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DeepMinds AlphaGo Trades Games for Science

first_imgStay on target AlphaGo, you’ve just been crowned world Go champion. What are you going to do next?The research team behind Google’s elite algorithm is moving on to “the next set of grand challenges: developing advanced general algorithms that could one day help scientists tackle some of our most complex problems.”According to DeepMind CEO Demis Hassabis and lead researcher Dave Silver, that including curing diseases, reducing energy consumption, and inventing new materials.“We’ve been humbled by the Go community’s reaction to AlphaGo, and the way professional and amateur players have embraced its insights about this ancient game,” a company blog post said. “We plan to bring that same excitement and insight to a range of new fields and try to address some of the most important and urgent scientific challenges of our time. We hope that the story of AlphaGo is just the beginning.”In early 2016, the pair introduced AlphaGo, which handily won all but one of its 500 games against top artificial intelligence Go programs and beat three-time European champ Fan Hui five games to zero.The system made headlines last year when it won four of five matches against world champion Lee Sedol, then again last week after defeating reigning No. 1 player 19-year-old Ke Jie.“While AlphaGo is stepping back from competitive play, it’s certainly not the end of our work with the Go community, to which we owe a huge debt of gratitude for their encouragement and motivation over the past few years,” Hassabis and Silver said, tipping a final academic paper and new teaching tool.“Just like our first AlphaGo paper, we hope that other developers will pick up the baton, and use these new advances to build their own set of strong Go programs,” the DeepMind team said.Players and fans, meanwhile, can keep an eye out for a new tool, developed in collaboration with Jie, which gives unprecedented insight into how AlphaGo thinks.Invented in China more than 2,500 years ago and played by more than 40 million people worldwide, Go requires players to place black or white stones on a board and capture the opponent’s pieces or surround empty spaces to build territories.Despite its apparent simplicity, the game features more possible moves than there are atoms in the universe, eliminating traditional “brute force” AI methods, which simply search for all conceivable sequences of moves.“We wanted to give a special gift to fans of Go around the world,” Silver and Hassabis said, unveiling a “special set of 50 AlphaGo vs AlphaGo games, played at full length time controls, which we believe contain many new and interesting ideas and strategies.” 50 Attorneys General Launch Bipartisan Probe Into GoogleYouTube Fined $170M For Alleged Child Privacy Law Violation last_img read more