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Old 03-06-2016, 12:18 AM   #1
McSweeney
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Rise of the machines: Go computer crushes European champion 5-0, set to play world #1

They said that it could never happen ... they said that the game of Go was too complicated for a computer to beat a human 9 dan ranked professional player in our lifetime ...

But now, a Go computer made by Google called AlphaGo has beaten the European champion Fan Hui in a series 5-0. However, there's a large gap in strength between the top European players and the top players in Japan/Korea/China. Starting on March 9, AlphaGo will play a series against Lee Sedol of Korea, generally considered to be the greatest Go player of the 21st century. Lee Sedol is not technically the #1 ranked player in the world right now; that title belongs to 19 year old prodigy Ke Jie of China. However, Lee Sedol is still an elite top 5 player, and has the most name recognition, so he's a more than adequate representative. This is the Go equivalent of Kasparov vs Deep Blue in the 90s.

Watch the YouTube livestream of the event on March 9 and cheer on our fellow human Lee Sedol to stall the day when we're all enslaved by the machines!

https://googleblog.blogspot.ca/2016/...g-game-go.html
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Old 03-06-2016, 12:22 AM   #2
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Why did Google develop a Go computer? I can't see where Google makes money off this, considering the Kasparov/Deep Blue thing had a little Cold War flair when it happened.

Go is also pretty un-American. So un-American, it's Japanese!
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Old 03-06-2016, 12:40 AM   #3
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I think Google does stuff just because they can. Keep pushing the limits of what computers can do is what Google has been doing. Even if there's no Cold War flair, if AlphaGo can beat humans, it really shows off what they've been doing, possibly even getting more investors into their projects even if such an application has little usage in a consumer market.
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Old 03-06-2016, 12:51 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doppleganger View Post
Why did Google develop a Go computer? I can't see where Google makes money off this, considering the Kasparov/Deep Blue thing had a little Cold War flair when it happened.

Go is also pretty un-American. So un-American, it's Japanese!
Beyond the prestige of it Google is a company that's heavily built around analytics, so turning that expertise from "what porn you would like" to "what are the most optimal move(s) for the current game state" doesn't strike me as being too much of a stretch.
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Old 03-06-2016, 01:02 AM   #5
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I learned about Lee Sedol a month or two ago! Got linked to a game of his while looking for games of Iyama Yuuta's (Japan's No.1 player). What you say is true: he isn't officially ranked No.1 anymore, but in the same sense that Michael Jordan wasn't ranked No.1 in the L.A. Lakers @ Shaquille O'Neal & Kobe Bryant era. The same way everyone would agree that Jordan is one of the greatest ball players who ever lived, Lee Sedol is the closest you can get to a universally agreed upon "best player of the 21st century thus far" designation.

So yeah: if AlphaGo manages to sweep Lee Sedol 5-0, it would be pretty fucking amazing.

But I also wonder if it might have deleterious effects on professional Go. Would it demotivate people to study Go when you know you're only ever going to tie a computer at best, lose to it at worst?

Perhaps not. I mean, simpler games like Poker and mahjong have been figured out. And that hasn't stopped people from enjoying them both casually and professionally.
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Old 03-06-2016, 01:12 AM   #6
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I mean, simpler games like Poker and mahjong have been figured out. And that hasn't stopped people from enjoying them both casually and professionally.
No, this is quite the opposite.

Games like Go and Chess, which are 100% logic based, are much easier to write optimal algorithms for than something like mahjong or poker. No program exists that can consistently beat the world's aces of aces at mahjong, poker...or Yu-Gi-Oh!. Randomization, which guarantees that some hands/rounds/games are unwinnable, is something that analytic cannot take into account.

This is why I'm surprised Google build a Go computer, when unsolved questions like baseball and political elections are still active works-in-progress. There's nothing particularly challenging about Go, it's merely a more advanced version of Chess. DeepBlue beat Kasparov 20 years ago, and technology has logarithmically improved since, so you could almost say what took so long.
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Old 03-06-2016, 01:33 AM   #7
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Whether a board state is brought about through randomness or not does not matter. What matters is an analysis of the board state and a determination of the optimal play that should follow.

I am 99% certain you are wrong to think that mahjong hasn't been cracked.
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Old 03-06-2016, 01:53 AM   #8
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Whether a board state is brought about through randomness or not does not matter.

What matters is an analysis of the board state and a determination of the optimal play that should follow.

I am 99% certain you are wrong to think that mahjong hasn't been cracked.
Except it does matter. Like, a lot. In fact, it's the most important thing. Two equally skilled players playing a game with a random variable will go 50-50 against one another in infinite iterations.

In a game of 100% skill, they tie.

This is often observed in Tic-Tac-Toe, which is a solved logic game even for elementary school children. If you make the best move each turn, you tie. You have to screw up to lose at Tic-Tac-Toe and in high-level skill games, that's often what happens.

The best mahjong flash game I've ever played can be consistently beaten, in a small sample size. Over the long run, it really depends on the player's skill.
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Old 03-06-2016, 04:12 AM   #9
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lmao. Lee Sedol, after returning to Korea from Shanghai after playing a match against Ke Jie, was upset that he lost to Ke Jie and got drunk off Kaoliang (a Chinese liquor). He was quoted talking shit about AlphaGo:

"Those mistakes won't decide the game [referring to the upcoming AlphaGo match] like they did today [his recent match against Ke Jie]. That's because 'AlphaGo' isn't really pro level."

"Just because AlphaGo plays evenly with me doesn't mean that it's at pro level. If you really want a detailed answer, playing evenly with AlphaGo, I'd be able to mess/play around (and still win)." There's just about no way I'd lose in an even game."

"Actually, looking at the game records with Fan Hui 2p, even if I gave it a 2 stone handicap, I could still win. But even if you say that AlphaGo is playing lots of games every month, learning by himself, to raise to the level of playing me evenly, there's still no way AlphaGo could win."

"In top pro games, there are unquantifiable 'twists' and 'shakes' that aren't a part of AlphaGo's training or sense. Considering that, AlphaGo is just a machine; intuition and sense definitely have an influence on who wins the game, so the level of AlphaGo right now cannot surpass pros. Accordingly, in the upcoming match against AlphaGo, it's obvious that I'll win 5-0, so that'd be a happy result; but if the result were something like 4-1 or 3-2, I'd be very unhappy with the result"

Stakes are high, boys. Lee Sedol has insulted AlphaGo's honour. I also forgot to mention that $1 million is on the line ...

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Go is also pretty un-American. So un-American, it's Japanese!
No it isn't
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Old 03-06-2016, 06:56 PM   #10
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Old 03-09-2016, 12:31 AM   #11
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Old 03-09-2016, 07:39 AM   #12
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Google wins Game 1.
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Old 03-09-2016, 01:28 PM   #13
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>it's obvious that I'll win 5-0

Yikes
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Old 03-09-2016, 01:43 PM   #14
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!
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Old 03-09-2016, 06:14 PM   #15
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This is a disaster!

Witnesses reported that Lee Sedol was visibly shaken and upset during the latter stages of the game; if he felt like he was under pressure to perform when he was representing Korea in international competitions, he must really be stressed out now that he's representing all of humanity. Apparently, he was doing very well in the early stages of the game and was ahead, but then he made some "overplays" that may have been intended to test AlphaGo's strength, and he wasn't able to catch back up.

I'm optimistic that he'll get it together and at the very least, not get 5-0'd. But even if Lee Sedol comes back and wins 4 straight games to take the series, the fact that a 9 dan professional lost a game to a computer program is already the beginning of the end for human go players. Well, we do have Ke Jie to fall back on. He's so far ahead of everyone else right now, and the scary thing is, at 19 years old he's not even in his prime yet. It's reported that his upper limit of strength is not known because he's crushed all of his opponents in the past year.

From goratings.com:

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Old 03-09-2016, 06:22 PM   #16
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Was not aware Iyama Yuuta had pulled ahead of Lee Sedol. Good for him. Good for Real Life Touya Meijin.
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Old 03-10-2016, 11:48 AM   #17
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The results for Game 2 are in.

Spoiler: show
... Lee Sedol lost to AlphaGo again! Apparently Lee's position now is, "I hope to win at least one game." #ohshyeeeeeeeeet And apparently Ke Jie is now talking smack about Lee Sedol the same way Lee Sedol was talking smack about Fan Hui. But with many pros speculating now that Lee might be one full handicap stone behind AlphaGo in strength, I think it's safe to say that what many on the Internet are supposing -- that Ke Jie could have beaten the March 2016 version of AlphaGo -- is incorrect. Ke Jie is not one full stone ahead of Lee Sedol. Yes, he's the highest-rated Go player in the world right no. No, he's not so far ahead of Lee Sedol as to make Lee require a one-stone handicap if he hopes to win 50% of his games against Ke. If AlphaGo really is already at the level of a 10 dan, then it's safe to say that the last opportunity for humanity to beat the strongest A.I. opponent passed us by without us even realizing it.
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Old 03-10-2016, 06:45 PM   #18
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This is brutal. We need a pinch hitter. Lee is clearly psychologically broken at this point; he fell into byoyomi quite early on (he used up all of his time, so he was forced to make every move in 1 minute or less). He'll get a day of rest before resuming the series tomorrow.

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[spoiler]#ohshyeeeeeeeeet And apparently Ke Jie is now talking smack about Lee Sedol the same way Lee Sedol was talking smack about Fan Hui.
Did he really? I only saw support from other pros, and they all assumed that Lee would win 5-0. Also, Lee didn't actually talk smack about Fan Hui, only about AlphaGo; it was a mistake on the part of the translator (I fixed that part in my post with an edit a few days ago).

It's interesting how a Go computer could test the theoretical upper limits of strength of a human player, thanks to the handicap system, something that's not possible in chess. If an infinitely powerful computer solved go, how many stones would a pro need against it?

Wasn't there a guy near the end of Hikaru no Go who said that he was going to stop trying to become a pro in order to focus on developing Go AI? Looks like he was the one who ended up finding the Hand of God, not Hikaru.
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Old 03-10-2016, 08:28 PM   #19
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"AlphaGo can't beat me," Ke Jie is quoted as saying after Game 1. I have also read that he has since modified his position and believes AlphaGo would prove a difficult but surmountable opponent.

A lot of enthusiasts observed that Ke Jie was irritated with Lee Sedol's two biggest misplays in Game 2. They think Ke is upset because what we are witnessing is likely the last time the best computer A.I. for Go could ever lose to a human, and that loss would come from Ke Jie vs. AlphaGo; but because it's Lee Sedol playing AlphaGo instead of Ke Jie, by the time it gets around to Ke Jie's turn AlphaGo is going to be so learned as to be untouchable by human adversaries.

While Ke now admits the program would be a tough challenge, there's this obvious snobby air of superiority he has with respect to Lee Sedol. Saying things like "I'd never lose to AlphaGo" after Lee-senpai just lost the first game to it is pretty much identical to saying that Lee-senpai sucks and he ain't your senpai.
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Old 03-12-2016, 06:06 AM   #20
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Old 03-13-2016, 03:49 AM   #21
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It's over, boys. AlphaGo wins the series by taking 3 wins.

BUT THERE'S HOPE ...

Lee Sedol wins game 4! This means that even though he's lost the series, taking that one win confirms that AlphaGo is not invincible, and this bodes well for the inevitable showdown against Ke Jie. It's scary though ... by the time that series happens, AlphaGo will probably power up by a crazy amount. I'm hearing stories about AlphaGo playing games against itself millions of times, and it also has a giant database of professional game records where it steals all the best moves.
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Old 03-13-2016, 04:04 AM   #22
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In this current series, AlphaGo is frozen, i.e the version that played the first game is the same version that plays the last game. I hope this version is the one that plays Ke Jie, otherwise it wouldn't be at all exciting.
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Old 03-13-2016, 05:27 AM   #23
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Given Ke Jie's young age and the likelihood that he hasn't peaked yet, it would be pretty badass if he defeated AlphaGo, then when the stunned press asked him how he managed to do it despite AlphaGo powering itself up over the course of a couple months, he would utter, "The one who powered himself up for two months ... was ME!"
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Old 03-13-2016, 10:21 AM   #24
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So are Japanese players no longer the dominant force in their own game? The fate of the Go world is being determined by Google and Koreans?
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Old 03-13-2016, 10:27 AM   #25
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