Dramatic progress via deep learning

By Norifumi Kawamura and Takashi Maemura / Yomiuri Shimbun Staff WritersThe victory Saturday by AlphaGo, an artificial intelligence program developed by Britian’s Google DeepMind, over a professional Go player indicates that a new development method called deep learning has made rapid progress in studies of Go-playing software. AlphaGo defeated the top-ranked professional player three matches in a row, taking the series by majority wins. Experts had believed it would take another 10 years for a computer to defeat a human at the game. AI technology is expected to be applied also to diagnostic imaging in medicine and self-driving cars. In Japan, however, there are still few experts in AI research. The unexpected three straight losses by Lee Se Dol, who is a ninth-dan professional Go player, sent shock waves through…

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