The Win

The Go challenge is finally over. And it seems that humanity lost; however, we did score one victory, so that's something.

Lee Sedol, the 18 time world champion of Go, beat Google’s artificial intelligence program this past Sunday, but the AI program snatched the ultimate victory. The Go-playing AI AlphaGo just beat the world-class player for a fourth time, winning the five-game series 4-1 overall.

However, the final win was a little tenuous for a time. As Tweets from DeepMind founder, Demis Hassabis, who live Tweeted the event, reveal.

Lee was fighting to take home a $1 million prize that was put up by Google, but DeepMind's victory means that the funds will be donated to charity.


AlphaGo is an algorithm that has mastered the game of Go. To do this, DeepMind is using a type of AI called deep learning, which involves training artificial neural networks on data — such as photos — and then getting them to make inferences about new data based on patterns found in the information that it is fed. 

In this case, the AI predicts which moves to play next by researching expert Go players’ moves in games. It uses a process of trial and error, effectively getting smarter by playing itself.

Although AlphaGo was made to play Go, the DeepMind team wasn’t sure their program would be the winner. A few months ago, Hassabis, was quoted saying, “If we win the match in March, then that’s sort of the equivalent of beating Kasparov in chess. Lee Sedol is the greatest player of the past decade. I think that would mean AlphaGo would be better than any human at playing Go.”

Well Hassabis, it looks like that’s the case.

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