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¿Puede la inteligencia artificial tener conducta ética?

PRINCETON – El mes pasado, AlphaGo, un programa de computadora diseñado especialmente para jugar al go, generó asombro entre los aficionados al derrotar a Lee Sidol, uno de los mejores jugadores profesionales del mundo, en un torneo a cinco partidos que ganó por 4 a 1.

¿Y cuál es la novedad?, dirá usted. Ya pasaron veinte años desde que la computadora Deep Blue de IBM derrotó al campeón mundial de ajedrez Garry Kasparov, y es bien sabido que desde entonces las computadoras han mejorado. Pero Deep Blue ganó por puro poder de cómputo, usando su capacidad para calcular los resultados de más jugadas a más distancia de la actual que lo que puede hacer incluso un campeón mundial. El go se juega en un tablero mucho más grande (una cuadrícula de 19 por 19, en vez de los 8 por 8 escaques del ajedrez) y la cantidad de posibilidades de juego supera a la de átomos en el universo; por eso, el mero poder de cálculo difícilmente bastaría para vencer a un ser humano dotado de un fuerte sentido intuitivo de las mejores jugadas.

En vez de eso, para enseñarle a AlphaGo cómo ganar, se lo hizo jugar una enorme cantidad de partidos contra otros programas y adoptar luego las estrategias exitosas. Podríamos decir que AlphaGo evolucionó hasta convertirse en el mejor jugador de go del mundo, y al hacerlo, consiguió en solo dos años lo que a la selección natural le llevó millones.

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