A Look Inside AlphaGo and Lee Sedol’s Epic Go Battle

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goby Angela Guess

Cade Metz recently wrote in Wired, “In Game Two, the Google machine made a move that no human ever would. And it was beautiful. As the world looked on, the move so perfectly demonstrated the enormously powerful and rather mysterious talents of modern artificial intelligence. But in Game Four, the human made a move that no machine would ever expect. And it was beautiful too. Indeed, it was just as beautiful as the move from the Google machine—no less and no more. It showed that although machines are now capable of moments of genius, humans have hardly lost the ability to generate their own transcendent moments. And it seems that in the years to come, as we humans work with these machines, our genius will only grow in tandem with our creations.”

Metz continues, “This week saw the end of the historic match between Lee Sedol, one of the world’s best Go players, and AlphaGo, an artificially intelligent system designed by a team of researchers at DeepMind, a London AI lab now owned by Google. The machine claimed victory in the best-of-five series, winning four games and losing only one. It marked the first time a machine had beaten the very best at this ancient and enormously complex game—a feat that, until recently, experts didn’t expect would happen for another ten years.”

He goes on, “The victory is notable because the technologies at the heart of AlphaGo are the future. They’re already changing Google and Facebook and Microsoft and Twitter, and they’re poised to reinvent everything from robotics to scientific research. This is scary for some. The worry is that artificially intelligent machines will take our jobs and maybe even break free from our control—and on some level, those worries are healthy. We won’t be caught by surprise. But there’s another way to think about all this—a way that gets us beyond the trope of human versus machine, guided by the lessons of those two glorious moves.”

Read more here.

Photo credit: Flickr/ Prachatai

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