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March 16, 2016

AlphaGo Wins Four of Five Go Matches

AI Program Defeats Human Competitor

Game. Set. Match.

deepmindGoogle’s AlphaGo, the company’s artificial intelligence program trained to play the hugely popular game Go, has been victorious in its fifth and final round game against Lee Sedol. He is known as one of the greatest Go players in the world.

The marble game is centuries old and relies mainly of human intuition as players take turns to place black or white stones on a board, trying to capture the opponent’s stones or surround empty space to make points of territory. Computers, traditionally, have not fared well in the game.

In total, AlphaGo won four of the five games against its human competitor. The win is a historic leap ahead for artificial intelligence.

Game five, though, exhibited AlphaGo can still struggle as there were moments where it appeared the program was losing the upper hand.

“It was difficult to say at what point AlphaGo was ahead or behind, a close game throughout,” commentator Michael Redmond told CNet. “AlphaGo made what looked like a mistake with move 48, similar to the mistake in game four in the middle of the board. After that AlphaGo played very well in the middle of the board, and the game developed into a long, very difficult end game.”

Lee took the loss hard and had tears in his eyes as the match results were announced.

“I failed,” he told The Guardian. “I feel sorry that the match is over and it ended like this. I wanted it to end well.”


W. Brice McVicar is a staff writer for SiteProNews.