The human mind can’t keep up with algorithms that tap vast data sets. The latest example is Google’s convolutional neural network called PlaNet that can identify where photos were taken based on the pixels in the image.
Humans should know better than to take on machines. John Henry managed to outrace a steam drill, as American folktales tell it, but his victory came at the cost of his life. Since then, we’ve accepted that machines dig faster than we can by hand.
Though machines have more strength than humans, for a time we consoled ourselves that we could outthink them. But that’s becoming less and less true. In 2011, Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter tried to outwit IBM’s Watson in a game of Jeopardy and lost, just as chess masters and Go experts have done against artificial intelligence opponents.