Alphabet continues to make strides in artificial intelligence
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Alphabet continues to make strides in artificial intelligence

Artificial Intelligences (AIs) tend to be very good at things in a very narrow range. Google’s AlphaGo, for example, is better at complex Chinese strategy game Go than even the best human players (something long thought impossible given the intuitive nature of some elements of Go). It can’t play Chess, though. This is because AI systems (even “learning” systems, like AlphaGo) can’t generalize: they can learn a specific, concrete, thing – but they can’t abstract that out to general reasoning. Or at least, they couldn’t: Alphabet’s latest creation is a step in the right direction.

Alphabet’s share price is up by 30% year to date


SOURCE: Yahoo Finance

Alphabet’s DeepMind segment, responsible for AlphaGo and some of the world’s most advanced AIs, has created the first AI system in the world that can master multiple games. AlphaZero can, allegedly, teach itself to be “superhuman” in any of three challenging strategy games: Go, Chess, and Shogi (a Japanese strategy game often considered the “Japanese Chess”).

AlphaZero needs to be programmed with the rules to the game it wants to master, but that’s it – once it knows the rules, it will play with itself until it achieves expert level. There’s no doubt that AIs still have along way to go before they can truly generalize, but AlphaZero is a huge step forward – and one which could let Google accelerate the expansion of AI across its business.


Dominion holds Alphabet in its Global Trends Managed Fund.

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