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You sound like the kinda person who says "AI will never drive," "AI will never play Go." True there's a lot of hype, which ML experts are concerned may lead to another burst & winter. On the flip-side there's a lot of curmudgeonly nay-sayers such as yourself at which ML experts roll their eyes and forge ahead. What I find is both extremes don't understand ML, they're just repeating their peers. ML is big, and it's gonna do big things. Not "only Go", not "take over the world"; somewhere in between.

I'm actually very optimistic about the state of AI and ML lately. The difference is that I don't anthropomorphize the machines or ascribe human values to their behavior. I absolutely believe AI will drive (and save lives); I have always believed that AI will play Go; I believe that AI will grow to match and surpass humans in many things we assume that only humans can do. Humans aren't perfect, but that doesn't mean that machines who outperform us are perfect either.

AlphaGo plays Go. It probably doesn't play Go like a human (because a human probably can't do what it does), but that's OK because it also appears to be better than humans. AlphaGo is interesting not because it has done something impossible, but because it has proven possible a few novel ideas that could find other interesting applications, and adds another notch to the belt of a few other tried and tested techniques.

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