alphago

Google’s immense focus on development of artificial intelligence technologies has today proven that the day we switch on our own SkyNet isn’t a far-fetched reality. AlphaGo, the AI-powered self-learning agent developed to play Chinese strategic game — Go, has today registered its second victory against the world’s best Go player, Ke Jie in a three-part match series currently being organized at the “Future of Go Summit” in Wuzhen near Shanghai this week.

The AlphaGo AI system has been developed by London-based DeepMind team acquired by Google for close to $500 million back in 2014. It has been under testing for a couple years and has been practicing its craft by competing on online Go platforms and against some of the most popular Go players from across the globe. Earlier last year, AlphaGo defeated one of the most high-profile players, Lee Sodol 4-1 to emerge a winner in this hugely complex ancient game.

Speaking about the victory in an official statement, Deepmind CEO Demis Hassabis said:

For the first 100 moves it was the closest we’ve ever seen anyone play against the Master version of AlphaGo.

The second Go match is being described as quite different from the first one. In this match, Ke played perfectly and gave AlphaGo a rather run for its victory. The AI system analyzed his first 50 moves to understand the multi-angled assault being launched towards itself and evolved its strategy accordingly to engage in a complex battle across the board using black and white beads. Ke fought the AI until he had to finally resign and forcefully accept his consecutive defeat.

Ke also commented on his match against AlphaGo as under:

Today’s game was different from the first. AlphaGo made some moves which were opposite from my vision of how to maximize the possibility of winning. I also thought I was very close to winning the game in the middle but maybe that’s not what AlphaGo was thinking. I’m a little bit sad, it’s a bit of a regret because I think I played pretty well.

Though DeepMind’s AI system has managed to defeat the person recognized as the world’s best Go player, there is still one match to go and Ke still has once chance to defeat AlphaGo. The first match was extremely close and he was defeated by just half a point, the minimum difference possible. He can now evolve his strategy, based on the two matches he has played with the AI system, and bag a win in the final match tomorrow. But, AlphaGo has already proven that machines have become smarter than humans in today’s age.

Source: The Verge

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