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AlphaGo developer to expand into medical industry, video games

By Sun Wenyu (People's Daily Online)    14:22, January 06, 2017
AlphaGo developer to expand into medical industry, video games

DeepMind, the developer of the artificial intelligence program AlphaGo, which recently achieved 60 straight victories on an online platform for the popular game Go, announced on Jan. 3 that it would expand its business into medical treatment and video games.

In an email to Thepaper.cn, DeepMind wrote that they have been improving the calculation and learning abilities of the AlphaGo program. The recent spate of game-playing was actually preparation for official competitions later this year, the company said.

DeepMind was established in London in 2011 and acquired by Google three years later. It became internationally famous after launching its AI program AlphaGo. After the acquisition, DeepMind kept its London headquarters, where 140 employees currently work.

According to DeepMind, it plans to delve deeper into Go-centered artificial intelligence. Meanwhile, it will also focus on better calculations, social influence and the establishment of ethical norms.

"They want to enter the field of medical treatment, but the acquisition of medical data is quite costly," said Dai Wenyuan, CEO of technology company Fourth Paradigm. In response to DeepMind's intended expansion into the gaming industry, Dai noted that the development of AI in this field will be difficult.

In the past, DeepMind has explored a new method of refrigeration system management with teams from Google. Such technologies could save energy and help protect the environment. In addition, the company has cooperated with several U.K. hospitals in a bid to increase the accuracy of diagnoses and improve medical treatment.

"We hope to apply our technologies to the world to help solve the most urgent social problems, from medical diagnosis to environmental models," said Demis Hassabis, one of the founders of DeepMind. 

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