Marvin Minsky Dies in Week Computer Beats Professional Go Player for First Time

What a week for Artificial Intelligence.

The death of Marvin Minsky and the announcement of a huge breakthrough in the field as the Google DeepMind team defeats professional Go player, Fan Hui five times in a row. The latter was expected to happen one day, but not for ten years.

Marvin Minsky, who died this week aged 88, was a pioneer in the field of artificial intelligence, and a giant in many other fields: Cognitive Psychology, Maths, Computational Linguistics, Robotics, and Optics and was one of the founders of the MIT Artificial Intelligence Lab. He was still working on research last year.

I hope he heard about DeepMind’s breakthrough in mastering the game of Go. Long regarded as one of the big challenges in AI & computing now that humans have become resigned to losing to computers at┬áchess. Both Google and Facebook have been working hard to crack a problem that is so hard too solve as the possible combination of moves in a game of Go is something like 10┬áto the power 700.

Nature’s video report on the challenge.

For an accessible write up of why this is big news, there is a Wired Article here and for the mathematically adventurous:

Google Deepmind Mastering Go Research Paper

Don’t go there if you are afraid of mathematics!

Learn how great companies are run

At BoS we run events and publish content that is highly valued by anyone trying to build, run, and scale a great software company.

Sign up for a regular dose of actionable and useful content: