Tic-tac-toe fell in 1952, checkers in 1994, chess in 1997 and it now looks like Go, the ancient Chinese game that has a search space many, many times greater than chess, has fallen to a new AI from Google.
…our program AlphaGo achieved a 99.8% winning rate against other Go programs, and defeated the human European Go champion by 5 games to 0. This is the first time that a computer program has defeated a human professional player in the full-sized game of Go, a feat previously thought to be at least a decade away.
Importantly, AlphaGo isn’t based primarily on searching a huge space but on deep neural networks that learned first from human players and then from simulated play with itself. The techniques, therefore, are not limited to Go.
AlphaGo will face its greatest challenge in March.
AlphaGo’s next challenge will be to play the top Go player in the world over the last decade, Lee Sedol. The match will take place this March in Seoul, South Korea.
Win or lose, I will bet that Lee Sedol is the last human champion the world will ever know.