Friday, 11 March 2016

Now you know how we feel

I turned up to the ANU Chess Club on Wednesday to see a group of Go players around a laptop. Asking them what was happening they informed me that the Worlds No 1 Go player, Lee Sedol, had just lost the first game in his match against Alpha Go, the Google backed computer Go engine.
They seemed a little stunned, but I tried to cheer them up by saying "Now you now how we feel", referencing Gary Kasparov's loss to Deep Blue 20 years ago.
The win by Alpha Go (and a second one a few hours ago), is as at least significant as Kasparov v Deep Blue, if not more so. Go is considered significantly harder than chess for AI purposes (less brute force, more general cases) and despite Alpha Go winning a match against the European Champion last year, not many people expected this.
"Is this the end of the world?" was one of my follow up questions, to which one of the players replied "Pretty much"
(You can read about the first game, and play through the moves at the excellent GoGameGuru site)

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