Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL)’s Artificial Intelligence (AI) system, has successfully in a series of five matches worn against Fan Hui, a professional Go player. According to Google press release, previous computers have only managed to play the game as amateur making this victory quite significant. AlphaGo has also won all but one match against other top AI Go programs. This victory is a continued mark of success in the AI program for Google’s AI, DeeMind.
Games have been a preferred platform for developers to test their artificial intelligence. The fixed rule-bond system allows a fair environment for a focused AI to compete with a human. These types of tests were started as early as 1954 with tic-tac-toe and then followed by checkers in 1994. Chess was one of the games, which brought a much difficult challenge, but International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM)’s Deep Blue defeated Garry Kasparov in 1997. Kasparov was one of the greatest chess players in history. In 2011, IBM’s Watson defeated two Jeopardy champions.
Google AI made their headlines last year when it managed to teach itself successfully over a dozen Atari games by just using a pixel input. With the AlphaGo success, it increases their ability to develop competitive AI. AlphaGo beat Hui last October despite the announcement being today. It used a combination of two “deep neutral networks. One of them was ’policy network” which predicts the opponent next move and the second ‘value network’ which estimate the winner of each position.
It is worth noting that AlphaGo played thousands of games, and it gradually improved its techniques through each win and defeat. Over time, it discovered and developed new strategies to use while playing the game.
AlphaGo’s win against Hui is not the end of the road for this computer in the Go game. It is scheduled in March to challenge the top Go player in the world, Lee Sedol, who has been the world’s Go champion for ten years. Hui’s success is more restricted towards the European region. It will be particularly interesting to see how this would go.
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Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) has also announced its efforts with artificial intelligence. According to a post from founder Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook has made substantial progress starting last year. Its AI program is also scheduled to play the Go game.