Can computers figure out what’s important?
The real world is too complex to be modelled in detail, so a Dutch researcher is helping computers prioritise what’s important to get things done
In 2017, a computer beat the world’s top-ranked human at the ancient Chinese game of Go. It was a landmark in artificial intelligence, and used a process known as sequential decision making: a decision is made, an event occurs, another decision follows, another event, and so on. But can such techniques be scaled to address the highly complex challenges confronting human beings in the real world, such as optimising the use of limited road space in dense urban areas? For Frans Oliehoek, the answer is no.