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Google's 'superhuman' DeepMind AI claims chess crown

Google says its AlphaGo Zero artificial intelligence program has triumphed at chess against world-leading specialist software within hours of teaching itself the game from scratch. The firm’s DeepMind division says that it played 100 games against Stockfish 8, and won or drew all of them. The research has yet to be peer reviewed. But experts already suggest the achievement will strengthen the firm’s position in a competitive sector. “From a scientific point of view, it’s the latest in a series of dazzling results that DeepMind has produced,” the University of…

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Google's Street View cameras get quality boost

Google has redesigned its Street View camera system so that it can take clearer images and capture more data about shops and buildings. The new hardware takes clearer panoramic photos, while two high definition cameras capture detailed images of shops and street signs. Data such as shop opening hours can be spotted by machine-learning algorithms and included in search results. It is the first major update to the Street View hardware in eight years. Google said the improved cameras would produce brighter and more colourful images, with less-noticeable seams where…

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Google's stance on neo-Nazis 'dangerous', says EFF

Decisions by Google, GoDaddy and Cloudflare to eject a neo-Nazi site from their services were “dangerous”, a US-based digital rights group has said. The Daily Stormer had denigrated 23-year-old Heather Heyer who died while protesting against a far-right rally in Charlottesville. This led to a backlash in which multiple web firms kicked the site off their platforms. But the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has now criticised this response. The tech companies have not yet commented on the EFF’s statement. “We strongly believe that what GoDaddy, Google, and Cloudflare did here…

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Google's giant penalty: the internet reacts

The EU’s Competition Commissioner said her team analysed a gigantic 5.2 terabytes of search results before determining that Google had indeed abused its position by running its Shopping service price comparison ads at the top of search results. That’s the equivalent of nearly two billion search queries. As news that she had fined its parent company Alphabet a record 2.4bn euros ($ 2.7bn; £2.1bn) spread, it became clear that many thought the case against the tech firm was obvious without needing to dive that deep into the data. But others…

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Technology 

Google's AI takes on champion in fresh Go challenge

Google DeepMind’s AI system, AlphaGo, has won the first of three matches it is playing against the world’s number one Go player, Ke Jie. It follows its historic win against Lee Se-dol last year, described by experts as a breakthrough moment for AI. The AI won by just half a point in its latest match. Ke Jie described the AI as “like a god of Go players”, while DeepMind co-founder Demis Hassabis thanked him for a hard-fought match. “It was a such close game, an exciting game and showed how…

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