Google's AlphaGo AI to retire after beating world's best player

Earlier this week in China, AlphaGo, the artificial intelligence from Google's DeepMind division, defeated Ke Jie, the world's number one Go player, in a three-part match. Now the company has revealed that the AI will be hanging up its gloves, so to speak. As the 3-0 win over Ke Jie marks "the highest possible pinnacle for AlphaGo as a competitive program," DeepMind co-founder and co-CEO Demis Hassabis says the bot will be retiring from competitive play.

This monumental achievement for the AI comes just over a year after AlphaGo beat South Korea's Lee Se-dol, another of the game's top players, 4-1 in a series of matches. This result was highly unexpected to computer scientists, as Go, an ancient Chinese board game, is seen as much more nuanced and complex than something like Chess, and it was believed human-level intuition would best the AI at the professional level.

This week's match was held at the Future of Go Summit in Wuzhen, hosted by both Google and the China Go Association as an event for professional players to come together with AI experts. AlphaGo's win over Ke Jie not only proves that the AI can master the game's complexity, but that it's arguably now the world's greatest player.

Hassabis says that the research team behind AlphaGo will now devote their efforts into applying the AI to one day assist scientists with challenges like curing diseases and reducing energy consumption. "If AI systems prove they are able to unearth significant new knowledge and strategies in these domains too, the breakthroughs could be truly remarkable," he added.

DeepMind has no plans to release AlphaGo to the public, but it will soon publish a research paper on the latest version of the AI that beat Ke Jie, with Hassabis hoping that other companies and programs will be able to benefit from their research.

VIA The Verge