Progress in AI seems to be accelerating, according to a paper in *Nature*
from the AI people at Google. See:

They developed a new version of their go-playing program, called AlphaGo
Zero. Features:

Self-training. No use of existing datasets.

Efficient. It uses only 4 processors. The previous version used 48.

Effective. This one beat the old program in 100 to zero matches. (The old
program beat the world's best go player last year).


"This version had taught itself how to play the game. All on its own, given
only the basic rules of the game. (The original, by comparison, learned
from a database of 100,000 Go games.) According to Google’s researchers,
AlphaGo Zero has achieved superhuman-level performance: It won 100–0
against its champion predecessor, AlphaGo."

The same technology is being used to develop software modules. They work
better than human-written modules. Quote:

". . . [R]esearchers announced that Google’s project AutoML had
successfully taught itself to program machine learning software on its own.
While it’s limited to basic programming tasks, the code AutoML created was,
in some cases, better than the code written by its human counterparts. In a
program designed to identify objects in a picture, the AI-created algorithm
achieved a 43 percent success rate at the task. The human-developed code,
by comparison, only scored 39 percent on the task."

- Jed

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