Wondering how humanity’s last champion of Go, one of the most complex games of strategy ever devised by our species, fared against’s Google all-conquering AI overlord, AlphaGo? The above picture says it all, really.
Current world champion Ke Jie was already on the ropes last week after being ground out in the first game by AlphaGo, the machine-learning powered AI from Google’s DeepMind laboratories. And that didn’t factor the fact that AlphaGo had already trounced Ke Jie, and practically everyone else, earlier in the year under the online account of “Master”.
But in the final two matches, the gap between humanity and AlphaGo became explicitly pronounced. It was once predicted that it would take a decade before AlphaGo would be capable of beating professional Go players.
Back in the real world, where Ke Jie resigned against AlphaGo after a four hour battle in the third game, the Chinese world champion bleakly told the South China Morning Post that he would never be able to beat AlphaGo in his lifetime, and that he “made several bad moves, moves that I regret, because I wanted to play well too much”.
On the bright side, DeepMind announced that AlphaGo would be “stepping back from competitive play”. It’ll be used predominately in the Go world going forward as a teaching and analysis tool, since there’s nothing left to achieve besides sending an entire generation of Go professionals into a spiral of manic depression. DeepMind will also be publishing an academic paper on how they improved AlphaGo’s efficiency, and how it can be adapted for other applications.
Maybe one application for AlphaGo could be finding ways to cheer Ke Jie up. Bloke looks like he needs it.