Go champion says machine is not superior to man South Korean professional Go player Lee Sedol, right, watches as Google DeepMind's lead programmer Aja Huang, left, puts the Google's artificial intelligence program, AlphaGo's first stone during the final match of the Google DeepMind Challenge Match in Seoul, South Korea, Tuesday, March 15, 2016. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)
Go champion says machine is not superior to man
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Game not over? Human Go champion Lee Sedol says Google's Go-playing program AlphaGo is not yet superior to humans. That is despite its victory in a match that ended March 15.
 
The week-long showdown between the South Korean Go grandmaster and Google DeepMind's artificial intelligence program showed the computer software has mastered a major challenge for artificial intelligence.
 
"I don't necessarily think AlphaGo is superior to me. I believe that there is still more a human being could do to play against artificial intelligence," Lee said after the nearly five-hour-long final game.
 
AlphaGo had the upper hand in terms of its lack of vulnerability to emotion and fatigue. They are two crucial aspects in the intense brain game.
 
"When it comes to psychological factors and strong concentration power, humans cannot be a match," Lee said.
 
But he added, "I don't think my defeat this time is a loss for humanity. It clearly shows my weaknesses. But not the weakness of all humanity."
 
He expressed deep regret for the loss and thanked his fans for their support. He said he enjoyed all five matches. He was beaten in four.
 
Lee, 33, has made his living playing Go since he was 12. He is famous in South Korea. He is famous even among people who do not play the game. The entire country was rooting for him to win.
 
The series was intensely watched across Asia. The human-versus-machine battle hogged headlines.
 
The final game was too close to call until the very end. Experts said it was the best of the five games. Lee was in top form and AlphaGo made few mistakes. Lee resigned about five hours into the game.
 
The final match was broadcast live on three major TV networks in South Korea. It could be watched on big TV screens in downtown Seoul.
 
Google estimated that 60 million people in China, where Go is a popular pastime, watched the first match.
 
Before AlphaGo's victory, the ancient Chinese board game was seen as too complex for computers to master. Lee is one of the world's best players. Fans across Asia were astonished when he lost the first three matches.
 
Lee's win over AlphaGo in the fourth match showed the machine was not infallible. Afterward, Lee said AlphaGo's handling of surprise moves was weak. The program also played less well with a black stone. It plays first and has to claim a larger territory than its opponent to win.
 
Choosing not to exploit that weakness, Lee opted for a black stone in the last match.
 
Go players take turns placing the black and white stones on 361 grid intersections. The game is played on a nearly square board. Stones can be captured when they are surrounded by those of their opponent.
 
To take control of territory, players surround vacant areas with their stones. The game continues until both sides agree there are no more places to put stones. Or they play until one side decides to quit.
 
Google officials say the company wants to apply technologies used in AlphaGo in other areas, such as smartphone assistants, and ultimately to help scientists solve real-world problems.
 
As for Go, other top players are bracing themselves.
 
Chinese world Go champion Ke Jie said it was just a matter of time before top Go players like himself would be overtaken by artificial intelligence.
 
"It is very hard for Go players at my level to improve even a little bit, whereas AlphaGo has hundreds of computers to help it improve and can play hundreds of practice matches a day," Ke said.
 
"It does not seem like a good thing for we professional Go players, but the match played a very good role in promoting Go," Ke said.

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
How could a machine make mistakes?
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COMMENTS (27)
  • caymani-hol
    3/28/2016 - 02:13 p.m.

    I think the machine could make mistakes they can not think the same as humans. So if we changed the pattern they wouldn't understand the way a human would.

  • victoriag-hol
    3/28/2016 - 02:42 p.m.

    Machines could make mistakes because it cant think like a human. A machine can't predict what will happen next which seems to be a key aspect in the game go. The machine will try to make the best possible or safest play which makes the machine predictable. I thought this article was interesting in saying that Ai isn't yet smarter or tactical than a human.

  • drewt-bru
    3/28/2016 - 08:21 p.m.

    There are lots of ways machines could make mistakes.One way is my grabbing or knocking the wrong thing over.Another machines could make mistakes is by malfunctioning.The last way machines could make mistakes is by saying/hearing the wrong thing.These are some of the ways that machines could make mistakes.

  • william1108-yyca
    3/28/2016 - 09:22 p.m.

    Machines can't think like humans. So, if the opponent change the way to play go, machines can't predict. But they learn the way. Human player has to play go every different way while playing then. Because of machine's learning, machine can be predicted but not human.

  • anthonyg1-ver
    3/28/2016 - 10:14 p.m.

    I think a machine could make a mistake because all it knows is what it is programed and is one thing is not programed correctly the computer fails.

  • josepht-2-bar
    3/30/2016 - 11:44 p.m.

    Machines could make mistakes because they can not predict moves that the opponent might do. And they have to follow how they were programed to do. "When it comes to psychological factors and strong concentration power, humans cannot be a match," Lee said." I think this article is interesting because I think that computers are usually correct.

  • chrisl1-cam
    3/31/2016 - 06:45 a.m.

    It makes mistakes when there is a trouble which the machine didn't experienced and doesn't know what moves to take.

  • briann-cam
    3/31/2016 - 06:49 a.m.

    Computer makes mistakes when they didn't predict something or when computer doesn't know something

  • sierrab-ste
    4/01/2016 - 09:42 a.m.

    Machines are not able to see the persons body language or think like a human. It cannot predict what is going to happen next.

  • avab-4-bar
    4/01/2016 - 09:44 a.m.

    Machines can make many mistakes, even though they are very helpful to us, but machines don't have the complex brain of a human and don't think like one, so the machine can't manage cause and effect situations or they can't predict whats going to happen after they do something.

    I found this article interesting because even though machines can be super helpful to us these days, I feel they are getting more credit for things, but i think we should limit the amount of machine power we use for man power.

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