The newest AlphaGo mastered the game with no human input

Maria Temming in Science News:

101717_MT_alpha-go_mainThe latest version of the computer program, dubbed AlphaGo Zero, is the first to master Go, a notoriously complex Chinese board game, without human guidance. Its predecessor — dubbed AlphaGo Lee when it became the first computer program with artificial intelligence, or AI, to defeat a human world champion Go player (SN Online: 3/15/16) — had to study millions of examples of human expert moves before playing practice games against itself. AlphaGo Zero trained solely through self play, starting with completely random moves. After a few days’ practice, AlphaGo Zero trounced AlphaGo Lee 100 games to none, researchers report in the Oct. 19 Nature.

“The results are stunning,” says Jonathan Schaeffer, a computer scientist at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, who wasn’t involved in the work. “We’re talking about a revolutionary change.”

AI programs like AlphaGo Zero that can gain mastery of various tasks without human input may be able to solve problems where human expertise falls short, says Satinder Singh, a computer scientist at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. For instance, computer programs with superhuman smarts could find new cures for diseases, design more energy-efficient technology or invent new materials.

AlphaGo Zero’s creators at Google DeepMind designed the computer program to use a tactic during practice games that AlphaGo Lee didn't have access to.

More here.