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Google's 'superhuman' DeepMind AI claims chess crown

BBC News

Google says its AlphaGo Zero artificial intelligence program has triumphed at chess against world-leading specialist software within hours of teaching itself the game from scratch. The firm's DeepMind division says that it played 100 games against Stockfish 8, and won or drew all of them. The research has yet to be peer reviewed. But experts already suggest the achievement will strengthen the firm's position in a competitive sector. "From a scientific point of view, it's the latest in a series of dazzling results that DeepMind has produced," the University of Oxford's Prof Michael Wooldridge told the BBC.


Should you let a 'robot' manage your retirement income?

BBC News

Basically, you answer lots of questions online about your income, expenses, family situation, attitude to risk, and so on, and then the algorithm allocates your savings to a mix of investments, from index funds that aim to mimic a particular stock market index or sector, to fixed-income bonds. As some investments are riskier than others, younger investors will generally have their portfolios weighted towards higher-risk, higher-growth investments, whereas older investors approaching retirement will see the balance of their portfolios weighted towards lower-risk, fixed income investments, such as government bonds or gilts. That's peanuts compared to human advisers' fees, which come in at about £580 for advice on a £200-a-month pension contribution, or £1,000-£2,000 for guidance on what to do with your £100,000 pot when your retire, according to UK adviser network Unbiased. "When a client needs advice spanning a number of different regulatory regimes, human advice will be required," says John Perks, managing director of life and pensions at UK insurer LV, which launched its Retirement Wizard robo-advice service two years ago.


AI seeks fantasy football challengers

BBC News

Computer scientists at University of Southampton are testing an artificially intelligent tool for predicting Premier League football results. The machine learning algorithm has managed to beat BBC football commentator Mark Lawrenson's predictions for two seasons in a row. Fantasy football is a game in which users assemble an imaginary team of real-life footballers and score points based on the players' actual statistical performance during the season. Fantasy managers can compete with Squadguru's AI in the Challenge the Squadguru league in the free Fantasy Premier League salary cap game by entering league code 2917382-677658.


England v West Indies: How to handle the threat of being dropped

BBC News

I watched England's final Test against South Africa and really felt for Keaton Jennings. The lack of backing I received was because of my poor performances against New Zealand, but I reckon if I could have been allowed to move through that challenging learning experience of my first real dip in form as an England player, I would have been better for it. Moving through the difficult learning process of being a newcomer to Test cricket is not straightforward and, should a player receive the full support of selection when experiencing a dip in form, it offers a healthy return on the investment of your initial selection. In reality, as much as performance matters so much to you as an individual, there is so much more that matters than scoring runs and the England cricket team winning matches and series.