DeepMind Chess: Google's AlphaZero AI Beats Champion Software

Google's AI became the world's best chess player in just four hours

Google's AI became the world's best chess player in just four hours

Essentially, the AI absorbed humanity's entire history of chess in one-sixth of a day - and then figured out how to beat anyone or anything.

"The game of chess represented the pinnacle of AI research over several decades".

"Many have become chess masters; no one has become the master of chess".

AlphaZero was developed at Google's DeepMind labs and is a more generic version of AlphaGo Zero, the AI that ousted the human champion of Go, a Chinese board game considered to be the most hard strategy game in the world. In October, DeepMind CEO Demis Hassabis said, "If [AlphaZero] can be applied to other structured problems, such as protein folding, reducing energy consumption, or searching for revolutionary new materials, the resulting breakthroughs have the potential to drive forward human understanding and positively impact all of our lives".

It learnt by playing simulations against itself. However, in a slight blow to the human ego, it might have actually hindered the AI, considering that AlphaGo Zero's fully self-reliant learning was so much more effective in a one-on-one competition. It doesn't play just chess, but also Shogi (Japanese chess) as well as Go - and it took only two and eight hours respectively to master these games. In October, AlphaGo Zero demolished every AI version that preceded it - a victory that an MIT computer scientist told Gizmodo was like watching "an alien civilization inventing its own mathematics". With these newly acquired skills, AlphaZero successfully beat Stockfish, the world's reigning champion for chess playing programs.

"What we're seeing here is a model free from human bias and presuppositions".

The research has yet to be peer...

This is far from the first time in recent memory that artificial intelligence has beaten a game champion.

While these feats are impressive in their own right, the true shock is that, unlike DeepMind, AlphaZero was not designed with the ability to master these and similar games in mind.

"I always wondered how it would be if a superior species landed on Earth and showed us how they played chess", grandmaster Peter Heine Nielsen told the BBC.

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