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The AlphaGo artificial intelligence program has defeated Ke Jie, the human champion of the game Go, in a series of three matches of designed to test its intelligence.

Developed by Alphabet Inc.’s Google’s DeepMind unit, AlphaGo is a computer programme designed to play the ancient Chinese board game. Go is one of the oldest and most complex in the world and involves placing either black or white stones to form territories on the board.

The co-founder and co-CEO of Deep Mind, Demis Hassabis has announced that AlphaGo’s recent triple victory is ‘the highest possible pinnacle’ that the competitive program could have possibly reached and therefore the program will now be retired. According to Mr Hassabis, the research team behind the A.I. program will now go on to use their algorithmical learnings on more complex projects, such as curing diseases, creating new types of materials and solving energy problems.

Many Go competitors are disappointed at this news that AlphaGo will no longer be playing games as they are eager to attempt to beat the machine. The data from the 50 online games that AlphaGo has played, however, will be shared with the Go community, so they can develop their own gameplay. After losing his final match to the computer, Ke Jie proclaimed that the ‘future belongs to A.I.’

Maths students should look at the algorithms used by the AlphaGo and Computer Science students would be wise to investigate zero-player games. Those going to study other logic based subjects should investigate the reasoning pattern employed by the game.

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