This year has seen an artificial intelligence system beat professional poker players at a notoriously difficult game for machines to master.
However this is just the latest round in the ongoing battle of human versus machine. In 2016 a system built by Google-owned AI company DeepMind called ‘AlphaGo’ beat South Korean champion Lee Sedol at the fiendishly complex game ‘Go’.
Sedol won just one game to AlphaGo’s four across a five-match series. The success has been touted as a milestone in AI development due to Go’s complexity: it managed to win at a game where there are more possible moves than atoms in the observable universe.
DeepMind’s technique differs from using traditional ‘brute force’ computing power to win. Its deep learning technology allows it to work out general rules from large quantities of data. It can then be quizzed on this information and “learn” from the experience – like a child learning to communicate.
It’s far from the first time that AI has proved to be better than human intelligence at winning games: chess, draughts, Connect Four, Othello and backgammon are just a few that they have come to dominate.
Here are just a few examples where AI has won in a head-to-head match with a human.