Google AI to play live Go match against world champion

Demis Hassabis

Google’s artificial intelligence (AI) software will go head-to-head with the world’s highest ranked Go player Lee Sedol, the firm has said.

It comes a week after the search giant announced that AlphaGo had beaten French Go champion Fan Hui.

That was seen as a pivotal moment for AI, similar to IBM’s Deep Blue beating Garry Kasparov at ches. The match will take place in Seoul, South Korea, and will be live-streamed via YouTube.

Demis Hassabis, head of Google’s DeepMind lab, announced the news in a tweet.

Mr Sedol said in a statement that although AlphaGo appeared to be a strong player, he was “confident” that he could win the match.

Go is widely regarded as a more complicated game than chess, because of the larger choice of moves, making it a good measure of how AI technology is developing.

Computers have played Go and beaten amateurs but, before Google’s victory against the French champion, experts had predicted that it would take another 10 years until a computer could beat the world’s best Go professionals.

There has been a long tradition of AI software going head-to-head with human players.

In 1996, IBM’s Deep Blue took on chess world champion Garry Kasparov and won, although Mr Kasparov went on to win three and draw two of the following five games.

Then in 2011, IBM’s cognitive platform Watson took on the world’s best Jeopardy players, a popular American quiz show and scooped the $1m prize.

Watson had access to 200 million pages of structured and unstructured content but was not connected to the internet during the game. Source bbc

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2 Responses to Google AI to play live Go match against world champion

  1. alfy says:

    Well, Jim, Go never seems to have caught on in the West. I have played about three or four games, all of which I lost. My teacher and opponent was a Maths graduate so that softens the blow a bit.
    The surprise for me is that you can play, feeling you have built yourself a strong, secure position, and then in one or two moves it all falls apart completely. Unlike chess, where you only lose one piece at a time, even when you are losing badly, in Go it becomes a wipeout. The rules are pretty simple but I have forgotten them now. I probably played about 1975, so may be I can be forgiven for forgetting after 40 years.

    • Deskarati says:

      Hi Alfy, why am I not surprised that you know all about Go? I expect that, although you’ve not played for 40 years, you would still give google’s AI a run for it’s money.

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