Hogging the limelight or bringing home the bacon?

Alibaba is using software that can learn by itself to raise pigs. Is it just a marketing gimmick or does it solve a real problem?

Artificial Intelligence has come a long way since IBM’s Deep Blue beat the world chess champion Garry Kasparov in 1997.

By beating 18-time world Go champion Lee Sedol in 2016 and reigning world No 1 Ke Jie a year later, AlphaGo developed by Google’s DeepMind unit not only showed machine intelligence could beat a human in a complex board game. It also showed machines could be taught to act intuitively and strategically much like humans and, crucially, to learn for themselves.

The result An RD boom in artificial intelligence AI fed on the swelling belief among businesses, investors and governments that software that...

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