The resounding win by a Google artificial intelligence program over a champion in the complex board game Go this month was a statement -- not so much to professional game players as to Google's competitors. Many of the tech industry's biggest companies, like Amazon, Google, IBM and Microsoft, are jockeying to become the go-to company for A.I. In the industry's lingo, the companies are engaged in a "platform war." A platform, in technology, is essentially a piece of software that other companies build on and that consumers cannot do without. Become the platform and huge profits will follow.
Facebook continues its efforts to create artificial intelligence capable of outclassing all humans at the ancient Chinese strategy board game Go. The social media company recently published a research paper showcasing the progress it made with the DarkForest bots, which use a synergy of methods to be the best Go players available. Yuandong Tian and Yan Zhu, AI researchers at Facebook, explain how the computer program behaves in the abstract of the paper. "Against human players, [darkfores2 achieves] a stable 3d level on KGS Go Server as a ranked bot," the duo points out [pdf]. This is a visible improvement over the predicted 4k-5k ranks for DCNN that Clark & Storkey (2015) reported after studying matches against other machine players.
Five'table ronde' or round table were organised mostly with academics on the different aspects of the societal moves due to Artificial Intelligence (AI or IA in French): It was pointed that some milestone progress on deep learning has been achieved. Machines have surpassed human champions in most intellectually challenging games, including Chess, Scrabble, Othello, even Jeopardy. On March 2016, the Google AlphaGo DeepMind's Artificial Intelligence program beat Lee Sedol, the strongest Go player in the world. Go--a 2,500-year-old game is far more complex than Chess. An exceptional powerful computer had to process more than 30 million moves.
By all accounts, 2016 has been an extraordinary year for Silicon Valley. Not only have the technology behemoths mustered a growing influence on Capitol Hill, their sheer market capitalization also testifies to one undeniable fact: They are the ones who change the world. The tech industry's missions are unapologetic and filled with passion. Their corporate myths are often wrapped up in their early days as startups. That some awkward twenty-year-old could turn their social ineptness into their biggest advantage and build a global enterprise from their garage is the highest expression of the American dream.