By Scott Santens
On Dec. 2, 1942, a team of scientists led by Enrico Fermi came back from lunch and watched as humanity created the first self-sustaining nuclear reaction inside a pile of bricks and wood underneath a football field at the University of Chicago. Known to history as Chicago Pile-1, it was celebrated in silence with a single bottle of Chianti, for those who were there understood exactly what it meant for humankind, without any need for words.
Now, something new has occurred that, again, quietly changed the world forever. Like a whispered word in a foreign language, you may have heard it but couldn’t fully understand. The language is something called deep learning. And the whispered word was a computer’s use of it to defeat one of the world’s top players in a game called Go. Go is a board game so complex that it can be likened to playing 10 chess matches simultaneously on the same table.
To read more in the Boston Globe, click here.