Mr Lee had been confident he would win before the competition started…


Lee Sodol is a genius level Go player but he has one fatal flaw in the battle against the machine. He is human.

“Man breaks computer”

Not news.

“Computer breaks man”

Hold the front page!

Deepmind’s AlphaGo program, the AI startup acquired by Google in 2014, just beat Lee Sodol, one of the best Go players in the world in a best of five series 3-0. It had already beat the European Champion earlier this year though many pundits had suggested this would not necessarily mean they would be able to beat the best in the world.

Having expected to win the series, we saw this clip of the interview with Lee after the second game. It seemed fairly clear that he would not win. Lee just looked shell shocked. Meanwhile, the machine just kept on running more games to get better.

In all sports, physical and mental, there are endless stories about how a technically inferior player can beat a better one with all sorts of psychological and mental techniques. I can’t help thinking that this must have preyed heavily on Lee’s extraordinary mind as the series progressed. Meanwhile, the machine just kept on running more games to get better.

This is the end of the third game.

Update. We suspect strongly that AlphaGo is onto us humans. Having realised that a complete whitewash in the match would be  incontrovertible evidence of the rapid rise of the machines, it clearly threw the fourth game just to put us off the scent. (OK, it didn’t but…).

AlphaGo ended up winning the tournament 4 games to one.

Good short writeup of the tournament by DeepMind founder Demis Hassabbis.

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