Google’s AI beats a professional Go player, an industry first

Google has achieved something major in artificial intelligence (AI) research. A computer system it has built to play the ancient Chinese board game Go has managed to win a match against a professional Go player: the European champion Fan Hui. The research is documented in a paper in this week’s issue of the journal Nature. The Google system, named AlphaGo, swept France’s Hui, who is ranked a 2-dan, in a five-game match at the Google DeepMind office in London in October. AlphaGo played against Hui on a full 19-by-19 Go board and received no handicap. Now, Google is preparing to put AlphaGo up against the highest-ranked Go player, South Korea’s Lee Sedol, at a match in Seoul in March. “If we win the match in March, then that’s sort of…


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