After a loss in Game 4 of the Google DeepMind Challenge, and a move early on that looked like a mistake, but could have been a creative and effective new move, AlphaGo on Tuesday won Game 5 against the legendary Lee Sedol 9P. This final game of the match was close until the very end, with commentators going back and forth about who was leading. But after 280 moves, down a couple points, Lee resigned, giving the Google AI program a 4-1 match record and achieving a major milestone for artificial intelligence a decade earlier than many predicted.
“It was difficult to say at what point AlphaGo was ahead or behind,” said English commentator Michael Redmond 9P. “AlphaGo made what looked like a mistake with move 48, similar to the mistake in Game Four in the middle of the board. After that AlphaGo played very well in the middle of the board, and the game developed into a long, very difficult end game…AlphaGo has the potential to be a huge study tool for us professionals, when it’s available for us to play at home.” Korean commentator Kim Seongryong 9P added that “Just like the scientists, go players are always trying to find new methods and approaches. And we are so happy when we find them. This Challenge Match has brought us go players to new areas we’ve never explored. We are now seeing a lot more interest in playing go. And even in one week, I feel like my go playing has improved.”
“I just want to say thanks to the entire DeepMind AlphaGo team,” said Chris Garlock, Managing Editor of the American Go E-Journal, and the other half of the English commentary team. “This match… the drama, the historic aspect, the quality of the games, the brilliance of AlphaGo, the brilliance of Lee Sedol, and then the amount of media coverage. This is a gift to go. This is going to do a lot to bring go to new audiences. We could not have dreamed this up any better, and the match delivered beautiful games. This match has done what go always does: brings people together in friendship and cooperation, and that, like the game itself, is beautiful.”
With AlphaGo’s victory, Google DeepMind will donate the $1 million in prize money to UNICEF, STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) charities, and go organizations.
Click here for complete game commentaries, as well as brief game highlights for each round.
photos: (top right) Google DeepMind CEO Demis Hassabis with Michael Redmond (l) and Chris Garlock (r); (middle left) AlphaGo team takes a bow.