Jul 22, 2016

    Non-human tops list of world's best Go players


    ALPHAGO is now the world's No. 1 Go player, toppling human dominance in the game for thousands of years.

    According to the latest ranking of GoRating, AlphaGo replaced Chinese player Ke Jie this week to become the world's top player, the first non-human to attain the honour.

    AlphaGo is an artificial intelligence (AI) program designed by Google DeepMind, a British artificial intelligence company.

    It beat South Korean master Lee Sedol by 4 to 1 in a challenge match in March, causing a sensation around the world.

    Rumours said AlphaGo would face off against Ke after beating Lee.

    But this was denied by DeepMind co-founder Demis Hassabis later.

    According to GoRating rules, a player's score on the list will change according to that of his opponent.

    For example, AlphaGo will see its score going up if Lee's score increases.

    Defeating a human master is not the only thing the AI can achieve.

    DeepMind also plans to apply its AI technology to improve human well-being, including promoting healthcare in cooperation with British National Healthcare Service.

    The success of AlphaGo drew global attention to AI, a sector attracting increasing investment.

    Global AI revenue is expected to reach 119 billion yuan (S$24 billion) in 2020, with an annual growth rate of 19.7 per cent from last year to 2020, according to a report by consulting firm iResearch.