WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF
Compared to the sterile environment of a lab, for an artificial intelligence the internet must seem like a playground.
If you ever wondered what would happen if an artificial intelligence (AI) ever got online then you’re about to get your answer thanks to Google – again.
Google’s DeepMind division, which is arguably one of the hottest AI divisions on the planet right now, is a division on a roll. One minute they’re beating the world’s best Go player like he’s a newbie, transforming healthcare, and helping Google cut forty percent off their electricity bills, and the next they’re teaching AI’s how to communicate in secret, dream, fight, speak, translate and a thousand other things besides. They’re nothing if not busy.
However, over the years everything that DeepMind has learnt has been as a result of it playing games, mainly Atari games – it’s a hard life. Until now though all those games have been run in a lab environment behind closed doors, but that just all changed, and it turns out that the DeepMind team recently unleashed their AI onto the internet to challenge some unwitting Go players online. Challenging though is a pejorative term in this case because DeepMind, under the auspices of AlphaGo, played over fifty Go games and it won every single one of them.
“We’ve been hard at work improving AlphaGo, and over the past few days we’ve played some unofficial online games at fast time controls with our new prototype version, to check that it’s working as well as we hoped,” announced Demis Hassabis, the co-founder and CEO of Google DeepMind, earlier this week.
If you were one of those players and you’re still smarting from your bruising encounter with an anonymous opponent that steam rollered you, then know you know who to send the counselling bills to.
As to the reason why Google just unleashed DeepMind onto the internet, and just what new tricks they’ve got up the sleeve as a result of it, well, we’ll just have to wait and see. But in the meantime if you’re playing online and being taken to town by an unknown opponent then you might just about to be thrashed by an AI.