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DeepMind

or a neural network that may be able to access an external memory like a conventional Turing machine, resulting in a computer that mimics the short-term memory of the human brain.[9][10]

The company made headlines in 2016 after its AlphaGo program beat a human professional Go player Lee Sedol, the world champion, in a five-game match, which was the subject of a documentary film.[11]

A more general program, AlphaZero, beat the most powerful programs playing go, chess and shogi (Japanese chess) after a few days of play against itself using reinforcement learning.[12]

During one of the interviews, Demis Hassabis said that the start-up began working on artificial intelligence technology by teaching it how to play old games from the seventies and eighties, which are relatively primitive compared to the ones that are available today.

DeepMind has opened a new unit called DeepMind Ethics and Society and focused on the ethical and societal questions raised by artificial intelligence featuring prominent philosopher Nick Bostrom as advisor.[34]

In 2017 DeepMind released GridWorld, an open-source testbed for evaluating whether an algorithm learns to disable its kill switch or otherwise exhibits certain undesirable behaviours.[43][44]

To date, the company has published research on computer systems that are able to play games, and developing these systems, ranging from strategy games such as Go[45]

According to Shane Legg, human-level machine intelligence can be achieved 'when a machine can learn to play a really wide range of games from perceptual stream input and output, and transfer understanding across games[...].'[46]

Hassabis has mentioned the popular e-sport game StarCraft as a possible future challenge, since it requires a high level of strategic thinking and handling imperfect information.[47]

As opposed to other AIs, such as IBM's Deep Blue or Watson, which were developed for a pre-defined purpose and only function within its scope, DeepMind claims that its system is not pre-programmed: it learns from experience, using only raw pixels as data input.

Without altering the code, the AI begins to understand how to play the game, and after some time plays, for a few games (most notably Breakout), a more efficient game than any human ever could.[51]

In October 2015, a computer Go program called AlphaGo, developed by DeepMind, beat the European Go champion Fan Hui, a 2 dan (out of 9 dan possible) professional, five to zero.[53]

Go is considered much more difficult for computers to win compared to other games like chess, due to the much larger number of possibilities, making it prohibitively difficult for traditional AI methods such as brute-force.[53][55]

After training these networks employed a lookahead Monte Carlo tree search (MCTS), using the policy network to identify candidate high-probability moves, while the value network (in conjunction with Monte Carlo rollouts using a fast rollout policy) evaluated tree positions.[61]

It won 10 consecutive matches against two professional players, although it had the unfair advantage of being able to see the entire field, unlike a human player who has to move the camera manually.

By October 2019, AlphaStar reached Grandmaster level on the StarCraft II ladder on all three StarCraft races, becoming the first AI to reach the top league of a widely popular esport without any game restrictions.[72]

DeepMind has also collaborated with the Android team at Google for the creation of two new features which will be available to people with devices running Android Pie, the ninth installment of Google's mobile operating system.

It is the first time DeepMind has used these techniques on such a small scale, with typical machine learning applications requiring orders of magnitude more computing power.[74]

In August 2016, a research programme with University College London Hospital was announced with the aim of developing an algorithm that can automatically differentiate between healthy and cancerous tissues in head and neck areas.[76]

Staff at the Royal Free Hospital were reported as saying in December 2017 that access to patient data through the app had saved a ‘huge amount of time’ and made a ‘phenomenal’ difference to the management of patients with acute kidney injury.

Additionally, in February 2018, DeepMind announced it was working with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in an attempt to use machine learning to predict the onset of acute kidney injury in patients, and also more broadly the general deterioration of patients during a hospital stay so that doctors and nurses can more quickly treat patients in need.[80]

Privacy advocates said the announcement betrayed patient trust and appeared to contradict previous statements by DeepMind that patient data would not be connected to Google accounts or services.[83][84]

This included personal details such as whether patients had been diagnosed with HIV, suffered from depression or had ever undergone an abortion in order to conduct research to seek better outcomes in various health conditions.[86][87]

This new subdivision of DeepMind is a completely separate unit from the partnership of leading companies using AI, academia, civil society organizations and nonprofits of the name Partnership on Artificial Intelligence to Benefit People and Society of which DeepMind is also a part.[94]

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