Jean Zay takes up bridge

For two days, eight international world champions will face the terrible Nook during a game of bridge, a card game that appeared in the 1880s in England. Who is Nook? It is the artificial intelligence that the French start-up NukkAI has set up after four years of research. Today, boosted by the power of GENCI’s Jean Zay supercomputer, it is supposed to be unbeatable. Confirmation on March 25 when the results are announced.

International experts

This is a world first because bridge, unlike chess for example, is an information game.s incompletesummers – we must being able to make deductions about the actions or non-actions of the opponents -, and also has a collaborative aspect – we have two adversaries but also a partner “, explains Jean Baptiste Fantun, CEO and co-founder of NukkAI. For all these reasons, the Bridge still resists artificial intelligence.

To face this real challenge in artificial intelligence, the start-up has set up a team of 20 scientists who are experts in their field. ” The bridge challenge allowed us to bring together extremely varied profiles against different AI paradigms. We have specialists digital and symbolic machine learning, Computer Game or methods related to the semantic web, etc. “, highlighted Véronique Ventos Head of Research and co-founder of NukkAI. And the project was able to be representative of France’s attractivenessvsease bringing together Chinese and Australian researchers who have come to settle in the country.

To face this real challenge in artificial intelligence, the start-up has set up a team of 20 scientists who are experts in their field. © NukkAI

We could not have created Nook without the CNRS »

To develop their artificial intelligence, the NukkAI team called on the CNRS and more particularly on the new Jean Zay supercomputer which combines high performance computing (HPC) and artificial intelligence. ” The NukkAI team started to accstarlast to the infrastructure in November 2020 with significant resources of 80 kilos/hour. They had made good progress on AI algorithms, but they lacked the computing power to run those algorithms. That’s what they were provided with access to the Jean Zay supercomputer and 12 months later they told us they had succeeded in their goal : the AI ​​had the required level to beat the best international players “says Pierre-Franvsois Lavallée, director of the Institute for Development and Resources in Scientific Computing (IDRIS) of the CNRS, in which Jean Zay is based.

Jean Zay, a supercomputer for the AI ​​community

The national infrastructure – the development of which is part of the AI ​​for Humanity strategy desired by President Emmanuel Macron to make France a leading country in artificial intelligence – offers its resources to academic researchemic, public and privatee. The only constraint is to carry out open research, i.e. to provide access to publications of scientific results », adds the director of IDRIS. Today, Jean Zay has 2,700 users and 1,400 scientific projects, 50% of which are dedicated to AI. Before, the AI ​​community used other resources that were very limiting. There was a real delay. Jean Zay was a strong signal for this community that it was possible to fight on equal terms with the biggest international teams. And today, the supercomputer wants to go even further. ” The holy grail is to incorporate AI inside the numerical simulation algorithms. » A real revolution which makes it possible to break many locks and carry out simulations on a much larger scale, saving up to several orders of magnitude in terms of performance.

We could not have created Nook without the CNRS “, Explain Véronique Ventos adding that the team used low cost AI approaches.energy guzzlers : the challenge consumes 200,000 times less than the AlphaGo program, which slowed down Google’s servers at the time.

Perspectives ranging from education to the Ddefense

And the implications of Nook are much broader than the game of bridge. There is a real potential for transfer to society. ” Nook can make decisions without having all the information. This may be of interest to many fields such as education, cybersecurity, finance or even medicine. “, emphasizes the CEO of NukkAI. Today, the start-up has already embarked on the development of an educational application tested in several schools. Projects concerning the development of hybrid AI in the field of defense are also in development. A case to follow.

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Jean Zay takes up bridge


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