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  • Two players just played the Chinese board game Go.

  • The game was between Lee Se-dol, the world's top Go player, and the computer program.

  • The computer won.

  • And to understand why this is significant, you need to understand more about the ambitions of DeepMind, the British company owned by Google.

  • DeepMind built AlphaGo, the artificially intelligent system that just beat Mr. Se-dol at Go.

  • The message we want to send with this game, with this AlphaGo system, is how flexible and powerful learning algorithms can be.

  • So far, computer engineers have been able to built machines that can beat humans at games like chess.

  • In 1997, IBM's Deep Blue super computer famously beat world champion Garry Kasparov.

  • With Deep Blue, program was built, a system that was able to analyze every possible outcome of every possible move.

  • But Go's a much much more complicated game than chess.

  • There are more possible positions on a Go board than there are atoms in the universe.

  • This is too much information for even the most powerful super computer to process.

  • So DeepMind took a different approach:

  • It created an artificially intelligent system based on neural networks, much like the brain.

  • It tries to learn and think like people.

  • In the case of AlphaGo, it's played millions and millions of games against itself, learning from past mistakes and adapting each time.

  • All of this could have significance to the wider world beyond the Go board.

  • If DeepMind and other AI experts can create systems that think like us,

  • it could have truly profound implications on the way we ordinary humans live our lives.

  • Murad Ahmed, Financial Times.

Two players just played the Chinese board game Go.

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