The fundamental disruption introduced by AlphaZero's hyperlearning in the chess world can teach business executives about AI. Many pundits, academics, and economists advise business executives on how artificial intelligence (AI) will augment human performance in the workplace. Some conclude that human-machine interactions will involve machines providing scale and speed with humans offering insights and training data. Despite its broad appeal, the assessment that human-machine interactions are, and will continue to be, exclusively about augmenting humans or teams of humans and machines is shortsighted and underestimates the transformative potential of AI. Some machines are already beginning to learn in virtualized (at least partially) environments with neither human training nor data input from the real world.
A small group of mujahidin is trekking through the mountains. They carry their Kalashnikov rifles on their shoulders, but they are not especially worried. The nearest enemy unit is several hours away. So high in the mountains, they would see them coming from a long distance. There are other dangers, though.
Machines are going to take over the world and leave us humans without jobs. This is the meme going around in mainstream business books on the topic of Artificial Intelligence (AI). This is understandable as the number of things that machines2 can do better than humans is increasing: diagnosing medical conditions, analyzing legal documents, making parole decisions, to name a few. But doing something better doesn't necessarily make machines an alternative to humans. If machines and humans each contribute differently to a capability, then there is opportunity to combine their unique talents to produce an outcome that is better than either one could achieve on their own.
The man versus machine dichotomy has been a staple of pop culture for decades. From 2001: A Space Odyssey to Blade Runner to Terminator to The Matrix and beyond, film makers have envisioned what the world would look like if artificial intelligence took over. However, a new mindset is taking shape -- the era of AI-human hybrid intelligence. This combination of a human brain and a computer intelligence is known as a centaur. The centaur model sparked the growth of freestyle chess, a context in which Garry Kasparov concluded that "weak human machine better process was superior to a strong computer alone and, more remarkable, superior to a strong human machine inferior process."