Computers have competed with humans in games such as chess, backgammon and Atari’s Breakout. However, if there is a game that has eluded them so far, it is the Chinese board game called Go. This game dates back to 2500 years ago in history.
The particular AI competition has gotten the attention of a huge fan base on Facebook and Google. Google’s software that can play Go has managed to beat some human beings who are pros at the game. This is a miracle of sorts.
An article was published concerning this fact in the science journal Nature. Google DeepMind is behind the whole venture. A competition is about to be held between the computer and a professional player who is really good at the game in Seoul, South Korea.
As a matter of fact, he happens to be the best player in the world. In 1996, IBM’s Deep Blue defeated the world chess champion. It was a landmark in AI.
But when it comes to Go, it happens to be a difficult proposal. Go is a pretty complex game and cannot be played with the ease of say chess or backgammon.
Go consists of a 19 X 19 square board where players try to capture empty regions and surround the enemy’s pieces. Chess normally allows some 20 moves per game.
But Go has a variety of moves that extend all the way up to 200. There is still a great deal of speculation over the match that will take place.
Deep Mind is more or less used to thinking in ways that are close to human thought processes. And so there is indeed a chance that it might win when it comes to the game of Go.
Computer scientists have been at the goal of cracking the Go code for years. Even Facebook is working on the same project. However, all this has consequences that extend far beyond mere game-playing.
The systems of Google and Facebook can be used to gain insights from a huge amount of data within seconds using these methods which are now being employed in the playing of an old Chinese game.
The fact that AI has taken a quantum leap means that things are beginning to pick up speed. Google DeepMind employs over 200 AI experts.
And as the time for the competition comes closer, a jackpot prize of one million dollars has been put aside for the winner of the game of Go in opposition to a computer.
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