Go Grandmaster Applauded After Consolation Win Against Google AI

Go Grandmaster Lee Se-Dol was applauded by the crowd after he defeated Google’s DeepMind artificial intelligence system at the Chinese strategy board game. Although he had already lost the five-match series, with the DeepMind Go program AlphaGo winning the first three matches, Lee’s victory is more than just a consolation, beating an AI that he described after the second match as “near-perfect”.

According to Demis Hassabis, the founder and CEO of Google DeepMind, AlphaGo made a fatal mistake on move 79, which it only realised on move 87. By that point, however, it was too late, and Lee took advantage.

Hassibis went on to explain that AlphaGo uses an adaptive algorithm, allowing it to revise its strategy in real-time. That system, however, got AlphaGo into a bit of a muddle.  “For us this loss is very valuable. We’re not sure what happened yet,” Hassabis said, according to The Verge.

After receiving a rapturous applause in the post-match press conference after the game, Lee remarked that “I’ve never been congratulated so much just because I won one game!” He added that, following his prediction before the series began that he would win 5-0, or 4-1 at worst, this win did mean a lot to him.