AlphaGo machine-learning program defeats top Go player in first match

March 9, 2016

AlphaGo (via DeepMind’s Aja Huang) vs. Sedol in last minute of Match 1 (credit: DeepMind)

Google DeepMind’s machine-learning AlphaGo program has defeated South Korean Go champion Lee Sedol in the first match of five historic matches between human and AI, taking place in Seoul.

The second round will take place today (Wednesday March 9 in U.S.) at 11 PM ET (1 PM KST), also covered on YouTube.

Last October, AlphaGo defeated European Go champion Fan Hui 5-0, making it the first computer program to beat a professional Go player (see “Google machine-learning system is first to defeat professional Go player“).

IBM’s Big Blue computer conquered chess in 1997 in a match with chess champion Garry Kasparov, leaving Go as “the only game left above chess,” according to DeepMind CEO Demis Hassabis.

Google DeepMind is offering $1 million in prize money for the winner. If AlphaGo wins, Google will donate the prize money to UNICEF, STEM and Go charities.

“The Google AI win in Go is yet another hurdle jumped over by AI,” said Ray Kurzweil. “When a computer took the world chess championship in 1997, observers noted that chess was just a combinatorial logic game and that computers would never win at Go. Indeed, Go requires the more human-like capability of deeply understanding patterns, which AI is now mastering. Today, computers are doing many things that used to be the unique province of human intelligence, such as driving cars, identifying complex images and understanding natural language. But this is not an alien invasion of intelligent machines from Mars. Rather these are tools of our own creation designed to extend our own reach, physically and now mentally.”

Deep Mind | Match 1 – Google DeepMind Challenge Match: Lee Sedol vs AlphaGo