AlphaZero, the game-playing AI created by Google sibling DeepMind, has beaten the world's best chess-playing computer program, having taught itself how to play in under four hours. The repurposed AI, which has repeatedly beaten the world's best Go players as AlphaGo, has been generalised so that it can now learn other games. It took just four hours to learn the rules to chess before beating the world champion chess program, Stockfish 8, in a 100-game match up. Artificial Intelligence has various definitions, but in general it means a program that uses data to build a model of some aspect of the world. This model is then used to make informed decisions and predictions about future events.
News of a specialized computer program beating human champions at games like chess and Go might not surprise people as much as it might have before, as it did when Deep Blue beat world chess champ Garry Kasparov back in 1997, or even more recently when Google DeepMind's AI AlphaGo beat Lee Sedol in a stunning upset back in 2016.
Google's Artificial Intelligence can now teach itself to beat humans at complex games without using knowledge given to it by human developers. AlphaZero, the game-playing AI created by Google sibling DeepMind, is able to master games like chess, shogi and Go just by reading the rule book. The'superhuman' computer program teaches itself to play these games with no prior knowledge except each game's rules. A study, led by American Association for the Advancement of science, shows that the program was able to teach itself the intricacies of each game until mastered. Google's AlphaZero has defeated one of the best chess programs in the world after learning the game from scratch in just four hours.
About three years ago, DeepMind, a company owned by Google that specializes in AI development, turned its attention to the ancient game of Go. Go had been the one game that had eluded all computer efforts to become world class, and even up until the announcement was deemed a goal that would not be attained for another decade! This was how large the difference was. When a public challenge and match was organized against the legendary player Lee Sedol, a South Korean whose track record had him in the ranks of the greatest ever, everyone thought it would be an interesting spectacle, but a certain win by the human. The question wasn't even whether the program AlphaGo would win or lose, but how much closer it was to the Holy Grail goal. The result was a crushing 4-1 victory, and a revolution in the Go world. In spite of a ton of second-guessing by the elite, who could not accept the loss, eventually they came to terms with the reality of AlphaGo, a machine that was among the very best, albeit not unbeatable. It had lost a game after all.