Google’s AI seeks further Go glory

Google has challenged China’s top Go player to a series of games against its artificial intelligence technology. It said the software would play a best-of-three match against Ke Jie, among other games against humans in the eastern Chinese city of Wuzhen from 23-27 April.

Last year, the Google program recorded a 4-1 victory against one of South Korea’s top Go players. One expert said that result had come as a surprise.

“A lot of AI researchers have been working on Go because it’s the most challenging board game we have,” said Calum Chace, author of Surviving AI. “The conventional wisdom was that machines would ultimately triumph but it would take 10 years or so. “The win was a big wake-up call for a lot of people, including many outside the AI community.”

Google’s AlphaGo software was developed by British computer company DeepMind, which was bought by the US search firm in 2014. Its defeat of Lee Se-dol in March 2016 is seen as a landmark moment, similar to that of IBM’s Deep Blue AI beating Garry Kasparov at chess in 1997.

Several of the moves AlphaGo made defied conventional wisdom but ended up paying off. However, many Go aficionados did not recognise Mr Lee as the world’s top player at the time of the contest.

So, the new competition against 19-year-old Mr Ke – who is the current number one according to a popular but unofficial player-ranking system – has the potential to bring additional prestige to Google. Source – BBC

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