Google’s AlphaGo will retire from the Chinese strategy game Go to focus on solving the world’s big problems.
The AI technology, developed by DeepMind which was acquired by Google in 2014, defeated the world’s greatest Go player Lee Sedol in 2016.
It will now be put towards creating algorithms that will help scientists better understand some of our greatest challenges, such as finding cures for diseases and reducing global 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. We can’t wait to see what comes next” said CEO and Co-Founder of DeepMind, Demis Hassabis and Lead Researcher for AlphaGo at DeepMind, Dave Silver, in their blogpost.
“We have always believed in the potential for AI to help society discover new knowledge and benefit from it, and AlphaGo has given us an early glimpse that this may indeed be possible. More than a competitor, AlphaGo has been a tool to inspire Go players to try new strategies and uncover new ideas in this 3,000 year-old game.”
Although it is the end of AlphaGo’s time in competitive Go, DeepMind is still planning on staying involved in the game.
“While AlphaGo is stepping back from competitive play, it’s certainly not the end of our work with the Go community, to which we owe a huge debt of gratitude for their encouragement and motivation over the past few years.
“We plan to publish one final academic paper later this year that will detail the extensive set of improvements we made to the algorithms’ efficiency and potential to be generalised across a broader set of problems” said Hassabis and Silver.