Google's Powerhouse DeepMind AlphaGo AI To Challenge World's Top Go Player

A year after defeating South Korea’s Go master Lee Se-dol, Google’s DeepMind AlphaGo is once again ready to challenge the world’s top players. Google, the China Go Association, and the Chinese government are planning to host the “Future of Go Summit” in Wuzhen this coming May.

The “Future of Go Summit” is a five-day festival intended to bring together Google’s AI experts and China’s top Go players. There will be a number of major events during the festival. “Pair Go” will be a game between two pros, however, both pros will also have AlphaGo as their teammate. This event is supposed to “take the concept of ‘learning together’ quite literally”. “Team Go” will be a game between AlphaGo and a five-player team.

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Google CEO Sundar Pichai, Go chamption Ke Jie, and other Go experts in Beijing last year

The summit’s crowning event will be the match between unofficial number one Go champion Ke Jie and AlphaGo. This past January Ke unofficially played an updated version of AlphaGo online and lost all three games. Throughout the summit, there will also be numerous forums on the future of AI. Former champion Lee Se-dol has also been invited, however, it is currently unclear whether he will make an appearance.

Many people have been fearful that AI would diminish the value and fun of games like Go. Many players, however, had found that AI programs like AlphaGo have actually improved their game. Zhou Ruiyang, a 9 Dan Professional, noted “AlphaGo’s play makes us feel free, that no move is impossible. Now everyone is trying to play in a style that hasn’t been tried before.”

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Image from: Wikimedia Commons 

A Google spokesperson noted that DeepMind has been hard at work since their match against Lee Se-Dol. The company has already used the information they have learned to tackle issues such as energy reduction. The spokesperson noted, “We intend to publish more scientific papers in the future, which will include further details of AlphaGo's progress.”

The “Future of Go Summit” will take place May 23-27 in Wuzhen, Hangzhou, Zhejiang.