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Google DeepMind AI wins 5th Go match, ending historic series

by Jacob Kleinman | March 16, 2016March 16, 2016 1:30 pm PST


For the past week, the world has watched anxiously as Google’s DeepMind artificial intelligence challenged the mankind’s best Go player to what many consider the ultimate AI test. Over the weekend, Google closed out the five-match game with a final win, but not before humanity could strike one decent blow in the fourth match.

Google’s Go-playing program, called AlphaGo, closed on the series early Saturday with its third straight win. Then, a day later, our human champion Lee Sedol struck back with his first win. In their final match, the AI won again despite making a few mistakes early on that put it at a disadvantage for much of the game.

Lee said he’s very proud of his single win even if he lost overall. “Because I lost three matches and then was able to get one single win, this win is so valuable that I wouldn’t exchange it for anything in the world,” he told the press after game four.

DeepMind founder Demis Hassabis also noted that the AI’s single loss is extremely valuable. It gives the Google-owned company a chance to investigate what went wrong in the fourth match and find new ways to improve its software.

With this series all wrapped up, it’s unclear what DeepMind’s next challenge will be. Whatever happens next, this historic event could mark a new era in technology as artificial intelligence begins to improve even more rapidly than before.

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...