In a sure to be surprising upset, Google’s AI has won Game 1 against the best humanity has to offer. Playing Go against 9dan grand master Lee Se-dol, AlphaGo, DeepMind’s Go playing software, was able to secure a win in the first match in a series of 5. While the series is not yet over, the strong showing by AlphaGo, which only gets stronger as it learns, is showing the continued growth in the abilities of AI.
Unlike chess, the sheer numbers of possible moves in Go exceeds our current computational capability to brute force a solution. Because of this, DeepMind trained AlphaGo by a mix of deep neural network machine learning, and tree search techniques. Simply put, AlhpaGo learned the game by watching human master played and honed it’s skill even more by playing against instances of itself.
In a previous series, AlphaGo was able to beat Fan Hui, a 2dan master in a 5-0 shut out series. Even with his much better credentials, Lee still expected a victorious by tough fight, hoping for a 5-0 or 4-1 win in his favor. It remains to be seen if AI has finally surpassed humans at playing Go, but rest assured, the AI is better most of humanity. Be sure to check out the rest of the series here.