Google DeepMind AI beats Go master in epic match, but it’s not over yet

Google’s artificial intelligence just smashed through another barrier. The company’s DeepMind software beat professional Go player Lee Se-dol, currently ranked second best in the world, in the first of five matches pitting man against machine.

The match lasted almost three and a half hours before Lee eventually admitted defeat. Afterwards, he told the press that he was expecting a victory. “I was very surprised,” he said (via The Verge). “I didn’t expect to lose. I didn’t think AlphaGo would play the game in such a perfect manner.”

Lee is also optimistic that he can beat DeepMind in the next match. He noted that Google’s AI had a surprisingly strong opening, and caught him off guard with a few moves throughout the game. The pair will face off again this Saturday, followed by games on Sunday and Tuesday in an eventual five-match series.

If DeepMind can claim victory, it will be a huge moment for artificial intelligence, but even this single win is a big deal. Go has always been one of the final benchmarks for artificial intelligence, due to the high level of strategy and nearly infinite possibilities. Beating a top-ranked player is huge.

Jacob Kleinman

Jacob Kleinman has been working as a journalist online and in print since he arrived at Wesleyan University in 2007. After graduating, he took a...