(Excerpt from original post on the Taneja Group News Blog)
Google’s AlphaGo program has just whipped a top human Go playing champion (Lee Sedol – a 9 Dan ranked pro and winner of many top titles) four games to one in a million dollar match. You might shrug if you are not familiar with the subtleties of playing Go at a champion level, but believe me that this is a significant milestone in Machine Learning. Software has long proven to be able to master games whose moves can be calculated out to the end game with enough computing power (like checkers and chess), but Go is (as of yet) not fully computable due to its board size (19×19) and seemingly “intuitive” beginning and even mid-game move options.
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