Software defeats gamers with artificial intelligence

Researchers unveiled a software system on Wednesday which had taught itself to play 49 different video games and proceeded to defeat human professionals — a major step in the fast-developing Artificial Intelligence rea-lm. Not only did the system give flesh-and-blood game-rs a run for their money, it discovered tricks its own programmers didn’t even know existed, a team from Google-owned research company DeepMind reported in the scientific journal Nature. “This... is the first time that anyone has built a single general learning system that can learn directly from experience to master a wide range of challenging tasks,” said co-developer Demis Hassabis. The feat brings us closer to a future run by smart, general-purpose robots wh-ich can teach themselves to perform a task, store a “memory” of trial and err-or and adapt their actions for a better outcome next time. Such machines may be able to do anything from driving our cars to planning our holidays and conduct scientific research, said the team. Inspired by the human learning proc-ess, the “artificial agent” dubbed deep Q-network (DQN) was let loose, with only minimal programming, on an Atari game console from the 1980s. “The only information they (the system) get is the pixels (on the screen) and the game score and the goal they’ve been told is to maximise the score,” Hassabis explains in a Nature video. “Apart from that, they have no idea about what kind of game they are playing, what their controls do, Hassabis added while explaining. Source: The Asian Age