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Machine triumphs in strategy game

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1:00pm, January 27, 2016

A computer program called AlphaGo has bested a pro human player at Go, an ancient strategy game more complex than chess. 

In a victory that rivals the computer Deep Blue’s 1997 win over chess champion Garry Kasparov, a computer has now bested a professional human player in the classic strategy game Go.

The computer program, called AlphaGo, trounced Fan Hui, the reigning European Go champion, 5 games to 0, researchers report in the Jan. 28 Nature.

Go, a game that originated in China more than 2,500 years ago, is much more complicated than chess, with an order of magnitude more possible opening moves, study coauthor Demis Hassabis of Google DeepMind said at a news conference. Many researchers thought a computer wouldn’t be able to beat a top human player for another five or 10 years, he said.

AlphaGo learned to play Go from experience. But the program needed much more practice than humans do to become an expert, Hassabis said: millions of games

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