Google AI defeats human playing Go

Google's artificial intelligence software masters the ancient Chinese board game Go

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Google AI defeats human playing Go Google’s DeepMind is now preparing the software for a competition in Seoul against the world’s best Go player
By  Aasha Bodhani Published  January 28, 2016

Google has developed the first artificial intelligence software, AlphaGo, to have mastered the art of playing Chinese board game, Go, and beat professional human players.

The search giant announced its UK-based research group, Google DeepMind, developed AI software, AlphaGo and unlike any other computer, managed to beat three-time European Go champion Fan Hui.

Go was invented over 2,500 years ago. It typically consists of a 19-by-19 square board, where players use black and white stones to attempt to capture empty areas and surround their opponent's stones. The complex game can be likened to chess, but where chess offers 20 possible choices per moves, Go provides the player with 200.

The research company took on a different approach and instead used ‘Deep Learning' to understand the game; a technique which can pick up the moves it thought most likely to win.     

"Many of the best programmers in the world were asked last year how long it would take for a program to beat a top professional, and most of them were predicting 10-plus years," said DeepMind's chief executive, Demis Hassabis.

"The reasons it was quicker than people expected was the pace of the innovation going on with the underlying algorithms and also how much more potential you can get by combining different algorithms together."

Facebook has also revealed it is working on its own AI project and is ‘getting closer' to beating professional human players at Go.

Google's DeepMind is now preparing the software for a competition in Seoul against the world's best Go player in March.

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