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Published on Jan 27, 2016
In a paper published in Nature on 28th January 2016, we describe a new approach to computer Go. This is the first time ever that a computer program “AlphaGo” has defeated a human professional player.
The game of Go is widely viewed as an unsolved “grand challenge” for artificial intelligence. Games are a great testing ground for inventing smarter, more flexible algorithms that have the ability to tackle problems in ways similar to humans. The first classic game mastered by a computer was noughts and crosses (also known as tic-tac-toe) in 1952. But until now, one game has thwarted A.I. researchers: the ancient game of Go.
Despite decades of work, the strongest computer Go programs only played at the level of human amateurs. AlphaGo has won over 99% of games against the strongest other computer Go programs. It also defeated the human European champion by 5-0 in tournament games, a feat previously believed to be at least a decade away. In March 2016, AlphaGo will face its ultimate challenge: a 5-game challenge match in Seoul against the legendary Lee Sedol—the top Go player in the world over the past decade