March 10, 2016
Artifical Intelligence Beats Human Player in Ancient Game
It’s an upset of Biblical proportions… if you’re a fan of Go.
The ancient game – which features two players taking turns to place black and white tiles on a grid, jockeying to occupy more of the board than their opponent – has a large following, particularly in Asia. Those followers tuned in Wednesday to watch popular player Lee Se-dol compete against Google’s AlphaGo, developed by the company’s DeepMind unit.
The three-and-a-half hours game was the first in five in which the Google creation would be tested against a human opponent.
The result? Lee threw in the proverbial towel with just a little less than half-an-hour remaining on the clock.
“I was very surprised,” Lee told The Verge after the match. “I didn’t expect to lose. [But] I didn’t think AlphaGo would play the game in such a perfect manner.”
This isn’t the first victory for AlphaGo, though. Creators challenged pro player Fan Hui last fall. The result was the same as Wednesday’s match as the artifically intelligent opponent was the surprising winner.
As reported by C Net, DeepMind programmers rejigged AlphaGo after October’s match to prepare it for this week’s competition.
The competition attracted more than 80,000 watchers through YouTube’s gaming channel.
“I don’t regret accepting this challenge,” stated Lee. “I am in shock, I admit that, but what’s done is done. I enjoyed this game and look forward to the next. I think I failed on the opening layout so if I do a better job on the opening aspect I think I will be able to increase my probability of winning.”
W. Brice McVicar is a staff writer for SiteProNews.