Innovation

Google AlphaGo AI took on 5 champion Go players at once and still won

At the recent Future of Go Summit in Wuzhen, China, Google AI-powered AlphaGo took on top Go players in a host of matchups.

Google's AlphaGo has taken on top Go champions before, but on Friday the narrow AI program took on five Go champions at once, and came out victorious. The match was one of several that took place at the Future of Go Summit in Wuzhen, China, highlighting AlphaGo's continued dominance of the game.

The match in question was the fourth main match at the summit, following two one-on-one matches and a pairs match where human players played against each other with AlphaGo as their teammate.

SEE: Google's AI-powered AlphaGo revealed as mystery online gaming champ

During the pairs matches, Google chairman Eric Schmidt tweeted: "This speaks volumes about where AI is headed - human players are teaming up with AlphaGo to have even more fun with the game!"

Next up was the five-on-one match. Chen Yaoye, Zhou Ruiyang, Mi Yuting, Shi Yue, and Tang Weixing joined forces to play against AlphaGo, resigning after 255 moves.

AlphaGo made major headlines when it defeated world Go champion Lee Sedol in 2016. The system continued to make its way in the Go circuits, winning important matches in Europe and 60 in a row online.

At the Future of Go Summit, AlphaGo took on current world champion Ke Jie in three separate matches. Winning the first two already, with the final match to be held on Saturday, May 27, 2017. The summit also hosted a forum on the future of AI as well.

The AI behind AlphaGo originated at DeepMind, a startup that Google acquired back in 2014 for some $400 million. The system uses convolutional neural networks to learn the game by watching previous matches.

The match parallels what has been seen in AI circles in the past, with IBM's Deep Blue beating Garry Kasparov at chess, and its cognitive computing system Watson triumphing in Jeopardy. However, whereas those systems were largely programmed to win, AlphaGo has taught itself the game of Go by training on a large number of previous matches.

The 3 big takeaways for TechRepublic readers

  1. Google's AlphaGo AI recently took on 5 champion Go players at once, winning when the human players resigned.
  2. The match took place at the Future of Go Summit in Wuzhen, China, where AlphaGo also played the world champion, Ke Jie.
  3. AlphaGo is part of the DeepMind division of Google, born out of Google's 2014 acquisition of the company DeepMind.

Also see

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Image: Google

About Conner Forrest

Conner Forrest is a Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He covers enterprise technology and is interested in the convergence of tech and culture.

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