Infosys-sponsored ACM Prize in Computing awarded to AlphaGo developer for breakthrough in computer game-playing

Bengaluru, India; New York, USA - April 01, 2020: The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), today announced that David Silver is the recipient of the Infosys-sponsored 2019 ACM Prize in Computing for a breakthrough in computer game-playing. This award recognizes Silver, a professor at University College in London and a principal research scientist at DeepMind, a UK-based Google-owned artificial intelligence, as a central figure in the growing area of deep reinforcement learning.

Silver developed the AlphaGoZero algorithm by deftly combining ideas from deep-learning, reinforcement-learning, traditional tree-search, and large-scale computing. The algorithm learned entirely by playing games against itself, without any human data or prior knowledge except for the game rules. AlphaGoZero soon achieved superhuman performance in the games of Chess, Shogi, and Go, demonstrating unprecedented generality of the game-playing methods. AlphaGo’s defeat of world Go champion, Lee Sedol, in March 2016 was hailed as a milestone moment for AI. The objective of the researchers in this area is not simply to develop programs to win games, but to use game-playing as a touchstone to develop machines with capacities that simulate human intelligence.

The ACM Prize in Computing recognizes early-to-mid-career computer scientists whose research contributions have fundamental impact and broad implications. The award carries a prize of $250,000, from an endowment provided by Infosys Ltd.

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