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In March 2016, a quite milestone passed for humanity. AlphaGo, an AI system developed by Google’s DeepMind, defeated Lee Se-dol, the best GO player in the world. After game two, Lee said he felt “speechless.” The ancient Chinese game is considered the most complex game ever devised by humans—it has more possible configurations than atoms in the universe. “I misjudged the capabilities of AlphaGo and felt powerless,” Lee confessed. During the game, AlphaGo applied deep learning through neural networks—like the brain, it taught itself to play and improved through examples and experience. How is this different than being human? Lee stated that “robots will never understand the beauty of the game the same way that we humans do”… but this may be up for debate. For this second session in the spring 2021 series, we will discuss what makes us authentically human and how AI might be gaining ground.
Kadri Vihvelin, Professor of Philosophy
Professor Vihvelin's research is focused on topics in metaphysics and ethics, especially free will and the theory of action, time travel, causation, counterfactuals, dispositions, moral responsibility, and the doing/allowing distinction.
Richard Lemarchand, Associate Professor in the Interactive Media Division
Richard Lemarchand is a game designer, a writer, a public speaker and a consultant. Between 2004 and 2012, Richard was a Lead Game Designer at Naughty Dog in Santa Monica, California. He led the design of all three games in the Uncharted series including Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception, and Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, winner of ten AIAS Interactive Achievement Awards, five Game Developers Choice Awards, four BAFTAs and over 200 Game of the Year awards. Richard has made storytelling action games the focus of his career, and he is interested in the way that narrative, aesthetics and gameplay work together to hold a player’s attention and facilitate the expression of their agency. He regularly speaks in public on the subjects of game design, development, production, philosophy and culture, and organizes the annual GDC Microtalks, a session which celebrates games and play with short talks by diverse speakers. He is also a faculty member of the GDC Experimental Gameplay Sessions.