They said it wouldn’t be able to beat them, it came in and did. AlphaGo, the AI developed by London’s DeepMind, has proved that it is the best Go player in existence – defeating not one, but 5 of the world’s top ranked players even while they were working together.
The latest to lose against AlphaGo was Go’s top-ranked player, Ke Jie. By defeating the top ranked Go player in the world, the AI has proved the point it had set out to make and with this, it is retiring from competitive gameplay. Announcing the same, DeepMind CEO Demis Hassabis said
This week’s series of thrilling games with the world’s best players, in the country where Go originated, has been the highest possible pinnacle for AlphaGo as a competitive program. For that reason, the Future of Go Summit is our final match event with AlphaGo.
The research team behind AlphaGo will now throw their energy into the next set of grand challenges, developing advanced general algorithms that could one day help scientists as they tackle some of our most complex problems, such as finding new cures for diseases, dramatically reducing energy consumption, or inventing revolutionary new materials.
The fields the CEO mentioned are all very fruitful and if AlphaGO is actually able to make breakthroughs in these fields, it could really mean huge long term gains for Google — which had acquired DeepMind for $500 million earlier.
The real test of course, will begin now as the AI will venture into areas where there are no hard and bound rules and where, it must come up with its own. Discovering new materials, finding innovative solutions to every day problems, there are all challenges that the AI will be able to take on and perhaps one day solve — after having played and won the world’s most complicated strategy game.
As far as AlphaGo’s Go career is concerned, it won’t play competitive matches anymore but it will help those who are not as good as it (which means practically everyone) learn new methods and strategies.