Google Computer Beats Professional Go Player

 

A massive accomplishment has been made in the development of artificial intelligence. For the first time a computer has beaten a professional go player. For decades humans have been creating computers to play games. This may be a combination of a deep fear, that all scientist secretly share, of having to interact with other humans and their general their love of board games, or it may be because board games require decision making skills. The more complex they are, the more intelligence and skill are required to play them well making them a perfect way to measure a computer’s thinking power. In the past scientist have created computers capable of playing and winning at backgammon, checkers and chess. The last of which involves a rather famous incident where the computer Deep Blue beat the reigning world champion Gary Kasparov. So what is go and why is this a bigger leap than beating Kasparov you might ask? Well go is an ancient Chinese game with relatively simple rules, the difference for a computer is more of scale than anything else. There are approximately 4,670,033 possible variations on a chess game which is certainly quite a large number, but not out of the realm of possibility for a computer to analyze and predict its opponents moves. Go however has a possible 2.082 × 10^170 variations, which is a number so large it is hard to comprehend. Just let the enormity of that number sink in. Here is a link to their published paper.

-SMS

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