Google's DeepMind has created AlphaGo, a program that has just defeated South Korean Go champion Lee Sedol. Go is an ancient game that is considered to be orders of magnitude more difficult than chess.
(Google DeepMind AlphaGo video)
Google DeepMind’s machine-learning AlphaGo program has defeated South Korean Go champion Lee Sedol in the first match of five historic matches between human and AI, taking place in Seoul.
Google DeepMind is offering $1 million in prize money for the winner. If AlphaGo wins, Google will donate the prize money to UNICEF, STEM and Go charities.
“The Google AI win in Go is yet another hurdle jumped over by AI,” said Ray Kurzweil. “When a computer took the world chess championship in 1997, observers noted that chess was just a combinatorial logic game and that computers would never win at Go. Indeed, Go requires the more human-like capability of deeply understanding patterns, which AI is now mastering. Today, computers are doing many things that used to be the unique province of human intelligence, such as driving cars, identifying complex images and understanding natural language. But this is not an alien invasion of intelligent machines from Mars. Rather these are tools of our own creation designed to extend our own reach, physically and now mentally.”
AlphaGo is a long way from the science fictional robots that are easily able to play chess with people.
Moxon sat facing me at the farther side of a small table upon which a single candle made all the light that was in the room. Opposite him, his back toward me, sat another person. On the table between the two was a chessboard; the men were playing...
The response of his antagonist, while equally prompt in the inception, was made with a slow, uniform, mechanical and, I thought, somewhat theatrical movement of the arm, that was a sore trial to my patience. There was something unearthly about it all, and I caught myself shuddering...
Then I remembered that Moxon had once spoken to me of having invented such a piece of mechanism, though I did not understand that it had actually been constructed.
(Read more about Ambrose Bierce's 1910 automaton chessplayer)