AlphaGo, an AI developed by Google’s DeepMind division, has defeated the Chinese Go master Ke Jie in the first match of a three-match series currently going on in China. The latest significant victory for the AI has come after it beat South Korean Go champion Lee Se-dol last year and has come as a proof that it is getting better with time.
This victory is quite important from AlphaGo's perspective as Go is considered to be one of the most complex board games, and AIs are restricted in a way about what they can do as compared to humans who can think more freely and adapt to situations. Although it won by only half a point, it gives an idea of what AIs would be able to accomplish in the future with all the improvements. Jie was also left "deeply impressed" and "quite shocked" after the game ended. He also talked about a particular cut that, according to him, would never happen in a Go game featuring only humans. It is worth mentioning that Jie started the game in the same style AlphaGo likes to play but as it is not hard to guess, it did not go as he might have expected in the beginning. After the game, DeepMind's co-founder Demis Hassabis appreciated Jie for his game and pushing the AI to its limits.
AlphaGo and Jie are facing each other in a three-match series as part of Future of Go summit in China. There are still two more games to be had between Jie and AlphaGo and if Jie manages to win both, he will be taking home $1.5 million as prize money and retaining his title of being the world’s best Go player. On the other hand, if the AI wins then it will be another feather in its cap. This will also serve as a sign that Google is quite ahead of the competition when it comes to AI, machine learning and deep learning. The remaining two games will be played on this coming Thursday and Saturday as per China time. If interested, you can live stream all matches on DeepMind's official YouTube channel.