Thoughts: A Triumph For Artificial Intelligence

Today was a significant step forward for artificial intelligence with Google’s AlphaGo winning the first of five matches against Lee Se-dol, who ranks second in international titles in the game of Go.

“I don’t regret accepting this challenge,” said Lee. “I am in shock, I admit that, but what’s done is done. I enjoyed this game and look forward to the next. I think I failed on the opening layout so if I do a better job on the opening aspect I think I will be able to increase my probability of winning.” Lee was surprised both by how strong AlphaGo’s opening was, and by some unexpected moves.

Chess was famously ‘conquered’ by AI with IBM’s DeepBlue, but Go has always been elusive because of a list of reasons. Some of these reasons include the huge board size, the large decision trees, and how the game becomes more complex towards the end rather than more simple. But now, it seems that the computer has the advantage.

However, some commentators state that Lee’s playing wasn’t on par with his normal strength and that he had made avoidable mistakes. It would seem that the next few matches will be interesting.