Where computers defeat humans

AlphaGo, the artificial intelligence system built by the Google subsidiary DeepMind, has just defeated the human champion, Lee Se-dol, 4 games to 1 in the tournament of the strategy game of Go. Why does this matter? After all, computers surpassed humans in chess in 1997, when IBM’s Deep Blue beat Garry Kasparov. So why is AlphaGo’s victory significant?Like chess, Go is a hugely complex strategy game in which chance and luck play no role. Two players take turns placing white or black stones on a 19-by-19-inch grid; when stones are surrounded on all four sides by those of the other colour they are removed from the board, and the player with more stones remaining at the game’s end wins.Unlike the case with chess, however, no human can explain how to…

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