Is this the next wave in computer chess (and perhaps not only chess)? London programmer Matthew Lai wrote a program, which in turn taught itself to play chess (I think they mean to play well), and in three days of "self-programming" it managed to reach IM strength. Contrary to what the article seems to suggest, that is a long, long way from the strength of the best programs (it's 800+ points away), but it's still an impressive accomplishment, especially if this is just the first go-round for the approach.
But let's not worry too much. As long as we're nice to our coming computer overlords, they'll at least put (some of) us in people zoos. (For long-time readers of the blog, fear not: I remain a substance dualist. But even if I'm right and robots only simulate intelligence and are never conscious, they could still be just as dangerous as if they were.)
HT: David Korn