Monday 26 September 2016

Google computer beats 'Go' champion in first match

Published 09/03/2016 | 08:42

Go player Lee Sedol (R) looks on after putting the first stone against Google's artificial intelligence program AlphaGo as Google DeepMind's lead programmer Aja Huang (L) prepares for the first stone during the Google DeepMind Challenge Match in Seoul, South Korea, in this handout picture provided by Korea Baduk Assosication and released by News1 on March 9, 2016. REUTERS/Korea Baduk Association/News1
Go player Lee Sedol (R) looks on after putting the first stone against Google's artificial intelligence program AlphaGo as Google DeepMind's lead programmer Aja Huang (L) prepares for the first stone during the Google DeepMind Challenge Match in Seoul, South Korea, in this handout picture provided by Korea Baduk Assosication and released by News1 on March 9, 2016. REUTERS/Korea Baduk Association/News1

A Google computer programme has defeated a human opponent in the first of five matches of a complex Chinese board game called Go.

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The victory by AlphaGo, the artificial intelligence programme developed by Google DeepMind, over South Korean Go champion Lee Sedol is significant because the ancient Chinese game, one of the most creative and complex to be devised, was difficult for computers to master.

The near-infinite number of board positions in Go requires players to rely on intuition in making their moves. AlphaGo was designed to mimic that intuition in tackling complex tasks.

Artificial intelligence experts had forecast it would take another decade for computers to beat professional Go players, until AlphaGo beat a European Go champion last year.

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