American Go E-Journal » Computer Go/AI

How AI study helped improve my go

Wednesday March 25, 2020

by Benjamin Teuber 6d (Germany)

For many years, I was considered the “eternal second” of the German championship. I finished as runner-up nine times – while never winning the title. No matter how well I did, I always managed to lose the decisive game.

Until November of last year, when, to my own and everyone else’s big surprise, I finally became German Champion with a perfect 7-0 record. After the tournament, I got a lot of comments like “you clearly improved” or “you must have studied a lot” from people. But, to be honest, I didn’t prepare much for this tournament. I did no go problems at all, I didn’t play many tournaments, I didn’t take any pro lessons. Please don’t get me wrong, I highly recommend these measures and have used them a lot in the past; that’s how I became 6 Dan, after all. They just can’t be responsible for my recent improvement.

What I have been doing though, was creating my own go study website, ai-sensei.com. It allows you to upload your games and quickly get them analyzed by very strong AI. I believe the key feature of this tool is the focus on big mistakes; that way you can work on your biggest weaknesses instead of getting lost in minor details. So while I didn’t spend as much time studying as I had previously, I did use AI Sensei to review every one of my games and find my biggest mistakes. I would also check an old game every now and then to review my past mistakes. Looking back, I believe this was a very efficient way to spend the limited time I had to study, and it might well be the biggest factor of my recent improvements.

So here’s my advice to anyone using go AI to study:
Focus on your biggest mistakes in each game
Don’t waste time exploring all the variations
Think about the AI recommendations in terms of shape, direction, and strength of groups
Revisit your past mistakes

I invite you to try out AI Sensei yourself; it can be used for free. But whatever tool or AI you are using, I think you’ll find these recommendations useful.

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AlphaGo vs. AlphaGo; Game 37: Into thin air

Sunday March 22, 2020

In this game, “the attacking side suddenly abandons the attack and sacrifices some stones,” says Michael Redmond 9P in his latest AlphaGo game commentary with Chris Garlock. “The attack sort of disappears into thin air.” At the same time, the defending side is trying to sacrifice some stones as well, “so it’s a very unusual fight,” Redmond says, “it wouldn’t happen among human players, I don’t think.” Oh, “And the endgame gets a bit exciting, too.”

The commentary originally streamed live on the AGA’s Twitch channel; follow it to get notified of upcoming live streams.

[link]

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Redmond on AG-AG Game 38 Saturday night on Twitch

Friday March 20, 2020

Tune in to the AGA’s Twitch channel Saturday night at 8p EDT to catch Michael Redmond 9P and Chris Garlock with their latest live game commentary on the AlphaGo vs AlphaGo series. “I see you guys are having new teaching tools!,” said Nat Cole, referring to Redmond’s ability to draw on the board using OGS. “It’s much more effective than when we had to go off on the a, b, c, d, e points. Thank you for doing that!” “Great stuff!” added Ian Eccleston. “I renewed my AGA membership to help support this content.” Tune in at 8p on Saturday, March 21; viewers will be able to ask Redmond and Garlock questions during the live commentary.

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“Alphago to Zero” Twitch stream draws record crowd

Friday March 13, 2020

More than 13,000 viewers — a new record for the AGA’s Twitch channel — tuned in for Thursday night’s Twitch broadcast featuring Michael Redmond 9P and Chris Garlock discussing their new book “Alphago to Zero” and reviewing a game from the historic 2016 showdown between the world champion and the DeepMind AI. “Their passion for this game is infectious,” said CalmExit. The two talked about what it was like to provide the English-language commentary for the 2016 match for a global audience with intense media attention, and took questions from viewers. Chayashida wondered about “Michael and Chris’s thoughts, looking back, four years later…on the actual match as well as how AI has changed the game in the past 4 years.” And sam83a wondered “Does Michael plan writing other books using AI other than this 4-volume series? For example revisiting his san ren sei book, or analyzing historical classical games.” Check out the video to hear the answers to those questions and more, as well as Redmond’s review of Game 4 — chosen by a viewer poll — of the AlphaGo-Lee Sedol match. “I absolutely love how much Redmond loves the game,” said Trevoke. Stephen Hu produced the stream.

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Redmond and Garlock on AlphaGo Thursday on Twitch

Wednesday March 11, 2020

Michael Redmond 9P and Chris Garlock, who teamed up four years ago to comment the historic AlphaGo-Lee Sedol match in Seoul, will appear on the AGA’s Twitch channel Thursday night at 7p EDT to discuss the match and their brand-new e-book AlphaGo to Zero.

“When AlphaGo defeated Lee Sedol, some said it was the end of go,” Redmond and Garlock say in the book’s introduction. “As we have seen since then, it is rather more likely that in many ways the game has just begun.”

The two will discuss the book with viewers, and will take another look at some of the games from the match, with questions and comments from viewers. “Being able to interact with viewers in real time is a real treat,” says Garlock. “We’re really looking forward to it!”

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Redmond and Garlock release “AlphaGo to Zero”

Sunday March 8, 2020

Four years ago today, the whole world watched as a computer program took on one of the top go players in the world. And won. From the historic AlphaGo-Lee Sedol showdown in Seoul in March 2016 to the release of AlphaGo Zero in November 2017, Michael Redmond 9P and Chris Garlock have had a front-row seat, commenting, analyzing and reporting as the AlphaGo AI upended thousands of years of human history. Today, on the fourth anniversary of the beginning of the AlphaGo-Lee Sedol match, they’ve released Volume 1 of AlphaGo to Zero, the first of a 4-volume EPUB series that will thoroughly cover the AlphaGo phenomenon.

Redmond (right) and Garlock commenting AlphaGo vs Lee Sedol 9P Game 1, March 8, 2016

Redmond and Garlock will discuss the book and review games from the AlphaGo vs. Lee Sedol 9P match on Twitch at 7p EDT on Thursday, March 12. They’ll also discuss their experience doing the commentary on the historic match and take viewer questions.

Since the 2016 AlphaGo-Lee Sedol match, Redmond and Garlock have released a popular series of AlphaGo videos and game commentaries on the American Go Association’s YouTube channel. In AlphaGo to Zero, Redmond and Garlock use the power of the EPUB platform to take an in-depth look at the March 2016 showdown between AlphaGo and Lee Sedol 9P. The EPUB not only includes new insights into the match and each game, it enables readers to easily review video game summaries Redmond and Garlock recorded after each game, including some never before released to the general public. The game commentaries include clickable diagrams and Redmond’s original commentaries alongside brand-new comments. It’s also illustrated with color photos of all the action, including some never previously published.
In addition to EPUB, the book is also available in the Go Books app on iPhone, iPad, and Mac.

As the AlphaGo Team says in their introduction, “Chris and Michael experienced first-hand the anticipation and excitement felt by the entire AlphaGo team, and understand better than anyone the significance of these games in showcasing what can be achieved when human and machine come together to solve complex problems.”

“This book is our attempt to capture that story,” say Redmond and Garlock, “to tell you what we saw at the time, what we see now, and to try to place this moment in the history of the game, to get a sense of where we may be headed. When AlphaGo defeated Lee Sedol, some said it was the end of go. As we have seen since then, it is rather more likely that in many ways the game has just begun.”

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AlphaGo vs. AlphaGo; Game 36: The ladder game

Friday February 14, 2020

Chocolates and flowers are popular Valentine’s Day gifts but what go players really want is another AlphaGo game commentary and Michael Redmond 9P and Chris Garlock deliver with their latest AlphaGo vs. AlphaGo game commentary, Game 36 of the series, going up on the AGA’s YouTube Channel at noon today, a bit earlier than the usual 6p release time.

“The most interesting thing to me about this game is the way AlphaGo handles ladders,” says Redmond. “Earlier versions seemed to have some trouble with them, but not AG and in this game, AlphaGo devises some original ways to handle them.” Redmond poses a number of problems for Garlock to solve, and the Twitch audience — the commentary was originally streamed live on the AGA’s Twitch channel — gets involved. Follow the AGA’s Twitch channel and get notified of live streams.

[link]

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Redmond on AG-AG Game 36 tonight on Twitch

Thursday January 30, 2020

Michael Redmond 9P and Chris Garlock return to the AGA’s Twitch channel tonight at 7p EDT with their latest live game commentary on the AlphaGo vs AlphaGo series. ” Entertaining and enlightening review,” commented SpaceTimeMachine on the previous commentary. “I recommend this series to my friends all the time.”

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AlphaGo vs. AlphaGo; Game 35: The ko that wasn’t

Saturday January 25, 2020

Michael Redmond 9P and Chris Garlock return with their latest AlphaGo vs. AlphaGo game commentary, Game 35 of the series, posted on the AGA’s YouTube Channel.

The game features “A lot of intense fighting in the center of the board that sort of spreads to the corners,” says Redmond. Plus, “We’ll see some ko’s, as well as some ko’s that didn’t happen.”

The commentary was originally streamed live on Twitch, which gave viewers a chance to interact with Redmond and Garlock, who will be live-streaming more game commentaries — some AlphaGo vs. AlphaGo and some of Redmond’s games — on January 30 on the AGA’s Twitch channel. Follow the AGA’s Twitch channel and get notified of live streams.

[link]

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Lee Sedol drops to AI player in final career match

Saturday January 11, 2020

South Korean Go icon Lee Sedol closed out his illustrious career last month in a three-game match with home-developed artificial intelligence (AI) program HanDol, according to a report by the Yonhap News Agency.

Lee, who turned pro at 12 and went on to capture 18 international and 32 domestic titles, defeated HanDol in the opener of the best-of-three match in Seoul, playing with a two-stone advantage. The second match was played without any handicap, and HanDol was victorious. In the decisive third game, HanDol, developed by South Korea’s NHN Entertainment Corp., took down the 36-year-old master after 181 stones in Lee’s final match, held in his hometown of Sinan, 400 kilometers south of Seoul.
“I should have done better early, and then the (final game) would have played out much like the first one,” Lee said. “To be honest, I don’t think HanDol is particularly strong when playing with an advantage. I think some of the younger players would have beaten HanDol.”

Looking back on his career, Lee said, “I’ve enjoyed this ride. In the past, I used to say, ‘Baduk is my life,'” he said. “But now, I think there’s more to my life than baduk. I take away a lot of fun memories. Even though I lost today, I was happy to have played a good match.”

Note: This post has been updated to clarify the game sequence.

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