Google’s computer wins at ancient game of Go

By Elizabeth Hopper Artificial Intelligence has won another victory—literally. Twenty years on from the first time a computer beat the world champion at chess, a programme called AlphaGo has beaten the European champion of the board game Go, Fan Hui, five games to nil. Go is an ancient Chinese board game. Two players take turns to place black and white counters on a 19 x 19 square board, trying to surround the opponent’s pieces to ‘capture’ them, and to form boundaries which enclose the most territory. There are 10^171 possible positions to play in a game compared to the 9 million possible positions in chess, with typically 200 moves allowed per turn against chess’ meagre 20. Go is considered an intuitive game, and players claim there is no way to…


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