Cade Metz in Wired:
In a major breakthrough for artificial intelligence, a computing system developed by Google researchers in Great Britain has beaten a top human player at the game of Go, the ancient Eastern contest of strategy and intuition that has bedeviled AI experts for decades.
Machines have topped the best humans at most games held up as measures of human intellect, including chess, Scrabble, Othello, even Jeopardy!. But with Go—a 2,500-year-old game that’s exponentially more complex than chess—human grandmasters have maintained an edge over even the most agile computing systems. Earlier this month, top AI experts outside of Google questioned whether a breakthrough could occur anytime soon, and as recently as last year, many believed another decade would pass before a machine could beat the top humans.
But Google has done just that. “It happened faster than I thought,” says Rémi Coulom, the French researcher behind what was previously the world’s top artificially intelligent Go player.