One of the more popular questions asked on this site regards the prospect of a purely self-trained chess AI.
Today, ChessBase is distracted from its coverage of the FIDE Candidates tournament to report that a new AI is, for the first time, beating a leading master of the rather different game of go, which had resisted chess-style AIs for many years. An initial reading of the report suggests that the new go AI is unlike chess AIs, but is more nearly a general-game-playing (GGP) AI. ChessBase's article does not however use the term GGP, but does seem to say that the go AI can win at simple video games.
Is there any reason such a winning go AI could not with minor adjustments also win at chess? If so, does such an AI show promise to achieve the pure self-training the several excellent answers to the earlier question have earlier discussed, which at that time was not yet possible? Why or why not?
I suspect that no really complete, fully informed answer to my question is yet available, so even a partial answer based on related expertise would be appreciated.
For additional reference, see also this related question and answers.
When the above question was first posted five days ago and when some of the fine answers below were given, the first news regarding the victory of the go AI had just appeared. Since then, additional information and commentary have emerged.
Particularly interesting since then has been a quite readable, five-sided roundtable discussion in which one Jonathan Schaeffer remarks:
Learning from human games helps accelerate the program’s learning. AlphaGo could learn to become a strong player on its own, without using the human games. The learning process would just take longer.
According to the roundtable's host, Schaeffer is "[c]omputer science professor at the University of Alberta and the man who solved checkers"; so, presumably, he might be qualified to comment.
For further information, here is the record of another, open discussion, many of whose participants seem better informed than usual. The discussion took place during the match.
Further update, a year and a half later: commenter @MarkS. writes:
This is just a comment because it's about Go, not Chess, but AlphaGo Zero achieved "pure self-training" just from being told who won (and not the final score) and is stronger and vastly more efficient than the AI that beat Lee Sedol. For more information, see deepmind.com/blog/alphago-zero-learning-scratch