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Scientists make huge breakthrough to give AI mathematical capabilities never seen before

Artificial intelligence has been given new capabilities never seen before, computer scientists have claimed.

Researchers were able to use AI to help prove and suggest new complex mathematical theorems.

Scientists hailed the breakthrough – which came from AI company DeepMind – as a major step towards giving major new capabilities to such systems.

“Problems in mathematics are widely regarded as some of the most intellectually challenging problems out there,” said Geordie Williamson, a mathematician who was a co-author on a new paper describing the breakthrough.

“While mathematicians have used machine learning to assist in the analysis of complex data sets, this is the first time we have used computers to help us formulate conjectures or suggest possible lines of attack for unproven ideas in mathematics.”

Typically, much mathematical work has relied on looking examples and finding patterns or relationships. That requires a combination of creativity and calculations – and while computers have helped with the latter for decades, the former has always been the preserve of mathematicians.

In the new research, however, scientists were able to show that they could use artificial intelligence to some of that creative work, previously confined to humans. It is a task central to research that was thought to be reliant on human intuition, and so could apply to a whole host of different areas of maths.

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