An Artificial Intelligence programme has defied centuries of wisdom by finding a more effective opening chess move than the classic tactic favoured by both novices and grand masters alike.
It got me thinking what other long standing, tried and tested practices and procedures will be challenged when the impact of AI starts to really impact society and our everyday lives.
From helping to improve your golf swing or tennis back hand, to identifying different ways of absorbing information, learning languages and acquiring new skills. Of course from a recruiter and employer's point of view, the opportunity for identifying and selecting the best person for a position in the purest, most scientific way is instantly appealing.
AI and automation are already starting to be tested, and in some cases used for recruiting purposes, generating some interesting and sometimes controversial results. While some report decision making success that out performs traditional methods, other accounts have claimed discriminatory biases which they attribute to the instinctive, long held human prejudices of those programming of the systems.
For me, the chess example demonstrates, that machine learning is now capable of identifying a huge quantity of, if not every possible means, to reach a potential outcome - in this case winning a game, mitigating probability to as close to a non-zero sum of not winning, as mathematically possible. Which starts to throw up some even more interesting questions.
Could a programme get to the point where it processes data from an almost infinite range of variables that it identifies itself, creating its own algorithms that give predictions, and the most effective solutions for the greatest complex challenges we're facing?
Can we learn how to maximise industrial productivity, while eradicating the impact on climate change?
Could we reach a time where we put in a desired result such as maximising GDP per capita, and have the software give a solution that encompasses everything from public expenditure and taxation, to work place legislation, health and well-being policies and which aspects of society are best served either nationalised or privatised? In other words, would you trust a PC more than your MP?
And would it be optimistic to think that harnessing silicon chips could give us the answers to eliminating all diseases, third world poverty, and global religious conflict?
In truth, it's probably far too early to say, but it truly is an exciting time for those with analytical skills, embarking on the first step of their careers.
Last year Deepmind, the British artificial intelligence company, created a program called Alphazero that taught itself to play chess. By using deep learning and reinforcement techniques it went from playing randomly to superhuman skill in a few hours, easily surpassing all human and computer rivals. Now the company has published full details of 210 of its matches. In doing so, it has revealed a playing style unlike any seen before.