American Go E-Journal » China

“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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New version of AlphaGo self-trained and much more efficient

Wednesday May 24, 2017

by Andy Okun, reporting from the  ‘Future of Go’ summit in Wuzhen, China

The version of AlphaGo that defeated Ke Jie 9p in the first round of the three game challenge match yesterday was trained entirely on the self-2017.05.24_hassabis-ke-silverplay games of previous versions of AlphaGo, a Google DeepMind engineer told an audience in China.  David Silver (at right), lead researcher on the AlphaGo project, told the Future of AI Forum in Wuzhen that because AlphaGo had become so strong, its own games constituted the best available data to use.

The version of AlphaGo that beat Fan Hui 2p in 2015 (AlphaGo Fan) and the one that defeated Lee Sedol 9p last year in Seoul (AlphaGo Lee) each included a “value network,” designed to evaluate a position and give the probability of winning, and a “policy network,” designed to suggest the best next move, that were trained using hundreds of thousands of skilled human games.  The most recent version, AlphaGo Master, trained both networks on a database of its self-play games generated by its predecessors.

This was not the only new information Silver revealed about system.  The version playing Ke Jie is so much more efficient that it uses one tenth the quantity of computation that Alphago Lee used, and runs on a single machine on Google’s cloud, powered by one tensor processing unit (TPU).  AlphaGo Lee would probe 50 moves deep and study 100,000 moves per second.  While that sounds like a lot, by comparison, the tree search powering the Deep Blue chess system that defeated Gary Kasparov in the 1990s looked at 100 million moves per second.

“AlphaGo is actually thinking much more smartly than Deep Blue,” Silver said.

2017.05.24_google-deepmindIn addition, Silver revealed that DeepMind had measured the handicap needed between different versions of the software. AlphaGo Fan could give four stones to the previous best software, such as Zen or CrazyStone, which had reached 6d in strength. AlphaGo Lee, in turn, could give AlphaGo Fan three stones, and AlphaGo Master, which at the new year achieved a 60-game undefeated streak against top pros before coming to this challenge, is three stones stronger than AlphaGo Lee.  Silver delivered this with the caveat that these handicap stones are not necessarily directly convertible to human handicaps.  Professional players suggested that this may be due to AlphaGo’s tendency to play slowly when ahead — i.e., an AlphaGo receiving a three stone handicap may give its opponent ample opportunities to catch up, just as yesterday’s AlphaGo let Ke Jie get to a 0.5 point margin. This also reveals that AlphaGo is able to play with a handicap, previously a matter of speculation in the go community.

Silver’s talk came after DeepMind chief Demis Hassabis gave a passionate account of how go and AI research have fed each other. Go is so combinatorially large that playing it well is intuitive as well as a matter of calculation.  The methods that have worked so well with AlphaGO have generated moves and strategies that seem high level, intuitive, even creative. These same methods have applications in medicine, energy and many other areas. He quoted Kasparov: “Deep Blue was the end.  AlphaGo is the beginning.”

photos by Dan Maas

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Ke Jie: AlphaGo “like a god of Go”

Tuesday May 23, 2017

Excerpted and adapted from a report in The New York Times 

“Last year, (AlphaGo) was still quite humanlike when it played,” said Ke Jie 9P after the first match against the go-playing AI Tuesday. “But this year, it became like a god of Go.”
“AlphaGo is improving too fast,” Ke said in a news conference after the game. “AlphaGo is like a different player this year compared to last 2017.05.23_24alphago-master768year.”
Mr. Ke, who smiled and shook his head as AlphaGo finished out the game, said afterward that his was a “bitter smile.” After he finishes this week’s match, he said, he would focus more on playing against human opponents, noting that the gap between humans and computers was becoming too great. He would treat the software more as a teacher, he said, to get inspiration and new ideas about moves.
Chinese officials perhaps unwittingly demonstrated their conflicted feelings at the victory by software backed by a company from the United States, as they cut off live streams of the contest within the mainland even as the official news media promoted the promise of artificial intelligence.
2017.05.23_AlphaGO_hassabis

Excerpted from Wired 
This week’s match is AlphaGo’s first public appearance with its new architecture, which allows the machine to learn the game almost entirely from play against itself, relying less on data generated by humans. In theory, this means DeepMind’s technology can more easily learn any task.
Underpinned by machine learning techniques that are already reinventing everything from internet services to healthcare to robotics, AlphaGo is a proxy for the future of artificial intelligence.
This was underlined as the first game began and (DeepMind CEO Demis) Hassabis (in photo) revealed that AlphaGo’s new architecture was better suited to tasks outside the world of games. Among other things, he said, the system could help accelerate the progress of scientific research and significantly improve the efficiency of national power grids.

DeepMind Match 1 wrap up
2017.05.23_ke-jie-hassabis“There was a cut that quite shocked me,” said Ke Jie, “because it was a move that would never happen in a human-to-human Go match. But, afterwards I analyzed the move and I found that it was very good. It is one move with two or even more purposes. We call it one stone, two birds.”
“Ke Jie started with moves that he had learned from the Master series of games earlier this year, adding those new moves to his repertoire,” said Michael Redmond 9P. “Ke Jie used the lower board invasion point similar to AlphaGo in the Masters games, and this was a move that was unheard of before then. Although this was one of the most difficult moves for us to understand, in the last month or players have been making their own translations and interpretations of it.”
“Every move AlphaGo plays is surprising and is out of our imagination,” said Stephanie Yin 1P. “Those moves completely overthrow the basic knowledge of Go. AlphaGo is now a teacher for all of us.”

photos: (top) courtesy China Stringer Network, via Reuters (middle) Noah Sheldon/Wired (bottom) DeepMind

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AlphaGo watch parties planned across U.S.

Sunday May 21, 2017

American go clubs across the country are making plans to watch the upcoming AlphaGo-Ke Jie match. AGA chapters that hold an AlphaGo viewing party are AlphaGo 2nd gameeligible for $100 of (non-alcohol) expenses from the AGA’s chapter rewards points pool (read more here). Participating chapters thus far include the National Go Center in Washington, DC, Seattle, Austin and Durham. If your chapter is planning a watch party, email details to us at journal@usgo.org

The National Go Center’s watch party starts at 10:30p Monday night and runs until the match ends; pizza will be provided. The Center will be open for play starting at 9p and is located at 4652 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, District of Columbia 20016. “We’ll also be open for the remaining events,” reports Nate Eagle, including Tuesday starting at 7p and staying open for the Future of Go forum at 9pWednesday starting at 7p and staying open for the game starting at 10:30pThursday starting at 6p and staying open for the Pair Go / Team Play starting at 8:30p, and Friday starting at 7p and staying open for the final game starting at 10:30p. Click here for the up-to-date listings.

The Seattle Go Center reports that it will be open late to watch all five AlphaGo events.  The full Seattle schedule is on their calendar.  “We had over 60 players for the first AlphaGo/Lee Sedol game, and there is a lot of interest in this match between Ke Jie and AlphaGo as well”, reports Manager Brian Allen.

The Austin Go Club will be sponsoring a watch party on Monday evening for the first game of the Alpha Go vs Ke Jie match; check their Facebook page for details. The Triangle Go Group will host an AlphaGo viewing party on Wednesday evening at the EcoLounge at Recyclique, 2811 Hillsborough Rd, in Durham. “We’ll discuss and review the first game and thanks to the AGA, we’ll enjoy pizza as we try to digest the future of go,” says Bob Bacon. “This will be fun!”

The Neo Millennium Go Club will hold an AlphaGo vs Ke Jie watch party between 3pm and 6pm on May 28th in Andover, Massachusetts (497 South Main Street).  Jie Liang, Zhiping You and Ke Lu will be the main commentators.

photo by Brian Allen: Following the 2nd AlphaGo/Lee Sedol game
This story has been updated with the Millennium Go Club party.

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AlphaGo-Ke Jie match schedule released

Saturday May 20, 2017

DeepMind has released the schedule for the upcoming Future of Go Summit, featuring an updated AlphaGo in several formats, including pair go,2017.05.20_AlphaGo China  DeepMind team go, and a 1:1 match with the world’s number one player Ke Jie.

The action begins Tuesday in China (Monday night in the US), with an opening ceremony at 9p EST and the AlphaGo-Ke Jie match starting at 10:30p EST. The Future of A.I. Forum will take place on Wednesday, the second AlphaGo-Ke Jie on Thursday, 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 will be 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.

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Yuta Iyama, Mi Yu Ting, Park Jeong Hwan & DeepZenGo to battle in Nihon Ki-in’s new “World Go Championship” next week

Wednesday March 15, 2017

A brand-new event, the “World Go Championship”, will be held next week, March 21-23 in Osaka, Japan.  Four top players, Iyama2017.03.16_World GO Championship Yuta (Japan), Park Jeon Hwan (Korea), Mi Yuting (China), and DeepZenGo (representing AI) will fight it out for the title.  The Nihon Kiin will provide streaming and live commentaries on YouTube by Michael Redmond and Anti Tourmanen.  Click here for details and the broadcast schedule.

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Stephanie Yin Reports from the BingSheng Cup World Women’s Go Championship

Saturday December 17, 2016

Stephanie Yin 1p (right) represented North America in the recent BingSheng Cup World Women’s Go Championship. Oh Yujin 3p 2016.12.17_StephanieYin-Bingshenfrom Korea took first place. The 7th (QiongLong Mountain) BingSheng Cup World Women’s Go Championship was held in Suzhou, JiangSu province in China from November 11-17.

2016.12.17_Bingshen-groupThe BingSheng Cup is a single elimination tournament of 16 players. After the first tournament in 2009, it has become one of the most prestigious women’s tournaments. In the opening ceremony, draws were made between the 16 participants, followed by special performances and a luxurious dinner. A very strong field this year attracted passionate local players to spectate throughout the tournament. At the closing ceremony (left), players celebrated the birthdays for Hua, Xueming (female 7dan pro, the leader of Chinese national team) and Hsieh, Yimin 6dan Japanese pro.

[link]

“It was my first time to compete in an individual world women’s championship,” Yin told the E-Journal. “I was quite nervous but also excited. After the draws took on the first day, I got to play Song, RongHui Chinese 5 Dan professional player. We are from the same generation of the go world. Our records were pretty close when I was actively competing in China before I came to the States.” The game commentary is below. “The game actually is very exciting. I was so close! I was ahead all the time but I made a silly mistake at the end game and I lost 2.5 points. I reviewed the game with a lot of Chinese pros.”

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Chen Yaoye 9p Wins 2016 Bailing Cup

Saturday December 17, 2016

Chen Yaoye 9p has bested Ke Jie 9p to win the 2016 Bailing Cup 3-1, locking up the title in a hard-fought Game 4 on 2016.12.17_bailing-finalDecember 15. Click here for Stephanie Yin 1p’s game commentary on the AGA’s YouTube channel.

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Bailing Cup Game 4 Live Commentary Thursday Night

Wednesday December 14, 2016

Stephanie Yin 1p will join the AGA broadcast team Thursday night for Game 4 of the Bailing Cup. Chen Yaoye 9p is up 2-1 against Ke Jie 9p. Commentary on the AGA’s YouTube Channel begins at 9:30PM PST; if Ke Jie 9p wins, we’ll broadcast the fifth and final game on Friday, December 16th, also at 9:30PM PST. Click here for the Game 4 commentary, with Mingjiu Jiang 9P. The Bailing Cup is a biennial international go tournament, which started in 2012 and is sponsored by the Guizhou Bailing Pharmaceutical Group.

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Shanghai to Host Yike New Year Go Congress

Tuesday December 13, 2016

The first-ever Go Congress in China will be held in Shanghai December 31 – January 3 at the Jianguo Hotel. The Yike New 2016.12.11_Yike New Year Go CongressYear Go Congress offers go players a chance to enjoy go in the country where the ancient game originated. “Meet with the people, feel the real Chinese culture and philosophy that the game of go reflects,” organizers say. The Congress schedule includes a 7-round tournament and evening events including pro simuls, Lightning and Pair Go and a 13×13 tournament. Yike is a major mobile social network application providing non-real time mobile play services with more than 30,000 daily active users. Yike does not yet have an English version.
Contacts: (English): Shen Yao, Mobile&Wechat: (+86) 18018602100; yao.shen@golinksworld.com
Chinese: Zhao Ruiliang, WeChat; Mobile: 18918521273

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