June 29, 2017

Computer beats Chinese champion in ancient board game of go

24 May 2017, 05:33 | Candice Butler

Google's AlphaGo now on the Go

This week Google's artificial intelligence programme Alpha Go faces the world's top-ranked Go player in a contest expected to end in another victory for rapid advances in AI. — AFP

On Monday, AlphaGo managed to narrowly win its first of three matches against Ke Jie, a 19-year-old Go prodigy from China who is now ranked as the top player in the world.

The program's margin of victory tendencies weren't exposed during its highly publicized matches against South Korean grandmaster Lee Sedol a year ago because all of those games ended in one player resigning before scores were counted.

As we reported last month, the Future of Go Summit is a collaboration between Google, the China Go Association, and the Chinese government created to explore aspects of Go as played by humans and AI and to test the limits of both.

A computer defeated China's top player of the ancient board game go on Tuesday, earning praise that it might have finally surpassed human abilities in one of the last games machines have yet to dominate. As well as the Go matches, the event will host a series of panels from many of Google's artificial intelligence and machine learning luminaries, who we can expect to expand on numerous initiatives Google laid out last week at I/O. Jie was occasionally winning during the flow of the match, but AlphaGo would soon reclaim the lead, ensuring that his human opponent had limited options to win as the game progressed. Last year, AlphaGo defeated the previous world champ Lee Sedol in Seoul, Korea.

"I'm thinking that If Ke Jie were wining then they would be live streaming it".

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During the following week, they were then asked to limit themselves to only four hours sleep per night for two consecutive days. The study discovered that people started to look more exhausted and unhealthy when their sleep was halved for just two nights.

This week, China is hosting one of the most anticipated conferences on artificial intelligence (AI). Much of the drama past year came from AlphaGo's unorthodox, baffling moves that later turned out to be inspired and even lovely, so it will be fascinating to see how the AI performs under these conditions. It also sets out to look at how machine learning may be able to solve problems using methods that human experts may not have considered.

Some calculate that there are 10 to the 360th power possible go positions, far more than chess or shogi. The 19-year-old Ke will be paid US$ 300,000 for the appearance and gets an additional US$ 1.5 million if he wins. "Whether man loses or wins, it is a victory for human beings", he said.

The other two major games between Ke Jie and AlphaGo are to follow this week, with one on Thursday and one on Saturday (Wednesday and Friday, respectively, in the US). Go may not be the endgame, but it's a beguiling, engrossing context for these conversations to be held in. Ke mentioned that the gap between humans and A.I. was widening greatly, and AlphaGo was beginning to move away from using human teachers as inspiration, and starting to develop its own methods for playing the game.

More information on The Future of Go Summit is available on its website, along with streaming video.

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