Human vs. Machine

April 27, 2016

What do you think?

It was the ultimate challenge for champion Go player Lee Sedol — beat Google’s computer Go (named AlphaGo) in a challenge match. At first it didn’t seem possible. AlphaGo beat Lee in the first three matches, but in the fourth match, Lee found some weaknesses and beat the computer in game 4. Success! But why was this such a newsworthy game?

Well, at first glance Go is a simple game: place black and white stones in a certain way to surround and remove the other player’s stones. Whoever’s stones covers the board most, wins. But Go is actually a very complex game with almost countless moves and position possibilities. There is strategy involved, but a lot of it is also based on intuition (or a “gut” feeling), a kind of human intelligence that is very difficult to replicate in computers. That’s why when AlphaGo was able to beat Lee in the first three matches, those working on artificial intelligence were excited about what they might have possibly achieved. But Lee’s one win means that there’s still work to be done in the area of artificial intelligence to completely beat the human mind. Let’s Go!

Do you think computers can beat humans in almost all games?