An artificial intelligence (AI) system based on Google DeepMind's AlphaZero AI created algorithms that, when translated into the standard programming language C++, can sort data up to three times as fast as human-generated versions.
"We were a bit shocked," said Daniel Mankowitz, a computer scientist at DeepMind who led the work. "We didn't believe it at first."
Computer scientists have, for decades, been optimizing how computers sort data to shave off crucial milliseconds in returning search results or alphabetizing contact lists. Now DeepMind has improved sorting speeds by applying the technology behind AlphaZero — its artificial-intelligence system for playing the board games chess, Go and shogi — to a game of building sorting algorithms.
The system, AlphaDev, is described in a paper in the journal Nature.
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