The repurposed AI, which has frequently beaten the world’s best Go performers as AlphaGo, has been generalized so that it can now discover other games. It took just four hours to read the rules to chess before defeating the world champion chess program, Stockfish 8, in a 100-game match up.
AlphaZero won or mapped all 100 games, according to a non-peer-reviewed research paper announced with Cornell University Library’s arXiv.
“Starting from random play, and delivered no domain knowledge except the game rules, AlphaZero obtained within 24 hours a superhuman level of play in the games of chess and shogi a similar Japanese board game as well as Go, and convincingly smashed a world-champion program in each case,” said the paper’s contributors that include DeepMind founder Demis Hassabis, who was a child chess genius reaching master emblem at the age of 13.
“It’s an extraordinary achievement, even if we should have anticipated it after AlphaGo,” former world chess champion Garry Kasparov told Chess.com. “We have always pretended that chess required too much practical knowledge for a machine to play so well from scratch, with no individual knowledge added at all.”
Computer programs have been able to strike the best human chess players ever since IBM’s Deep Blue supercomputer crushed Kasparov on 12 May 1997.
DeepMind said the separation between AlphaZero and its contestants is that its machine-learning approach is given no human input apart from the basic rules of chess. The rest works out by thinking itself over and over with self-reinforced knowledge. The result, according to DeepMind, is that AlphaZero took an “arguably more human-like approach” to the exploration for moves, processing around 80,000 positions per second in chess matched to Stockfish 8’s 70m.
After winning 25 games of chess versus Stockfish 8 beginning as white, with first-mover advantage, a further three beginning with black and drawing a further 72 games, AlphaZero also learned shogi in two hours before striking the leading program Elmo in a 100-game matchup. AlphaZero won 90 games, lost eight and drew 2.
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