Google’s AlphaGo defeats top-ranked player to claim series win

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Google’s AlphaGo artificial intelligence system has once again defeated the world’s number one-ranked Go player, Chinese Go grandmaster Ke Jie.

Alpha Go not only won the second match of the best-of-three Future of Go Summit, but also the series itself.

“From our perspective, this was one of the most inspiring games we have ever had the honour to be part of,” reads an excerpt from the DeepMind analysis of AlphaGo’s second match against Ke.

“Drawing on his deep knowledge and balanced yet fierce style, Ke Jie pushed AlphaGo to its limits, creating a masterpiece in which both players explored the complexity that lies at the heart of Go.”

In a post-match conference, 19-year-old Ke said that he thought he was “very close to winning the match in the middle of the game, but that might now have been what AlphaGo was thinking.”

“Last year, I think the way AlphaGo played was pretty close to human beings, but today, I think he plays like the God of Go,” said Ke, in an interview with Reuters.

Ke also said that he would no longer compete against AI opponents.

The victory against Ke is AlphaGo’s greatest accomplishment since the program’s defeat of the number two-ranked player, South Korean Lee Sedol, in 2016.

Industry analysts, like Reuters’s Cate Cadell, believe that AlphaGo’s victory against Ke will serve to aid parent company Google’s efforts to re-enter China in a more formal way.

The most recent AlphaGo victory will also no doubt motivate China to continue working on artificial intelligence, which has reportedly been a top priority for Chinese policy makers since AlphaGo’s victory against Sedol.

AlphaGo is a machine learning algorithm designed by Google’s DeepMind team to play the ancient game of Go. The program plays Go because the game has traditionally been considered more difficult for computers to master than a game like chess.

AlphaGo has three remaining matches in the Future of Go Summit — a paired match, a match against the Chinese Go team, as well as a final match against Ke Jie.

Source: DeepMind, Reuters