Sci-tech

Google's AlphaGo to take on top human Go player

Google's AlphaGo to take on top human Go player”

DeepMind writes on its website that it hopes to uncover more secrets of the ancient game at the "Future of Go Summit", where it'll also be playing different versions of Go. Go was previously thought as being beyond the reach of algorithms due to its notorious complexity, but artificial intelligence has made major progress in self-learning.

Go involves two players alternately laying black and white stones on a grid, seeking to seal off the most territory. Rematches will take place on Thursday and Saturday before an ultimate victor will crowned.

The final battle between man and machine has begun with the world's top Go player taking on Google's AlphaGo.

In the first of three planned games in the eastern water town of Wuzhen, the AlphaGo program held off China's world number one Ke Jie in front of Chinese officials and Google parent Alphabet's chief executive Eric Schmidt.

Add "becoming world number one Go player" to the list of achievements technology has just made it pointless to pursue. According to DeepMind cofounder Demis Hassabis, Ke Jie "used the ideas AlphaGo used in the online games in January"; in other words, Ke Jie tried to use AlphaGo's own moves against itself.

Most eyes will be on the Ke Jie showdown, however, and with good reason. Last year, it defeated South Korea's Lee Sedol. AlphaGo had earlier showed its incredible moves against the Korean legend Lee Se-dol who lost the match 1-4 to the prolific AI.

The AI won by just half a point in its latest match.

Hassabis also announced that DeepMind will once again publish an academic paper detailing the methodology behind AlphaGo, which will reveal how the AI has been enhanced since its last public competition.

When asked about the match in general, Ke said he was shocked by a couple of moves during the mid-game as those moves wouldn't be played by human. 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. In Pair Go two human players, Gu Li and Lian Xiao will each have Alpho Go as a teammate as they play each other. Aside from the foray in Go, the AlphaGo program is entering healthcare next, playing an active role in the research and treatment of complicated diseases including diabetes and cancer, said Shi Bomeng, President of Google China. "I opened the match following Master's style, aiming to see how AlphaGo responds".

While IBM's DeepBlue beat chess grand master Kasparov some 20 years ago using the "brute force" technique - essentially calculating all possible outcomes - AlphaGo has a much harder challenge.



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