When a person's intelligence is tested, there are exams. When artificial intelligence is tested, there are games. But what happens when computer programs beat humans at all of those games? This is the question AI experts must ask after a Google-developed program called AlphaGo defeated a world champion Go player in four out of five matches in a series that concluded Tuesday. Long a yardstick for advances in AI, the era of board game testing has come to an end, said Murray Campbell, an IBM research scientist who was part of the team that developed Deep Blue, the first computer program to beat a world chess champion.
First went checkers, then fell chess. Now, a computer program has defeated the world's top player in the ancient east Asian board game of Go -- a major milestone for artificial intelligence that brings to a close the era of board games as benchmarks in computing. At the Four Seasons Hotel in Seoul, Google DeepMind's AlphaGo capped a 3-0 week on Saturday against Lee Sedol, a giant of the game. Lee and AlphaGo were to play again Sunday and Tuesday, but with AlphaGo having already clinched victory in the five-game match, the results are in and history has been made. It was a feat that experts had thought was still years away.
IN 1996 IBM challenged Garry Kasparov to a game of chess against one of its computers, Deep Blue. Mr Kasparov, regarded as one of the best-ever players, won--but Deep Blue won the rematch. Two decades on, computers are much better than humans at chess but remain amateurs when it comes to the much tougher, ancient game of Go. Or at least, they did. Now a computer has managed to thrash a top-drawer human player.
Twelve days into the strangest poker tournament of their lives, Jason Les and his companions returned to their hotel, browbeaten and exhausted. Huddled over a pile of tacos, they strategized, as they had done every night. With about 60,000 hands played -- and 60,000 to go -- they were losing badly to an unusual opponent: a computer program called Libratus, which was up nearly $800,000 in chips. That wasn't supposed to happen. In 2015, Les and a crew of poker pros had beaten a similar computer program, winning about $700,000.
It was hailed as the most significant test of machine intelligence since Deep Blue defeated Garry Kasparov in chess nearly 20 years ago. Google's AlphaGo has won two of the first three games against grandmaster Lee Sedol in a Go tournament, showing the dramatic extent to which AI has improved over the years. That fateful day when machines finally become smarter than humans has never appeared...