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November 4, 2015

Facebook researching AI to beat humans at board games

News: Company using deep learning technology to design the system.

By CBR Staff Writer

Facebook is trying to beat humans at strategy board game ‘Go’ through artificial intelligence called deep learning.

Go has a 19-by-19 grid where players place black or white stones at the intersection of two lines.

Though the game is similar to chess or checkers, the number of possible moves is more despite the simple rules. Figuring out a particular move is far more complicated when compared to the other two games.

It is considered to be difficult to design a system that is capable of looking far into the future to properly assess a good play in the way humans can in the game of Go.

Facebook is not taking up the challenge to beat humans at the 2,500-year-old strategy board game.

Wired cited Facebook chief technology officer Mike Schroepfer as saying: "We’re pretty sure the best (human) players end up looking at visual patterns, looking at the visuals of the board to help them understand what are good and bad configurations in an intuitive way.

"So, we’ve taken some of the basics of game-playing AI and attached a visual system to it, so that we’re using the patterns on the board — a visual recognition] system — to tune the possible moves the system can make."

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Facebook has been using deep learning technology to recognise photos of users and their friends, and also to introduce a different version of Facebook for visually impaired users, where it will analyse a picture and share the information through a text-to-speech app.

Deep learning is also being used by other tech titans, including Google for its smartphone digital assistant, Microsoft to translate Skype calls, and Apple to improve user experience.

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