AI player AlphaGo to play Chinese Go champion

AlphaGo will also play against a five-player team in Wuzhen in China

DeepMind’s AlphaGo program will test its artificial intelligence capabilities in May against top Go player Ke Jie.

The match of three games in Wuzhen, China between AlphaGo and the Chinese player comes about a year after the computer program beat by 4-1 a key player, the South Korean Lee Se-dol, in a game that is regarded as involving more complex strategy than even chess.

During the game, players take turns to place black or white pieces, called “stones,” on the 19-by-19 line grid. The aim is to capture the opponent's stones by surrounding them and encircling more empty space as territory. AlphaGo has been seen as a major contender because of its ability to learn from its experience, sometimes resulting in far-from-human but nevertheless successful moves.

After Lee’s defeat there were some game analysts who held that AlphaGo would find it far tougher to beat Ke.

Besides playing Ke, AlphaGo will also contest in games that involve both humans and artificial intelligence programs. In “Pair Go,” one Chinese professional player will play against another but they will both have their own AlphaGo teammate, alternating moves, “to take the concept of ‘learning together’ quite literally,” wrote DeepMind CEO Demis Hassabis in a blog post on Monday.

In an indication that DeepMind is now more confident about the capabilities of AlphaGo, the program will also take on in “Team Go” a five-player team consisting of China’s top pro players. The human players will be “working together to test AlphaGo’s creativity and adaptability to their combined style,” Hassabis said.

AlphaGo follows in the footsteps of the chess-playing Deep Blue computer that beat Garry Kasparov in 1997. Another IBM computer, Watson, won in 2011 in the Jeopardy quiz show.

Watson went on to become a technology that IBM has commercialized to offer natural language processing and machine learning for the analysis of unstructured data.

DeepMind, acquired by Google in 2014, is now part of the Alphabet group.  It described AlphaGo at the South Korea match with Lee as still a prototype, requiring a lot of testing and training of the platform. The games that the program will be playing in Wuzhen are evidently aimed at providing AlphaGo with that exposure.

AlphaGo has already played Ke and other top players in unofficial online games, according to reports. "Now that our unofficial testing is complete, we are looking forward to playing official, full-length games later this year in collaboration with Go organisations and experts...," Hassabis wrote in a Twitter message in January.

Google has used machine learning methods behind AlphaGo to tackle problems such as reducing energy use. It has also used machine learning in many of its products, including Google Photos and Google Translate.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

John Ribeiro

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?