(Cyberwar.news) Google’s “DeepMind” artificial intelligence (AI) scored its fourth win over a master player of “Go,” a board game with its origins in ancient China, in the final of a five-match challenge, the BBC reported this week.
South Korean Lee Se-dol, one of the world’s top Go players, only won a single contest against the machine’s “AlphaGo” program, and missed out on a $1 million top prize.
DeepMind founder Demis Hassabis said the match-up was the “most exciting and stressful” on his team. Lee said he was “regrettable” after the contest’s final match.
The BBC reported further:
In Go, players take turn placing stones on a 19-by-19 grid, competing to take control of the most territory.
The game is considered to be much more challenging for computers than chess.
At a press conference held after the final match, Mr. Lee said he did not necessarily think AlphaGo was superior to humans.
But he said he had more studying to do, and admitted the matches had challenged some of his ideas about the game Go.
Go is a major pastime in South Korea, so having one of the country’s – and the world’s – top players lose out to an AI program is a big deal.
The British news network noted that some in South Korea were complaining that their champion only lost because he was really up against an entire team of programmers from Google. But others say the real story is the rise of a machine that has the ability to think and reason.
Human Go champs have nevertheless begun to question themselves and have self-doubts. The BBC reported that one European champion who lost last year to AlphaGo said it was a real blow to his self-confidence, even though the experience allowed him to climb in world rankings.
Go was invented about 2,500 years ago in China, the BBC reported.
The five match challenge began in Seoul on March 9, when AlphaGo scored its first victory. After losing his second match, Lee said he was “speechless,” adding that the AlphaGo machine had a “nearly perfect game.”
Google said the money it put up as a top prize would be subsequently be donated to UNICEF, Stem (science, technology, engineering, and maths) charities and Go organizations.
“We have been lucky to witness the incredible culture and excitement surrounding Go,” said Hassabis.”Despite being one of the oldest games in existence, Go this week captured the public’s attention across Asia and the world.”
Cyberwar.news is part of the USA Features Media network of sites.