AlphaGo retires from competitive Go after defeating world number one 3-0

Sam Byford:

AlphaGo rose to prominence a little over a year ago when it unexpectedly defeated legendary player Lee Se-dol 4-1 in a match held in Seoul. Most computer scientists expected the feat of beating a top Go player with artificial intelligence to be decades away due to the game’s complexity and nuance, but with this week’s comprehensive defeat of Ke Jie the matter has been settled.
 “The research team behind AlphaGo will now throw their considerable energy into the next set of grand challenges, developing advanced general algorithms that could one day help scientists as they tackle some of our most complex problems, such as finding new cures for diseases, dramatically reducing energy consumption, or inventing revolutionary new materials,” Hassabis says. “If AI systems prove they are able to unearth significant new knowledge and strategies in these domains too, the breakthroughs could be truly remarkable. We can’t wait to see what comes next.”

Hard to overstate how incredible this is. The general consensus was that it would take decades for a machine to master Go. A couple years later, the machine is retiring because it has so utterly dominated the best human players in the world. On to the next challenge, literally.


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