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
Lexile

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 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. It even eclipsed reports of North Korean threats of a pre-emptive strike on the South.
 
The final game was too close to call until the very end. Experts said it was the best of the five games in that 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 and 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. Go fans across Asia were astonished when Lee, one of the world's best Go players, 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, which 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 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 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 (4)
  • mayaw-6-bar
    3/28/2016 - 07:54 p.m.

    A machine could make mistakes by responding with the wrong move if it's opponent did a move that was unexpected. In paragraph 15, it states that, "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." Since the computer already thought that it knew what it's opponent was going to put, then they could have responded with the wrong move, which I would consider making a mistake. Therefore, a machine could make mistakes by responding with the wrong move if it's opponent did a move that was unexpected. I chose this article because I thought it was going to be about artificial intelligence, and I was correct. I did not enjoy this article because I think artificial intelligence is a bad thing, that in one hundred years will kill us all.

  • joey0111-byo
    3/28/2016 - 09:09 p.m.

    Machines can make mistakes because of an error in their system. Also, they can be used for something they weren't meant to do. Like the AlphaGo program, it could not feel the things that a human would feel during a competition.

  • danielb-knu
    3/30/2016 - 01:38 p.m.

    HAL 9000 begs to differ

  • lucasl-3-bar
    3/30/2016 - 11:26 p.m.

    As stated by the article, the computer was poor in reacting against an unexpected move by its opponent. Lee Sedol managed to win a match by exploiting this weakness. The machine uses a series of algorithms to predict its opponent's weaknesses. If Sedol responds with an out-of-the-ordinary move, the machine is likely to be confused by the move and make a mistake. The article was interesting because it showed the intellectual battle between human and machine, using the battlefield of the old game, Go. As technology continues to develop, it may begin to outpace its human creators, which is why it is imperative that developers closely guard these machines, as they could potentially be very dangerous if they fall into the wrong hands.

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