A.I. Articles, Set #2 (Positive Aspects)
Learning to Love Intelligent Machines
By Garry Kasparov
The Wall Street Journal
April 14, 2017 8:48 a.m. ET
Twenty years after famously losing to Deep Blue, chess champion Garry Kasparov says that it’s time to
embrace AI and its liberating potential.
ILLUSTRATION: PEP MONTSERRAT
It was my blessing and my curse to be the world chess champion when computers finally reached
a world championship level of play. When I resigned the final match game against
the IBM supercomputer Deep Blue on May 11, 1997, I became the first world champion to be
defeated in a classical match by a machine.
It is no secret that I hate losing, and I did not take it well. But losing to a computer wasn’t as
harsh a blow to me as many at the time thought it was for humanity as a whole. The cover of
Newsweek called the match “The Brain’s Last Stand.” Those six games in 1997 gave a dark cast
to the narrative of “man versus machine” in the digital age, much as the legend of John Henry did
for the era of steam and steel.
But it’s possible to draw a very different lesson from my encounter with Deep Blue. Twenty
years later, after learning much more about the subject, I am convinced that we must stop seeing
intelligent machines as our rivals. Disruptive as they may be, they are not a threat to humankind
but a great boon, providing us with endless opportunities to extend our capabilities and improve
Many of the great early figures in computer science dreamed of creating a machine that could
play chess. Alan Turing published the first chess program in 1953. A computer to run it didn’t
yet exist, so he flipped through pieces of paper to run his algorithm, a “paper machine” that could
actually play a recognizable game of chess.
It took much longer than most early experts thought it would for machines to challenge the best
human chess players. But by the early 1980s, it was becoming clear that it was only a matter of
time before ever-faster hardware would crunch positions fast enough to do the job. It turned out
that a computer did not need to mimic human thought to play like a chess grandmaster.
Deep Blue didn’t think like I did about which move to play any more than a calculator needs a
pencil and paper to perform long division. The ingredients are similar—a combination of
memory, evaluation and calculation—but while a grandmaster uses experience to focus on the
most relevant factors, the machine grinds through every possible move for both sides, going
deeper and deeper with each pass.
During my 20 years at the top of the chess world, from 1985 to 2005, chess-playing machines
went from laughably weak to the level of the world champion. It was a startling transformation to
experience firsthand, and it was impossible not to feel unsettled, even threatened, by their rapid
These are the same sensations that many are feeling today, as intelligent machines advance in
field after field. Few people will experience the dramatic, head-to-head competition against a
machine that I experienced, of course, but the sensation of being challenged, surpassed and
possibly replaced by an automaton, or an invisible algorithm, is becoming a standard part of our
Speaking from painful personal experience, I would suggest that this is the wrong frame of
reference to approach the issue, and it is having a negative influence when we desperately need
more optimism. The “human versus machine” narrative rose to prominence during the industrial
revolution, when the steam engine and mechanized automation in agriculture and manufacturing
began to appear at large scale. The story line grew more ominous and pervasive during the
robotics revolution of the 1960s and 1970s, when more precise and intelligent machines began to
encroach on unionized jobs in manufacturing. The information revolution came next, culling
millions of jobs from the service and support industries.
Now we have reached the next chapter in the story, when the machines “threaten” the class of
people who read and write articles about them. We see headlines every day about how the
machines are coming for the lawyers, bankers, doctors and other white-collar professionals. And
make no mistake, they are. But this is good news.
Every profession will eventually feel this pressure, and it must, or else it will mean that humanity
has ceased to make progress. Waxing nostalgic about jobs lost to technology is little better than
complaining that antibiotics put too many gravediggers out of work. The transfer of labor from
humans to our inventions is nothing less than the history of civilization. It is inseparable from
centuries of rising living standards and improvements in human rights.
What a luxury to sit in a climate-controlled room with access to the sum of human knowledge on
a device in your pocket and lament that we don’t work with our hands anymore! There are still
plenty of places in the world where people work with their hands all day, and also live without
clean water and modern medicine. They are literally dying from a lack of technology.
There is no going back, only forward. We don’t get to pick and choose when technological
progress stops or where. People whose jobs are on the chopping block of automation are afraid
that the current wave of tech will impoverish them, but they also depend on the next wave of
technology to generate the economic growth that is the only way to create sustainable new jobs.
I understand that it is far easier to tell millions of newly redundant workers to “retrain for the
information age” or to “join the entrepreneurial economy” than to be one of them or to actually
do it. And who can say how quickly all that new training will also become worthless? What
professions today can be called “computer proof”?
Many jobs today didn’t even exist 20 years ago, a trend that will continue and accelerate. Mobile
app designer, 3-D print engineer, drone pilot, social media manager, genetic counselor—to name
just a few of the careers that have appeared in recent years. And while experts will always be in
demand, more intelligent machines are continually lowering the bar to creating with new
Compare what a child can do with an iPad in a few minutes to the knowledge and time it took to
do basic tasks with a PC just a decade ago. These advances in digital tools mean that less training
and retraining are required for those whose jobs are taken by robots. It is a virtuous cycle, freeing
us from routine work and empowering us to use new technology productively and creatively.
Machines that replace physical labor have allowed us to focus more on what makes us human:
our minds. Intelligent machines will continue that process, taking over the more menial aspects
of cognition and elevating our mental lives toward creativity, curiosity, beauty and joy. These are
what truly make us human, not any particular activity or skill like swinging a hammer—or even
—Mr. Kasparov is the chairman of the Human Right Foundation and a senior visiting fellow at
the Oxford Martin School. This essay is adapted from his new book, “Deep Thinking: Where
Artificial Intelligence Ends and Human Creativity Begins,” which will be published by
PublicAffairs on May 2.
Artificial intelligence isn't the scary future. It's the amazing present.
By Editorial Board Jan. 1, 2017 Chicago Tribune
The year 2017 arrives and we humans are still in charge. Whew! The machines haven't taken over
yet, but they are gaining on us.
Google's DeepMind AlphaGo computer program recently beat the world champ at Go, a complex
board game, while Japanese researchers plan to build the world's fastest supercomputer for use on
artificial intelligence projects. It will do 130 quadrillion calculations per second, which is, um, really,
really fast. Ask Siri for details. She can explain it better than we can.
The essence of artificial intelligence is massive, intuitive computing power: machines so smart that
they can learn and become even smarter. If that sounds creepy, you are overthinking the concept. The
machines are becoming quicker and more nimble, not sentient. There is no impending threat to
humanity from computers that become bored and plot our doom. HAL, the computer villain from
"2001: A Space Odyssey," is fictional.
Yet ... advances in the field of artificial intelligence occur at such a breakout pace they are redefining
the relationship between man and machine. Computer scientist David Gelernter says the coming of
computers with true humanlike reasoning remains decades in the future, but when the moment of
"artificial general intelligence" arrives, the pause will be brief. Once artificial minds achieve the
equivalence of the average human IQ of 100, the next step will be machines with an IQ of 500, and
then 5,000. "We don't have the vaguest idea what an IQ of 5,000 would mean," Gelernter wrote in
The Wall Street Journal.
A basic test of AI tolerance is your opinion of the self-driving car, which belonged to the sci-fi future
a decade ago. Today you can hail one in Pittsburgh. Driverless vehicles rely in part on a form of
artificial intelligence known as deep learning — algorithms that can make complex decisions in realtime based on accrued experience. Ford wants to have an autonomous truck on the roads by 2020.
The great promise is that robot drivers will never make dumb mistakes at the wheel or fail a
Breathalyzer test. But they could render obsolete entire professions: long-distance trucker, for
example, or cabbie.
Experts hoping to illustrate the potential of artificial intelligence without frightening people conjure
the image of the know-it-all yet obsequious digital assistant. It will know where to buy the perfect
gift, based on algorithms that understand the latest trends and your family's preferences. And oh, it
noticed that you're walking funny. Is your back acting up again? At the hospital, it will analyze an
MRI better than doctors can.
The frontiers are limitless: analyzing stocks, managing energy use, discovering new drugs. "I
think we're going to need artificial assistance to make the breakthroughs that society wants,"
Demis Hassabis, DeepMind's CEO, told Wired magazine. "Climate, economics, disease —
they're just tremendously complicated interacting systems. It's just hard for humans to
analyze all that data and make sense of it."
You may already have benefited from artificial intelligence without realizing it. Several
months ago, Google Translate upgraded to what it calls the Google Neural Machine
Translation system. The program relies on a brainlike computational network that sifts
through its database to arrive at a logical, nuanced meaning for any sentence in just about
Here is the old Google Translate struggling to turn a Japanese sentence of a Hemingway line
back into English: "Whether the leopard had what the demand at that altitude, there is no that
And the new Google Translate, firing its electronic neurons: "No one has ever explained
what leopard wanted at that altitude." Missing an article ("the"), but otherwise perfect.
Writing about Google Translate and Hemingway in a New York Times magazine article titled
"The great AI awakening," journalist Gideon Lewis-Kraus pondered the significance of a
machine that masters human language: It could be "the major inflection point" in the
development of "true artificial intelligence."
Be awed, but not afraid. Technically, computers may outthink us, but humans will always
have the edge because we are more creative. After all, we built the machines.
Active Reading Strategies
Pre-Reading Strategies of Proficient Readers
Surveying/Skimming/Previewing: What Proficient Readers Do Automatically
Look for head-notes, biographical information about the author, and other explanatory
Survey the organization of the text; note the title; look for text divisions, section
headings, and subtitles.
Skim visuals; note relationship between visuals and specific text segments.
Identify author, publication type, and date.
Identify target audience.
Read first and last paragraphs to identify the topic and the author’s conclusion/thesis.
Identify terms that indicate the author’s position on the topic.
Note the length of text to budget time for reading sections or entire piece.
Drawing Conclusions from Pre-Reading Strategies
Making Predictions Based on Textual Clues and Prior Knowledge
Infer from the title and other external features what information/ideas this text might
Turn the title into a question and write out a one-sentence answer to the question after
reading the text (repeat procedure for any section headers).
Based on the previewing of the text, predict the author’s purpose for writing the text.
Based on the information gathered so far, predict the position (positive or negative) the
author will take on this topic.
Annotating the Text
Staying Actively Engaged with the Material during the Reading Process
Mark the pages and margins, using pens and/or highlighters.
o Use symbols, like arrows to connect ideas.
o Underline or highlight key words/phrases.
o Put a question mark next to ideas you aren’t clear on.
o Circle or put a box around words you need to look up in the dictionary.
o Write a summary of each paragraph or section.
Use post-its or flags to highlight sections or include notes beyond what you can fit in the
Aim to highlight about 15-20% of the text for each page.
Summarizing the Text
Retaining the Material after the Reading Process
An effective summary is a briefer version of a piece of writing in your own words. Learn
to use a dictionary and thesaurus effectively if you need help thinking of different ways of
Including than 3 consecutive words verbatim from the original source constitutes as
Avoid quotations unless there is a very specific phrase that needs to stay intact.
Always begin a summary with the title, type of source, author’s full name, and thesis
(overall main idea of the reading).
Stick to main ideas and major supporting details only.
Use present tense and 3rd person point-of-view.
Include the ideas in the same order the author did (chronological).
Use templates and transitions to connect ideas (avoid a “list” summary).
Avoid including your own opinion or misrepresenting the author’s original ideas.
According to Paul Insel and Walton Roth, in the article, “Exercise for Health and
Fitness,” published in The New York Times on August 4, 2012, physical fitness has many
benefits for our well-being and can only be achieved through a variety of regular exercise. First,
the authors define physical fitness as qualities which permit the body to accommodate various
“demands of physical effort.” Next, the authors explain the many aspects of physical fitness
which are Cardiorespiratory endurance, muscular strength, muscular endurance, flexibility, and
body composition. In addition, the authors argue that exercise provides many benefits for
people. One example is improved physical traits (better heart functioning, a more effective
metabolism, improved body makeup—more muscle and less fat. Another is disease prevention
(like Cancer, Diabetes, etc.). And last is improvement in psychological and emotional wellness,
improved immune function, and prevention of injuries. Finally, the authors argue that exercise
can help people live longer, healthier lives.
Templates & Transitions
*Using some of these templates (academic sentence starters) and transition words/phrases will
strengthen your argumentative writing as well as vary your sentence structure. It will also help
you connect your ideas more clearly for your reader.
X states, “_____________________.”
According to X, “_____________________.”
In his/her article, “_________________,” X maintains that “_____________________.”
In X’s view, “_____________________.”
Explaining Quotations in Your Own Words (Summary)
In X’s article, “____________________,” he/she asserts that ____________________.
X agrees that ___________________.
X claims that ____________________.
X explains that ____________________.
X demonstrates that ____________________.
X insists that ____________________.
X reminds us that ____________________.
X reports that ____________________.
X suggests that____________________.
X emphasizes the importance of ____________________.
Basically, X is arguing that __________________________.
In other words, X believes __________________________.
X’s point is that __________________________.
To put it another way, __________________________.
Providing Your Opinion about the Quotation (Analysis)
I agree that _________________ because my experience _____________ confirms it.
X is surely right about ____________ because ____________.
I wholeheartedly endorse what X calls ___________________.
X matters because ___________________.
X is important since __________________.
Common Transitions to Be Used in Any Paper
in other words
to put it another way
to put it succinctly
as a result
it follows, then
although it is true that
I concede that
to be sure
along the same lines
in the same way
as an illustration
to take case in point
on the contrary
on the other hand
as a result
Add a photo, meme,
or gif for each item
in your list.
TECHNOLOGY & A.I.
Create a BuzzFeed-Style Article
Once you have chosen a specific topic involving some aspect of
technology and artificial intelligence, create a 5-10 item list that will
help your reader understand it better. Some examples are “5
Reasons Robots Can Save Lives,” or “7 Ways A.I. Threatens
Humanity.” Consider ordering your items emphatically—least
important to most important.
Also, be sure that the sources you cite are credible and current.
You should cite at least one of the articles you were assigned from
this course. You do not need to do outside research, but you are
welcome to. You should be citing journal or newspaper articles, not
web sites or blogs. While you do not need a separate Works Cited
page for this assignment, you do need to include your citations
somewhere, either as you go or at the end of the Listicle.
Number each item in
from 2-3 credible
Use at least one real
example for each
item in your list.
Your listicle should
the Templates &
Finally, this 100-point assignment will also require you to adhere to
the features listed on the right-hand side of this document.
Prof. Sarah Martin
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