In March 2016, more than 200 million people watched AlphaGo become first computer program to defeat a professional human player at the game of Go, a milestone in AI research that was considered to be a decade ahead of its time.
Since then the team has continued to develop the system and recently unveiled AlphaZero: a program that has taught itself how to play chess, Go, and shogi. Hannah explores the inside story of both with Lead Researcher David Silver and finds out why games are a useful proving ground for AI researchers. She also meets Chess Grandmaster Matthew Sadler and women’s international master Natasha Regan, who have written a book on AlphaZero and its unique gameplay.
Interviewees: DeepMind CEO Demis Hassabis, Matthew Sadler, chess Grandmaster; Lead Researcher David Silver, Matt Botvinick, Director of Neuroscience Research; and Natasha Regan, women’s international chess master.
Find out more about the themes in this episode:
- AlphaGo the documentary
- The Surrounding Game: documentary about the ancient game of Go
- Garry Kasparov: Deep Thinking
- AI: More than Human - Exhibition at the Barbican Centre, 2019 and online exhibit
- DeepMind blog: AlphaZero
- Matthew Sadler and Natasha Rega: Game Changer - a book about chess and AI
- WIRED: What the AI behind AlphaGo can teach us about being human
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Presenter: Hannah Fry
Editor: David Prest
Senior Producer: Louisa Field
Producers: Amy Racs, Dan Hardoon
Binaural Sound: Lucinda Mason-Brown
Music composition: Eleni Shaw (with help from Sander Dieleman and WaveNet)