Economy, Sci & Tech

Google AI Beats Go Champion

Google AI Beats Go ChampionGoogle AI Beats Go Champion

Google’s DeepMind AlphaGo artificial intelligence (AI) has defeated the world’s number one Go player Ke Jie.

AlphaGo secured the victory after winning the second game in a three-part match against the Chinese champion, BBC and Reuters reported.

DeepMind founder Demis Hassabis said Ke Jie had played “perfectly” and “pushed AlphaGo right to the limit.”

Following the defeat, Ke Jie told reporters: “I’m a little bit sad, it’s a bit of a regret because I think I played pretty well.”

Go is an ancient Chinese abstract strategy board game for two players, in which the aim is to surround more territory than the opponent.

In Go, players take turns placing stones on a 19-by-19 grid, competing to take control of the most territory.

It is considered to be one of the world’s most complex games, and is far more challenging for computers than the game of chess to work out all the possible moves. AlphaGo imitates the way neurons work in the human brain.

 In Medical Fields Eventually

AlphaGo has built up its expertise by studying older matches and playing thousands of games against itself.

The company says the eventual plan is to deploy its artificial intelligence “in areas of medicine and science.”

Prof Noel Sharkey, a computer scientist at Sheffield University, said it is still a long way from creating a general intelligence.

“It is an incredible achievement and most experts thought an AI winning at Go was 20 years away so DeepMind is leading the field but this AI doesn’t have general intelligence. It doesn’t know that it is playing a game and it can’t make you a cup of tea afterwards.”

Prof Nello Cristianini, from Bristol University, added: “This is machine learning in action and it proves that machines are very capable but it is not general intelligence. No-one has built that yet.”

Cristianini added that while competition at a gaming level is fine, it should not govern how we view our relationship with intelligent machines going forward.

DeepMind has already begun working with the UK’s National Health Service to develop apps and other tools for diagnosis.

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