention as I am also a chess player. In their tests the MuZero AI was able to learn chess without any knowledge of the game beforehand. This is a big deal in AI, as early AI was only to learn specific things within a specific subset of rules. The real world however is a dynamic one and while there are rules, anything can change at any time, and most things are so complex that they can't be defined by a specific set of rules. Instead the world around is defined by variables.
The ability to analyze these variables is something that is needed in artificial intelligence, if we want to take this technological advancement to the next level, making systems more autonomous and independent than they already may be.
Is this good or bad? Will systems be able to completely take over without the need of human assistance? If we look at most depiction of this scenario in cinema the AI usually relies on logical decision with lack of emotion, which often leads to the downfall or at least danger of humanity. Only time will tell. All I can say that this is good news in terms of automation, given that we find suitable replacement for those who get replaced by this automation.
Or maybe people will not need to work in the future, living in a sustainable future provided by decentralized technology and advanced AI. Given the greedy and corrupt nature of our society, probably not. However it turns out, there are definitely exciting technological times ahead.