Google's AlphaZero surpassed the sum of human chess knowledge - in 4 hours

Google's AlphaZero surpassed the sum of human chess knowledge - in 4 hours

Google's DeepMind artificial intelligence claimed the chess crown when it beat the title holding computer program after learning the game within hours, The Guardian reported.

DeeMind's artificial intelligence programme has beaten a top-level chess computer programme after learning the game in just four hours without human help. It also plays Shogi (aka Japanese chess) and Go too - and, perhaps unsurprisingly, it only took two and eight hours respectively to master those games as well.

In a series of 100 games against Stockfish, AlphaZero won 25 games while playing as white (with first mover advantage), and picked up three games playing as black.

What makes this astonishing is that there was no human input involved in the program's learning approach to the game.

AlphaZero was developed at Google's DeepMind labs and is a more generic version of AlphaGo Zero, the AI that ousted the human champion of Go, a Chinese board game considered to be the most hard strategy game in the world. However, AlphaZero is focused more on quality than quantity. However, AlphaGo researchers experimented with the program's ability to teach itself to play, without any need for human feedback, which ultimately translated to chess, too.

Some publications are reporting that AlphaZero "taught itself how to play [chess] in under four hours", but that's not entirely accurate.

For now, Google's scientists aren't publicly commenting on the research, and the paper is still awaiting peer-review.

Stockfish's recent string of successes includes winning the 2016 TCEC Championship and and the 2017 Chess.com Computer Chess Championship.

Men in Hungary play chess at a bath house. The system is armed with the rules to the game, but it has zero chess playing experience.

That effort was meant to assist the fledgling AI in learning strategy, but it seems it may have actually been a handicap, since AlphaGo Zero's fully self-reliant learning proved devastatingly more effective in one-on-one competition.

AlphaZero's victory over Stockfish 8 has rocked chess experts, who are now wondering if traditional "minimax" chess engines, such as Stockfish 8 and Elmo (another chess engine that got trounced by AlphaZero), are now obsolete. Michael Wooldridge, a professor at the the University of Oxford, told the BBC. Only time will tell.

"It's a fantastic achievement with dazzling implications", tweeted Garry Kasparov, a former champion who famously competed and lost against IBM's chess program Deep Blue back in 1997. But this achievement is impressive in that the same system and computational architecture used to win at Go was leveraged for use in other domains, namely chess and shogi. But by adapting the system to learn a new set of rules for an entirely new game, the DeepMind developers demonstrated the flexibility of the system and (possibly) its potential to work outside of mere gameplay. The rest of the contests were draws, with Stockfish recording no wins and AlphaZero no losses.

Related Articles

  • Notable Buzzers: Oracle Corporation (ORCL), Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ)

    Maximum and minimum EPS estimate for the current quarter is projected at $0.14 and $0.05, respectively, according to 8 analysts. For the current quarter Nokia Corp (NYSE: NOK ) has high EPS estimates of $0.14 in contradiction of low EPS estimates of $0.05.

    Pratt Sells 10000 Shares of Boston Scientific Corporation (BSX) Stock

    The regular trading on 06-Dec-17 started at $41.22 but as the session moved on, the stock receded, closing with a fall of -0.72%. Also, it has an estimated price-earnings (P/E) multiple of 19.48 and a trailing 12-month price-earnings (P/E) multiple of 26.13.

    Analysts See Discover Financial Services (NYSE:DFS) Rising 1.3%

    Buckingham Research started coverage on shares of Discover Financial Services in a research report on Monday, October 2nd. Kentucky Retirement Systems Insur Tru Fund has invested 0.12% of its portfolio in Discover Financial Services (NYSE:DFS).
  • White House: 'Unfortunate' Lewis to skip opening

    White House: 'Unfortunate' Lewis to skip opening

    For many Americans, the story of the Civil Rights movement was something they read about in newspapers or watched on television. Saturday's opening of these two museums dedicated to that single objective is a fitting tribute to our state's 200th birthday.
    Chevron Corp New (CVX) Stake Held by Korea Investment Corp

    Chevron Corp New (CVX) Stake Held by Korea Investment Corp

    Pierre Breber has seen steady activity on the sell side, and on November 30, 2017, executed an option to sell 23250 shares. Chevron comprises 1.4% of IFM Investors Pty Ltd's investment portfolio, making the stock its 15th largest holding.
    Oregon State hiring ex-Nebraska coach Mike Riley as assistant coach

    Oregon State hiring ex-Nebraska coach Mike Riley as assistant coach

    Riley has twice been the coach of the Beavers and is considered to be the most successful coach in school history. According to the Oregonian, Trent Bray is expected to join Oregon State's staff, though his duties are unclear.
  • Vera Bradley (VRA) Facts and Figures

    The market capitalization (Stock Price Multiply by Total Number of Outstanding Shares) for the company is reported at $401.16M. Wunderlich restated a buy rating and set a $11.00 target price on shares of Vera Bradley in a report on Saturday, March 25th.
    Trump Calls on Saudi to End Yemen Blockade

    Trump Calls on Saudi to End Yemen Blockade

    Yemen is witnessing one of the world's worst outbreaks of cholera, with almost one million people infected. Sanaa residents have been stocking up on basic goods for fear of further violence.
    Sia Will Stop Collaboration with Maddie Ziegler if Fame Becomes Too Much

    Sia Will Stop Collaboration with Maddie Ziegler if Fame Becomes Too Much

    Maddie's Dance Moms platform gave her a voice and presence within the industry but Sia has really grown that. But Furler wrote that fame "affects her differently than how it affected me".
  • India's chances 'very good' on Wassenaar membership says Russian Federation

    India's chances 'very good' on Wassenaar membership says Russian Federation

    In June previous year , India joined the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), another key export control regime, as a full member.

    M&S debuts stoneless cocktail avocados

    The crop was grown in Spain and will be available throughout this month in what M&S describes as a "high street first". Everyone's favourite source of healthy fats is now available in stoneless, miniature form for £2 a pack in M&S.
    What's 2017's most-talked-about moment on Facebook?

    What's 2017's most-talked-about moment on Facebook?

    The Facebook Year in Review 2017 video also highlighted the three "top moments where we saw people come to each other's aid". According to the post, the most reactions stemmed from International Women's Day, Super Bowl 51 and the Las Vegas Violence .