This week, person and machine will go toe to toe in a conflict to finish conflicts… of the board game Go.
Entering the ring for mankind is Lee Se-dol, a 33-year old South Korean who’s the present world champion of the ancient Asian board game. For the computers, is an artificial intelligence program designed by Google subsidiary company DeepMind, AlphaGo.
There will be five matches in total, all of which stream on YouTube will live directly from Seoul, South Korea.
While DeepMind may look confident by airing the matchup, Sedol seems to be self assured. In a press conference, he said:
I do not believe it’ll be a really close match. I consider it’s going to be 5-0 [to me], or perhaps 4-1.
In October a year ago, AlphaGo were able to get the better of the three – time European champion Lover Hui.. This breakthrough, was a prime example of a computer program conquering an expert Go player, potentially heralding a fresh age of artificial intelligence.
Go has been played for thousands of years in Asia, and boasts over 40 million players world-wide. The game occurs on a 19-by-19 grid, and two players transfer by encircling their opponent’s stones, black or white rocks on the board in a effort to capture as much land as you can.
Why is this such a huge deal? Well, compared to chess, Go features a massive number of routines and potential positions. Therefore, it is incredibly challenging to play using a methodical chess Grandmaster-fashion technique, and rather needs some awareness of “human instinct.”