Applying Machine Learning for the Greater Good

The Reality of Google’s DeepMind Becoming a Chess Master in 4 Hours

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Photo by Andy Kelly on Unsplash

2017 has been a year that will be remembered for many things. Currently, there is the prospect of a first-step breakthrough on Brexit negotiations and as I write, Bitcoin continues to divide opinion but continues to rise and bubbles away at a staggering £12,186 per coin.

Though cryptocurrency and blockchain technology will be prevalent in the New Year, and no doubt our Brexit negotiations will go back and forth, the most significant piece of news for me was a game between the world’s best chess-playing computer program and AlphaZero, the artificial intelligence software from the London based Google sibling, DeepMind.

In isolation, this is a quite an achievement. What is frightening and exciting is that Google’s platform self-learnt and deployed winning strategies — and won — within 4 hours!

Applying Machine Learning for the Greater Good

The difference between DeepMind’s AlphaZero and its competition, is that its machine-learning approach is given no human input apart from the basic rules of chess. The rest it works out by playing itself over and over with self-reinforced knowledge.

What does this mean for us in the future? Will we be what had been predicted by Sci-Fi writers all along and become the playthings of the technological robotic gods?

Well, the future may be a little better thanks to the likes of DeepMind and how they are applying their technology and process.

Health, Wellbeing and Beyond

There are quite a few innovations that were happening before the chess match with AlphaZero.

DeepMind Health, a dedicated division that puts the services of DeepMind to patients, nurses and doctors — recently announced research work to help address breast cancer alongside the Cancer Research UK Centre at Imperial College London.

What is clear, is that AI Machine Learning is here and though frightening, will create many new challenges and more importantly, innovative new solutions to our ever changing world.

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