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By The Numbers

Man vs. Machine vs. Nature

Tobin Low Mar 10, 2016

It’s Thursday, and it’s not a great day to be a human. Here are some need-to-know numbers.


In the second of a 5-game tournament played by a world champion Go player and Google’s AlphaGo artificial intelligence program, the computer once again reigned king. We’ve long been fascinated by these man vs. machine competitions, but for a long time it’s mostly been in the realm of chess. The ancient Chinese game of Go, however, is considered more difficult. According to the BBC, Lee Se-dol (the human competitor) said his inability to read physical cues from his opponent is making gameplay more difficult.

So, maybe it’s time to shut down the computers and head back to nature. That is, if we don’t destroy nature first. That’s what New Hampshire is worried about, especially considering a new powerline carrying hydropower from Quebec to the New England grid would travel straight through the state. Conservationists are worried it would destroy some of the natural beauty of the White Mountains, as the current plans only have about a third of the pipe being buried underground. But the folks behind the project say that if they completely buried the pipeline, it would eliminate $800 million in savings.

But not all construction harms the environment. Especially the installation of solar panels. Outdoor wares company Patagonia announced a $35 million fund that will help install solar panels on 1,500 rooftops in eight states. As the New York Times writes, the environmentally conscious company is hoping to inspire others to follow in their footsteps.

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