Wednesday January 4, 2017
DeepMind on Thursday afternoon confirmed that a “new prototype version” of AlphaGo has been the mystery player playing as Master and Magister on the Tygem and FoxGo servers, defeating more than 50 of the top go players in the world.
“We’ve been hard at work improving AlphaGo,” DeepMind’s Demis Hassabis tweeted, “and over the last few days we’ve played some unofficial online games at fast time controls with our new prototype version, to check that it’s working as well as we hoped.” Hassabis went on to say that “We’re excited by the results and also by what we and the Go community can learn from some of the innovative and successful moves played by the new version of AlphaGo.”
“Having played with AlphaGo, the great grandmaster Gu Li posted that ‘Together, humans and AI will soon uncover the deeper mysteries of Go”. Now that our unofficial testing is complete, we’re looking forward to playing some official full-length games later this year in collaboration with Go organisations and experts, to explore the profound mysteries of the game further in this spirit of mutual enlightenment. We hope to make further announcements soon!”
In addition to the Top 5 placing in the poll of Science (American Association for the Advancement of Science) magazine’s readers, AlphaGo was listed as the 10th most important scientific event in 2016 by Science News Magazine (Society for Science and the Public).
Note: Tobias Berben has posted 41 of the game records here.
Wednesday January 4, 2017
Is AlphaGo the Master? A mysterious online player has been making huge waves by defeating dozens of top professionals on go sites in Asia in recent days. “Master” first appeared on December 30, 2016 (Beijing time), registering from Korea. Achieving 30 consecutive wins against many former and current world go champions, Master defeated Park Junghwan four times and Ke Jie twice. After that, Master appeared on a different go site and logged another 20 consecutive wins. That made it 50 games in a row with no losses.
While the essentially universal consensus is that this is another AI player, it’s hotly debated whether this is a new edition of AlphaGo or not. More and more seem to believe it is. There’s been no official statement from the AlphaGo team thus far, and Aja Huang cryptically responded “interesting” to speculation that AlphaGo is Master. Adding fuel to the rumors, ScienceNews tweeted “AlphaGo: Now I am the master” promoting it’s Year in review: AlphaGo scores a win for artificial intelligence story on December 29, just before Master first appeared.
On January 4 (local time), the sina.com news site was ready when Master resurfaced. It broadcast the games live, accompanied with anonymous commentaries. The Taiwanese player Zhou Junxun 9p tried first with a strategy of playing “Symmetry Go” or “Imitation Go.” But Master’s superb opening (Zhou’s own impression after the game) thwarted that effort, notching win #51.
The Chinese player Chen Yaoye 9p was the next challenger. But his computer disconnected and Chen was not able to continue. There were sarcastic comments among viewers that Chen had inadvertently broken Master’s win streak, since a game dropped after only a very few moves was technically ruled a draw.
The next two games, against Fan Tingyu 9p and Huang Yunsong 6p, resulted in Master’s 52nd and 53rd consecutive wins and are posted below. Master’s 59th and 60th (and last) games against Zhou Ruiyang 9p and Gu Li 9p also appear below.
- Ze-Li Dou, with additional reporting by Zhiyuan “Edward” Zhang
Sunday December 11, 2016
We’ve fallen behind again on responding to and publishing go-related finds from our sharp-eyed readers; here’s a partial round-up to start catching up.
President Obama on go: “If you’ve got a computer that can play Go, a pretty complicated game with a lot of variations, then developing an algorithm that lets you maximize profits on the New York Stock Exchange is probably within sight.” President Obama, in his August 24 interview with MIT’s Joi Ito and WIRED’s Scott Dadich. Thanks to Felipe M Pait.
“MIT researchers are now teaching computers to predict the future” (NBC) “Many experts had thought Go — which has significantly more sequences of valid moves — could be harder for computers to grasp…(but) A network for identifying coral knows nothing about identifying, even, grass from sidewalk. The Go network isn’t just going to become a master at checkers on its own.” Thanks to Michael Bacon.
DeepMind, Master of Go, takes on video game Starcraft (Bloomberg) Google’s DeepMind AI unit, which earlier this year achieved a breakthrough in computer intelligence by creating software that beat the world’s best human player at the strategy game Go, is turning its attention to the sci-fi video game Starcraft II. Thanks to Ted Terpstra and Les Lanphear. photo: Blizzard.com
Get a clue: The clue for 9 down in The New York Times crossword for Friday October 21 was is “Go, for one” and the answer was “game.” Thanks to Roy Laird.
LeGuin’s “Left Hand”: “On Page 240 of my Penguin copy of Ursula LeGuin’s ‘Left Hand of Darkness’ she writes ‘… Ai (the space traveller) taught me a Terran game played on squares with little stones, called ‘go’, an excellent difficult game. As he remarked there are plenty of stones here to play ‘go’ with..’” - None Redmond
Tuesday December 6, 2016
Tuo Jiaxi 9p won the first game in the best-of-three Samsung Cup final against Ke Jie 9p. Stephanie Yin 1p’s AGA YouTube commentary on Monday night’s game has now been posted. Myungwan Kim 9p will be providing commentary on Game 2 on Tuesday, starting at 8p PST on the AGA’s YouTube and Twitch channels.
Tuesday December 6, 2016
AlphaGo is a People’s Choice finalist for Science’s “Breakthrough of the Year.” The stunning win by the go AI over Lee Sedol earlier this year was a top choice in the first round of voting as one of the most momentous scientific developments of the year.
“We’ve just finished one round of voting with more than 11,000 votes tallied,” say Science editors, who will also release their list of top picks later this month. “Now it’s time to make your voice heard again. Choose your winner from among the five finalists. Cast your vote today, and check back on December 22 to see how your choice stacks up against ours.”
Saturday December 3, 2016
AlphaGo is a top contender for the 2016 “Breakthrough of the Year” in Science’s annual survey of momentous scientific discoveries, developments, or trends. Voting continues through Sunday, December 4; click here to vote. At 14%, “AI Ups its Game” is second only to “Human embryos in a dish,” with 20% response, narrowly leading “Ripples in spacetime” with 13%. After voting closes on Sunday, a second round of voting will be conducted with the 5 finalists to pick the official winner, and the People’s Choice selection, along with Science editors’ pick, will be announced on December 22.
Wednesday November 30, 2016
The Nihon Kiin on Tuesday announced a new World Championship tournament that will include top professional players and a strong AI program, to be held in Osaka in March 2017. The tournament is sponsored by NTT Docomo, Mitsui Sumimoto, Daiwa Securities, Hankyu Inc. and Nikkei Inc., and is organized by the Nihon Kiin. With a top prize of \30M (about $270K) and runner-up prize of \10M, the tournament has one of the highest prize structures among go championships.
From March 20-24, three top players from Japan, China, and Korea will join DeepZenGo in a four-round round-robin tournament at Nihon Kiin’s Kansai branch office. Additional playoff will be held in case of ties.
Iyama Yuta (right) has been chosen as the Japanese representative. The ‘seven-crown champion’ who holds all the major Japanese pro titles, Iyama said that he was honored to be chosen and this would be the first time in a long while that he could play in an international tournament without conflicts with the tight domestic competition schedule. He promised to do his best to get good results for Japan. Chinese and Korean representatives will be determined soon.
DeepZenGo was chosen to represent AI. Hideki Kato, DeepZen’s author, expressed gratitude to the great effort and support of the organizers and promised that DeepZenGo would work hard to improve in the next few month to achieve a good result in the tournament.
- Thomas Hsiang
Sunday November 20, 2016
Deep Zen Go won Game 2 of the 3-game match with Cho Chikun 9P on November 20, evening the score at 1-1. “Cho played badly with White in the opening but invaded Black’s huge moyo later and had a chance to live and win the game,” Michael Redmond 9P tells the E-Journal. “With mistakes by both players in the final fight, Cho’s group died.” Watch for Redmond’s game highlights, which will be posted here when available.
The final and deciding game will start at 11p US Eastern Standard Time on Tuesday, November 22. Redmond and Antti Tormanen 1P will once again provide English commentary live online.
Saturday November 19, 2016
The legendary Cho Chikun 9P defeated Deep Zen Go in the first game of their 3-game match. “Zen played a pro level opening and middle game, but lost in the endgame,” says Michael Redmond 9P in his game commentary for the E-Journal. (See below; click here for his AlphaGo commentaries) The program resigned after move 223. The match continues tonight, with live English commentary by Redmond and Antti Tormanen 1P on the NiCONiCO website (requires free registration). The Game 1 commentary drew 20,000 viewers, and Myungwan Kim 9P also provided commentary on the AGA’s YouTube channel. Zen is a strong go engine by Japanese programmer Yoji Ojima with cluster parallelism added by Hideki Kato. Cho Chikun 9P is sometimes referred as the 25th Honinbo, an honorific title given for winning the Honinbo title five consecutive times.
Cho Chikun 9P vs. Deep Zen Go:
Thursday November 17, 2016
In the second “Man vs. Machine” match of the year, Deep Zen Go will take on the legendary Cho Chikun 9P (honorary Meijin) in a 3-match series to be held November 19th, 20th and 23rd. Using the same deep learning system as AlphaGo, Deep Zen Go is considered the second best computer go program in the world, reaching the No.1 ranking as KGS 9-dan in September 2016. Reportedly, the program has gotten stronger since then.
Michael Redmond 9P and Antti Tormanen 1P will provide live commentaries on the matches in English on the NiCONiCO website (requires free registration; see below for direct links for each match). “From some games I saw on the net I think Zen has reached pro level,” Redmond told the E-Journal. Click here for Redmond’s commentaries on the historic AlphaGo-DeepMind match earlier this year.
The games will start at 13:00 on November 19, 20 and 23 (Japan local time), or 23:00 on November 18, 19, and 22 (US Eastern Standard Time).
Here are the links for each match with US dates/times:
November 18 (11p EST)
November 19 (11p EST)
November 22 (11p EST)
The games may also be watched on Wbaduk (Cyberoro).
THIS JUST IN (11/18 4p): Myungwan Kim 9P will also be providing commentary on the AGA’s Youtube and Twitch channels Friday and Saturday nights, beginning at 10p PST (1a Sat 11/19).