Move over AlphaGo: AlphaZero taught itself to play three different games

Starting from random play and knowing just the game rules, AlphaZero defeated a world champion program in the games of Go, chess, and shoji (Japanese chess).

Enlarge / Starting from
random play and knowing just the game rules, AlphaZero defeated a
world champion program in the games of Go, chess, and shoji
(Japanese chess). (credit: DeepMind Technologies, Ltd.)

Google’s DeepMind—the group
that brought you the champion game-playing AIs AlphaGo and
AlphaGoZero—is back with a new, improved, and more-generalized
version. Dubbed AlphaZero, this program taught itself to play three
different board games (chess, Go, and shoji, a Japanese form of
chess) in just three days, with no human intervention.

A paper
describing
the achievement was just published in
Science. “Starting from totally random play, AlphaZero gradually
learns what good play looks like and forms its own evaluations
about the game,”
said Demis Hassabis
, CEO and co-founder of DeepMind. “In that
sense, it is free from the constraints of the way humans think
about the game.”

Chess has long been an ideal
testing ground
for game-playing computers and the development
of AI. The very first chess computer program was written in the
1950s at Los Alamos National Laboratory, and in the late 1960s,
Richard D. Greenblatt’s Mac Hack IV program
was the first to play in a human chess tournament—and to win
against a human in tournament play. Many other computer chess
programs followed, each a little better than the last, until IBM’s
Deep
Blue computer defeated
chess grand master Garry Kasparov in May
1997.

Read 11
remaining paragraphs

Source: FS – All – Science – News
Move over AlphaGo: AlphaZero taught itself to play three different games