I play StarCraft 2 whenever I can justify a few hours away from writing—don’t judge me!
I am not in any way good! but I can see how skilful this AI has become when I watch these replays. Apparently AlphaStar spent 200 subjective years playing itself, evolving unique strategies.
It is interesting to see that it come up with ideas that none of the human professional gamers have hit on in over the last eight years. For example building too many probes at base to provide some resilience in case of an enemy raid on the worker line.
This video is Highly recommended as a sort of “State of the Singularity” update.
I have been excited about the Singularity since I first read about the concept from Vernor Vinge in the early 90’s (check out his original paper here.).
Increasingly I get a chill when I see how quickly it is approaching. Estimates put the “Rapture of the Nerds” at 2035, so we are over half way there—starting from Vinge’s initial prediction.
And the thing about exponential growth is that it kind of creeps up on you..
Take the example of an exponential hose pipe filling a stadium with water…
If the pipe drips once on the first second, twice on the second second, four times on the third and so on…
1 2 4 8 16
…after 5 minutes there will be barely a stain on the grass, a thimble full of water. After 20 minutes, a bucket full of water makes a small puddle in the center. Then twenty minutes later, the stadium is full!
For half the time it took to fill the stadium, the eventual tsunami was a barely visible trickle… them Wallop! To switch metaphors, the AIs have taken over and organic life is extinct…
2025 the computational equivalent of one human brain will cost $1000 2050 it will buy you 10 Billion human brain equivalents…
(I am not sure I agree with the math, if you read my books you know I believe sub-neuron quantum processing across multiple world lines is how we think, but still, with exponential growth like this, even that will only add a couple of decades…)