Artificial Intelligence beats human at board game

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Google have said that they have built a system that is capable of beating the best human players at Go, the ancient Asian board game.

“It is a monumental moment in the on-going research of Artificial Intelligence (AI) that is similar to the moment chess champion Garry Kasparov lost to an IBM computer called Deep Blue in 1997,” says Sky News.


The ancient board game looks tricky to the untrained eye!

The board game Go involves placing black and white tiles on a 19×19 board while trying to remove your opponents pieces. Because there are so many squares and placing combinations it is much harder for a computer to master than chess. On each turn in chess, there are 35 legal moves, whereas in Go there are around 250.

According to Sky News, Google revealed that the three-time European Go champion Fan Hui was beaten 5-0 in a series of games at the company’s headquarters in King’s Cross, London, and although the game was played last October, the details of the match have only just been revealed following an extensive interview.

The software, called AlphaGo, uses ‘deep learning’ which according to DeepMind, the software makers, enables AlphaGo to build its understanding of the game, it then picks the moves that are most likely to lead to victory.

Could this be the beginning of the “AI’s rise to power,” that Stephen Hawking warned us about in his most recent lecture? Click here to watch the BBC’s excellent interview with Dr Hawking.

Katy, Year 9

Walton Girls’ YJA Newsroom