Man vs AI; Google’s AlphaGo will take on a human champ

go board game

AI systems over the decades had evolved so fast such that even experts say we could see machines become smarter than humans. I think Alan Turing saw this coming.

We will see just how far AI has gone as it takes on Lee Se-dol a professional Go player who held the world crown for over a decade. It will be a five-day battle between Man vs AI for supremacy in the 3,000-year-old Chinese board game Go (The board game is said to have more possible board configurations than there are atoms in the Universe). As you all know (well, not everyone), the Chinese board game Go is said to be the most complex game ever designed, with lots of move options, this game requires human-like instincts to prevail.

“If the machine wins, it will be an important symbolic moment,” AI expert Jean-Gabriel Ganascia of the Pierre and Marie Curie University in Paris told AFP

Until now, the game of Go has been problematic for computers as there are too many possible moves to develop an all-encompassing database of possibilities, as for chess.

Jean-Gabriel Ganascia of the Pierre and Marie Curie University
AI expert

The computerized system in question is Google’s DeepMind, AlphaGo, so far it is the first to beat a human champion Go player, Fan Hui. Unlike other AI systems such as IBM’s Deep Blue defeating chess Grandmaster Garry Kasparov in 1997, the AlphaGo uses two sets of “deep neural networks” containing millions of connections that are similar to neurons in the brain. The AlphaGo is able to predict a winner from each move, thus reducing the search base to manageable levels. Following the saying “practice makes perfect” the AlphaGo is partly self-taught — from playing lots of games against itself after initial programming to hone its tactics through trial and error

AlphaGo is really more interesting than either Deep Blue or Watson, because the algorithms it uses are potentially more general-purpose.

Nick Bostrom
Oxford University's Future of Humanity Institute

The challenge is a planned five game series, AlphaGo program will take on Lee Se-dol in the first match at the Four Seasons hotel in Seoul, Korea tomorrow, at 1PM local time that’s 10:30PM ET. The match will be broadcast live on YouTube. The game is expected to take 4 – 5 hours.

Lee says he expects to win “I have heard that Google DeepMind’s AI is surprisingly strong and getting stronger, but I am confident that I can win at least this time”. $1 million prize goes to the winner, which AlphaGo will donate to charity if it wins.

Click here to watch the live streaming from Deepmind’s Youtube channel.

AlphaGo is a computer program developed by London-based Artificial Intelligence firm Google DeepMind to play the board game Go. In October 2015, it became the first computer Go program to beat a professional human Go player without handicaps on a full-sized 19×19 board. AlphaGo’s algorithm uses a combination of machine learning and tree search techniques, combined with extensive training, both from human and computer play.

Lee Se-dol (born 2 March 1983) is a South Korean professional Go player of 9-dan rank. As of February 2016, he ranks second in international titles behind only Lee Chang-ho.

There are no comments

Add yours