Robot playing chessDeepMind, Google’s artificially intelligent computing system has beaten one of the world’s top ‘Go’ players in a first to 5 match challenge in Seoul, South Korea.
Whilst it’s not a first, computers have beaten humans before in games like, chess, draughts (checkers) and Othello, this is the first time a computer has beaten an expert Go player. Go is a strategy based Chinese board game that has been played for over 2,500 years and it’s considered exponentially more complicated than chess, so this is a real achievement for the tech wizards at Google and a reminder to the rest of us of just how fast technology is moving and improving.

DeepMind may be able to beat the best but does ‘it’ get that same feeling of satisfaction that we get when we win, or is it just a machine, not really capable of enjoyment or pride or that self satisfying smugness we feel when our opponent’s king is toppled or territory is captured… A thrilling chess match against a close rival on your favourite board over coffee, or perhaps something stronger, can be a tense, nerve-wracking and exciting affair, a battle of minds and wills with the winner enjoying the spoils and the loser already planning the inevitable re-match, where they will have their revenge.

So do we need to worry that we have limits, that there may be opponents that we will never be able to beat and as a result will our love of playing games diminish as there’s just no point? Not a chance. Bring it on AI, I’ll set the board up, you make the tea and let battle commence! Oh that’s right, you haven’t mastered making the tea yet, have you…

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