American Go E-Journal

“100 percent perfection,” AlphaGo clinches match against Ke Jie, 2-0

Thursday May 25, 2017

Despite 100 moves that “were the best anyone’s ever played against the Master version,” world number 1 Ke Jie 9P was forced to resign Game 2 of his match against AlphaGo on Thursday in Wuzhen, China, clinching the best-of-3 series for the go AI. Afterwards, Ke said that he thought he “was very close to winning the match in the middle of the game” and that he was so excited “I could feel my heart thumping!” But, he admitted, “Maybe because I was too excited I made some stupid moves. Maybe that’s the weakest part of human beings.” The latest version of AlphaGo, Ke added, “is 100 percent perfection…For human beings, our understanding of this game is only very limited.”

The game was extraordinarily complex, with seven separate groups on the le2017.05.25_26googleswins-1-master768ft and lower sides, all of them interrelated and none of them settled. This type of complex interaction, impossible to calculate fully and demanding the most of each player’s value judgment and intuition, brought both Ke Jie and AlphaGo into their element.

With many groups hanging in the balance, both sides continued raising the stakes. Ke Jie played daringly, creating the possibility of sacrificing the ko and two of his groups to take AlphaGo’s two groups in the upper left on an even larger scale. However, AlphaGo chose to settle the ko and the game by connecting at move 137, conceding enormous gains to White on the lower left to secure even greater profits in the lower right. As Ke Jie, playing white, could not control the whole upper left, AlphaGo’s territorial advantage proved decisive.

“What an honor it is to play with a genius like Ke Jie,” said Demis Hassabis, CEO and co-founder of DeepMind. “This is called the Future of Go Summit, and today I think we saw a game from the future,”

Still to come are Pair and Team Go on Friday, and the third AlphaGo-Ke Jie match on Saturday. (use this Time Zone Converter to determine local dates/times)

DeepMind is streaming the matches live, posting match updates and expert commentaries every day on this page and on their Twitter account, @DeepMindAI. For more details, you can visit the official event page here. American Go Association chapters continue to play watch parties (they’re eligible for $100 in non-alcohol expenses like pizza; click here for details); email details to journal@usgo.org and we’ll post an updated report.

- adapted from a report on the DeepMind/AlphaGo site; photo by China Stringer Network, via Reuters

Other match coverage:
Google’s A.I. Program Rattles Chinese Go Master as It Wins Match (New York Times)
AlphaGo beats Ke Jie again to wrap up three-part match (Verge)
Google’s AlphaGo Continues Dominance With Second Win in China (Wired)
China censored Google’s AlphaGo match against world’s best Go player (The Guardian)

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