Google has developed a computer program that can beat some of the best players of the board game Go. Until now there has not been any programmer that has been able to do this because of the complexity and the possibilities of the game.
Go is a simple board game that can be taught to anyone in minutes. The goal of the game is to conquer as much territory as possible, this can be done by delimiting a field with pebbles from your color. Every player can play a stone on their turn or can pass one turn and let the other player play first.
The biggest challenge for a computer program that can play go is the amount of possible moves each turn. In a game of Go, this would be around 200 possible moves, in chess, this is only 20. Google uses a sort of digital neural networks to solve this. One of the networks tries to predict the move of the opponent while another is constantly reviewing all possible moves for the best outcome. All this in combination with a very complex intelligence algorithm makes the so-called AlphaGo beat some of the best players in Europe.
In march of this year, the AlphaGo will go against one of the best players in the world. Then we will know if Google has been able to create a new Go champion.