A human playing chess against a robot


In the dynamic world of artificial intelligence (AI), benchmarks for success are as stable as a house of cards in a wind tunnel. We’ve seen AI go from playing checkers to contemplating the nuances of Shakespeare, and yet, there’s always a ‘but’ lurking around the corner. This post explores AI’s journey and the ever-shifting goalposts set by those who are hard to impress.

The Early Years: Chess as the Benchmark

Remember when AI beating a human at chess was the holy grail? Then 1997 happened, and IBM’s Deep Blue did just that against Garry Kasparov. While many were awed, others shrugged it off. It’s just a game, right? How hard can it be for a computer to move some pieces on a board?

The Shift to More Complex Games: The Era of Go

So, the AI community took up a new challenge: Go, a game so intricate that it makes chess look like tic-tac-toe. When AlphaGo trumped Lee Sedol in 2016, you’d think that would silence the skeptics. Nope. Apparently, winning at Go was still not ‘real thinking’ – just another party trick by our silicon show-offs.

The Emergence of Creative AI: Beyond Games

Next up, AI decided to get artsy. Language Models like GPT-3 started crafting poetry, and image generators began producing art that could hang in galleries. But, lo and behold, the goalposts moved again. “It’s just algorithms imitating human creativity,” they said. Well, isn’t imitation the sincerest form of flattery?

The Ever-Moving Goalpost: What’s Next?

Now we’re at a point where discussions about AI are peppered with terms like ‘AGI’ (Artificial General Intelligence) and ‘ASI’ (Artificial Superintelligence). But let’s be real, even if AI reaches this point, there will be debates about the uniqueness of the ‘soul’ or some other intangible human quality. It’s like playing whack-a-mole with AI achievements.

Implications for Humanity and Ethics in AI

The relentless march of AI does raise serious questions, though. We’re not just talking about who’s going to win at board games or create a masterpiece. The real debate lies in how AI impacts jobs, ethics, and the very fabric of society. But let’s face it, some will always argue that AI lacks the ‘human touch,’ whatever that means in an age where your coffee maker knows your morning routine better than you do.


As AI continues to evolve, breaking new ground and then some, it’s clear that for some, it will never be enough. From mastering chess to possibly achieving AGI, AI’s journey has been met with awe, skepticism, and a bit of eye-rolling. But one thing is certain: AI is redefining success in ways we never imagined, and perhaps it’s time we start appreciating the view from these new heights, rather than constantly looking for the next mountain to climb.