Self Taught A.I. Beats Go ‘World Master’…At His Own Game

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AlphaGo, which is Google’s most advanced artificial intelligence took on the Go world champion and beat him 4-1. And the startlingly thing is that AlphaGo is self taught, and learned how to play Go entirely on it’s own. DeepMind programmed AlphaGo to be capable of teaching itself, not just carrying out a set of fixed moves or activities. This exactly the type of A.I. Musk and Hawking fear most a machine that can program itself to think and win.

Previous achievements of machines over masterminds — such as Deep Blue’s defeat of chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov in 1997, or IBM Watson’s Jeopardy! triumph in 2011 relied on programmed moves. AlphaGo, was acquired by Google for around $500 million in 2014. It was created by London-based DeepMind, a British artificial intelligence company. DeepMind’s CEO Demis Hassabis said, “What an amazing and complex game! AlphaGo pushed the Chinese professional Ke Jie right to the limit.”

Go is a Chinese Board Game that is 2,500-year-old game, and it is famous for its deep complexity, boundless possibility of moves and strategic thinking. It is considered to be a much more complex challenge for a computer than chess. Computer scientists had struggled for years to get computers to excel at the game.In Go, two players alternate placing white and black stones on a grid. The goal is to claim the most territory. To do so, you surround your opponent’s pieces so that they’re removed from the board.

AlphaGo’s beat the European Go champion – Lee Se-dol last year— a legend in the game —Mr Lee had been confident he would win before the competition started. “AlphaGo played consistently from beginning to the end while Lee, as he is only human, showed some mental vulnerability,” one of Lee’s former coaches, Kwon Kap-Yong.

Indeed, the fact that Lee chalked up one match victory and pushed the machine hard shows that it is not impenetrable and is also capable of making mistakes or being outwitted. In other words, there’s still scope for further progress and development despite this incredible achievement.

“The winner here, no matter what happens, is humanity,”  said an overly optimistic Eric Schmidt and perhaps he was referring to the $1 million purse riding on it — has been decided.

 

 

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