by Floro Mercene
Go is an ancient strategy board game that’s been popular for at least 2,500 years.
The simple rules and deep strategies have intrigued people of any age. It is played by millions of people.
AlphaGo is the AI (artificial intelligence) created to play the game of Go. It became the first Computer Go program to beat a human professional Go player without handicaps. In March 2016, it beat 18-time world champion Lee Sedol in a five-game match. At the 2017 Future of Go Summit, AlphaGo beat Ke Jie, the world No.1 ranked player at the time, in a three-game match. Google’s AlphaGo already beat humans to become the best at the Chinese board game of Go.
AlphaGo, the A.I. that has consistently defeated the world’s greatest human Go players over the last two years has retired from the game.
The latest iteration of the computer program is the most advanced, outperforming AlphaGo. DeepMind, the Alphabet subsidiary behind the artificial intelligence, just announced AlphaGo Zero. Previous versions of AlphaGo initially trained on thousands of human amateur and professional games to learn how to play Go. AlphaGo Zero skips this step and learns to play simply by playing games against itself, starting from completely random play. It is able to do this by using a novel form of reinforcement learning, in which AlphaGo Zero becomes its own teacher. After just three days of self-play training, AlphaGo Zero emphatically defeated the previous AlphaGo. After 40 days of self training, AlphaGo Zero became even stronger, outperforming the version of AlphaGo known as “Master”, which has defeated the world’s best players and world number one Ke Jie. Over the course of millions of AlphaGo vs AlphaGo games, the system progressively learned the game of Go from scratch, accumulating thousands of years of human knowledge during a period of just a few days.
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