Computer beats human at Go A player places a black stone while his opponent waits to place a white one as they play Go, a game of strategy, in the Seattle Go Center, Tuesday, April 30, 2002. (AP Photo/Cheryl Hatch/Thinkstock)
Computer beats human at Go
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A computer program has beaten a human champion at the ancient Chinese board game Go. It marked a significant advance for development of artificial intelligence.
 
The program had taught itself how to win. Its developers say its learning strategy may someday let computers help solve real-world problems. Those could include making medical diagnoses and pursuing scientific research.
 
The program and its victory are described in a paper released by the journal Nature.
 
Computers previously have surpassed humans for other games. Those include chess, checkers and backgammon. But among classic games, Go has long been viewed as the most challenging for artificial intelligence to master.
 
Go originated in China more than 2,500 years ago. The game involves two players who take turns putting markers on a checkerboard-like grid. The object is to surround more area on the board with the markers than one's opponent. Players capture the opponent's pieces by surrounding them.
 
The rules are simple. But playing it is not. It's "probably the most complex game ever devised by humans," Dennis Hassabis of Google DeepMind in London, one of the study authors, told reporters.
 
The new program is called AlphaGo. It beat the European champion in all five games of a match in October, the Nature paper reports.
 
In March, AlphaGo will face legendary player Lee Sedol in Seoul, South Korea, for a $1 million prize, Hassabis said.
 
Martin Mueller is a computing science professor at the University of Alberta in Canada that has worked on Go programs for 30 years. He didn't participate in AlphaGo. He said the new program "is really a big step up from everything else we've seen. It's a very, very impressive piece of work."

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
What was key to the computer's success?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (81)
  • masonm1-joh
    2/03/2016 - 11:34 a.m.

    It is hard to believe that a computer beat a human at go. Go has been around for a long time.

  • 13loredo,destiny-pai
    2/03/2016 - 01:01 p.m.

    This was really easy. I hope that the rest id like this!

  • 5cruz,sanson-pai
    2/03/2016 - 01:04 p.m.

    the program was the key

  • 4austin,lacey-pai
    2/03/2016 - 01:05 p.m.

    The program was the key.

  • ryand-lam
    2/03/2016 - 02:33 p.m.

    The key to the computers success in the game GO was that it was slightly able to solve real world problems that involve thinking ahead and logical thinking. Later down in the future, this new technology can be used to help solve real world problems so this technological breakthrough is a very big deal.

  • melissaj-Ste
    2/03/2016 - 04:28 p.m.

    This is just another step closer to the era of human submission to the artificial intelligent race. I do believe that creating smarter computers will help us for all the things that we lack, but by doing that we end up replacing the humans we are trying to help, especially blue-collar jobs. Most simple jobs that can be done simply on a high school education are run by computers forcing people to pay money to go to school and hope they land a job after college.

  • samuelh-3-bar
    2/03/2016 - 06:08 p.m.

    The key to the computers success at GO was that the computer taught its self how to win after a certain amount of loses. Making the computer able for other things not just games, like it might eventually be able to find cures for cancer or other sicknesses, the computer might be able to find a solution for global warning.

  • markm-3-bar
    2/03/2016 - 10:57 p.m.

    The key to the computers success was that it taught itself how to play the game and was able to think better and farther then the human brain was able to. I think it'll be interesting who wins with the Korean dude playing. A $1 million prize is a lot of money for an ancient game. I think that the computer will win because it is very advanced and smarter.

  • natalier-4-bar
    2/03/2016 - 11:23 p.m.

    The thing that was key to the computers success at winning Go was probably that,"The program had taught itself how to win. Its developers say its learning strategy may someday let computers help solve real-world problems."(paragraph two). Since the program had such a strong learning strategy that it could help solve real-world problems it was already an overly smart computer, it could do much more than just play a game of Go, even though it is a very difficult game. The computer was also programmed to learn how to win so that was another major key point in the computer winning the Go game. I liked this article I think it is interesting to learn about all the amazing advancements in technology our world is making.

  • laurenh-612-
    2/04/2016 - 09:04 a.m.

    I think the key it the programming. You need to teach, (or program in this case) the computer the right things in order to successfully achieve the task. Succeed, and you have programmed the computer correctly. Fail, and its back to the drawing board.

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