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24 May 2017, 05:33 | Kristen Gross
Google's AlphaGo now on the Go
Chinese Go player Ke Jie, left, looks at the board as a person makes a move on behalf of Google's artificial intelligence program, AlphaGo, during a game of Go at the Future of Go Summit in Wuzhen in eastern China's Zhejiang Province, Tuesday, May 23, 2017.
AlphaGo is supposed to maximize its chances of winning, rather than maximize the margin of its victory, according toDeepMind founder Demis Hassabis. 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.
"It's humbling to see how pros and amateurs alike, who have pored over every detail of AlphaGo's innovative game play, have actually learned new knowledge and strategies about perhaps the most studied and contemplated game in history". Rematches will take place on Thursday and Saturday before an ultimate victor will crowned. Google said a broadcast of Lee's match with AlphaGo was watched by an estimated 280 million people. The instance of AlphaGo that defeated Ke Jie yesterday uses ten times less compute power than the version that played against Lee Sedol a year ago, and the new instance runs on a single Google cloud machine. "But now I feel its understanding of go and the judgment of the game is beyond our ability". "I will never give up", Ke said.
He added that AlphaGo was a "wonderful player" and "completely different" from past year.
AlphaGo made headlines previous year after winning a five-match tournament against Lee Sedol, considered the world's best player of Go over the past decade.
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Lee, however, said he believes the 19-year-old Chinese Go player will do better in the next game.
In Team Go, a team of 5 Chinese players will join forces to take on AlphaGo. That tournament was a five-game series that saw AlphaGo win the first three matches, although the tournament continued just for fun, with Sedol making a comeback in game four only to be defeated again in the final match.
While playing down expectations of the outcome, he stressed that humanity's trumph over the machine is in the game's intangible magic, instead of the bits and bytes. He noted that the number of possible board states in Go is "more than the number of atoms in the universe".
AlphaGo now has huge influence on the Go circuit, and was star turn at the Future of Go Summit, organised by Google, in China this week. 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.
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