Google is showing off its powerful AlphaGo program by publishing videos and live-streams to its entire Google DeepMind Challenge Match series.
Google bought DeepMind Technologies - an artificial intelligence company - for $650 million in January 2014. The company created a neural network capable of learning how to play video games in the same way as humans. Most people heard of Google DeepMind in early 2016, when the AlphaGo program beat a human professional Go player. Google DeepMind basically taught the computer program the ancient game of Go.
The highly-intelligent computer program is capable of winning the game every time - even when pitted against professional players and champions. Earlier this week, for instance, it defeated legendary Go player Lee Sedol in the first of five matches being held in Seoul, South Korea. Lee, who is competing for a $1 million prize, quit the first match with 28 minutes remaining on the clock. He also lost a second match on 10 March.
The point of Go is to control at least 50 per cent of the board. Needless to say, it’s difficult to do. Now, in order for computers to play, they must be programmed to recognised all the variations. Chess, in comparison, has 10 to the power of 60 possible plays. In fact, chess was mastered by a computer game in 1997, but the first classic game to be mastered by a computer was Noughts and Crosses (also called tic-tac-toe) in 1952.
DeepMind's AlphaGo program uses a complex system of deep neural networks and machine learning to beat human players. It defeated European champion Fan Hui last year. Lee will face off against AlphaGo again on 12 March, 13 March, and 15 March. Each game is part of a 5-match series and will be live-streamed and published to YouTube. Videos for the first two matches in which AlphaGo won are available below.
Whether or not Lee beats AlphaGo this weekend, one thing is for sure: these first AlphaGo victories are huge moments for artificial intelligence as a whole. Google has said that research from the entire AlphaGo project could affect how computers search for a sequence of actions as well as further facial-recognition processing and predictive search.
Match 1 - Google DeepMind Challenge Match: Lee Sedol vs AlphaGo
Match 2 - Google DeepMind Challenge Match: Lee Sedol vs AlphaGo
And here's a playlist to upcoming live-streamed matches...