American Go E-Journal » Master/AlphaGo Commentaries

The Shanghai Restoration Project’s “AlphaGo” single

Sunday January 14, 2018

The advent of AlphaGo has inspired…well, many things. Chief among them, of course, is self-reflection among serious go players:2018.01.11_Alpha Go-SRP What is it like to be superseded by artificial intelligence? Conversely, what can AlphaGo teach us about being human? Google’s AI inspired a movie, a belief that future health care will be better, endless cartoons and the belief that soon Al will be able to create knowledge itself. But music? It seems so. The Shanghai Restoration Project (SRP), a contemporary electronic music duo of Dave Liang and Sun Yunfan, recently dropped their new album R.U.R., with a single entitled “Alpha Go.” The group tells the E-Journal that R.U.R. explores a world in where robots have supplanted the extinct human civilization that predated them. ‘Alpha Go,’ the musicians say, is both “a tribute and an elegy” to Ke Jie’s defeat by the Google AI; it mixes in human elements with decidedly artificial ones. The tune is an airy, abstract melody. It’s evenly paced but turns on a dime, delivered by Yunfan ‘s vocals, which are digitally manipulated. Both musicians played go growing up, with Ms. Sun playing briefly for her school team. The cover art for the album is currently on display at NYC’s Society Of Illustrators until Jan 27 as part of the Illustrators 60 exhibition. “Alpha Go” can be listened to on YouTube or the SRP website.
Charles “Doc” Sade, with thanks to Santana Afton for the tip

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AlphaGo doc live now on Netflix; both go docs coming to Portland

Thursday January 4, 2018

“AlphaGo”  — the 2017 documentary about the 2016 showdown between the AlphaGo AI and Lee Sedol, is now streaming on 2018.01.04_alphago-movieNetflix. Directed by Greg Kohs with an original score by Academy Award nominee, Hauschka, AlphaGo chronicles a journey from the halls of Oxford, through the backstreets of Bordeaux, past the coding terminals of Google DeepMind in London, and ultimately, to the seven-day tournament in Seoul. As the drama unfolds, more questions emerge: What can artificial intelligence reveal about a 3000-year-old game? What can it teach us about humanity?

Both “AlphaGo” and “The Surrounding Game” – which follows the lives of three young Americans vying to become the first-ever Western professional players — will screen later this month in Portland, OR. The Surrounding Game screens on Jan. 13th at 7:30 and AlphaGo on Jan. 14th at 7:30, both at the Documentary Film Center (corner of NE Williams and Tillamook). “We’re also going to hold a small teaching session at 6PM on the 14th for new players to learn how to play the game. Players can sign up on the 13th for the free teaching session,” reports Peter Freedman.

“We’ll be selling tickets for $8 per night or $14 for both nights,” Freedman adds; email him at pleefreedman1@comcast.net. Raffle tickets will be a dollar and will be sold at the Surrounding Game screening. The raffle drawing will occur at the end of the screening. “We’ll have some popcorn and non-alcoholic beverages for free and beer for sale on both nights.”

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AlphaGo Zero-AlphaGo Master: An early mistake, then things get interesting

Sunday December 17, 2017

“I think Master made a mistake fairly early in this game,” says Michael Redmond 9p in his fourth commentary on the AG Zero2017.12.17_ag-ag-zero-master-4 games. “Then it was supposed to be an easy game for Zero, but Zero made it really interesting, and there are points in the game where I think Master had a chance to win. There’s a big fight toward the end.”

Click here for Redmond’s video commentary, hosted by the AGA E-Journal’s Chris Garlock, and see below for the sgf commentary. To support this content, please consider joining or renewing your membership in the American Go Association; click here for details.

Note: The video commentary team will be taking a break over the holidays to rest up, recharge and work on plans for 2018. Watch for a 2017 recap interview coming soon and more updates and videos in the New Year!

Video produced by Michael Wanek and Andrew Jackson. The sgf files were created by Redmond, with editing and transcription by Garlock and Myron Souris.

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AlphaGo Zero-AlphaGo Master: A similar “taste” but things turn sour quickly

Friday December 8, 2017

“AG Zero and the Ke Jie version sort of resemble each other, in the way that they play around the 3-3 invasions, and there’s a 2017.12.08_ag-ag-zero-master-3‘taste’ to their play that’s quite similar,” says Michael Redmond 9p in his third commentary on the AG Zero games. “That said, the Ke Jie version tends to jump into fights more quickly and that’s very exciting, but in the Zero version, there’s a lot of hidden reading, like we saw in Game 2. Just as Master did against human players, Zero is controlling the game to a much greater degree, and a lot of the reading is not actually coming out on the board.”

“In this game, Master has black again and will be playing a lot of moves towards the center,” Redmond says. “So there are lot of stones floating around in the center of the board and looking kind of neat. I think Master had a good opening in this game and then there’s one move I really don’t like, that’s really the turning point of the game. And just like when I’m playing a formidable player, I find that just one move can turn things very sour quite quickly.”

Click here for Redmond’s video commentary, hosted by the AGA E-Journal’s Chris Garlock, and see below for the sgf commentary. To support this content, please consider joining or renewing your membership in the American Go Association; click here for details.

Video produced by Michael Wanek and Andrew Jackson. The sgf files were created by Redmond, with editing and transcription by Garlock and Myron Souris.

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AlphaGo doc now available to rent or buy

Wednesday December 6, 2017

“AlphaGo,” the 2016 documentary about the historic AlphaGo-Lee Sedol match, is now available on the Google “Play” store for2017.12.06_alphaGo-movie rental and purchase.
“AlphaGo” chronicles a journey from the backstreets of Bordeaux, past the coding terminals of Google DeepMind, to Seoul, where a legendary go master faces an unproven AI challenger. As the drama unfolds, questions emerge: What can artificial intelligence reveal about a 3000-year-old game? What will it teach us about humanity?

“This is such a beautiful telling of this historic moment,” comments Ben Murdoch on the site. “An intimate and at times tense portrayal of a milestone moment in AI history. Captivating!” says Marek Barwiński.

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AlphaGo Zero-AlphaGo Master: A Master misread?

Sunday December 3, 2017

“Although the openings in this series are pretty repetitive, the games themselves vary,” says Michael Redmond 9p in his2017.12.01_ag-ag-zero-master-2 second commentary on the AG Zero games. “So in some, you’ll see a half-point game, and in others we’ll see Master crash. This game is interesting because it’s the first time that Zero has black. Also, later in the game, I get the feeling that Master is acting like it did in the 60-game series earlier this year against top human players, where it thinks its winning and is sort of closing up shop and wrapping up the game. So I wonder whether it mis-read a tsume-go — actually a 60-move sequence — in this game.”

Click here for Redmond’s video commentary, hosted by the AGA E-Journal’s Chris Garlock, and see below for the sgf commentary.

Video produced by Michael Wanek and Andrew Jackson. The sgf files were created by Redmond, with editing and transcription by Garlock and Myron Souris.

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AlphaGo Zero series to officially launch on Black Friday

Thursday November 23, 2017

After taking last Friday off, Michael Redmond’s AlphaGo video commentary series officially launches an AG Zero-Master series Friday at 6p 2017.11.24_ag-ag-zero-master-1EDT, with at least four more Zero-Master commentaries planned through the end of the year. Click here for the first Zero-Master commentary.

“Zero shows a strong2017.11.23_AlphaGo Zero vs. Master with Michael Redmond 9p Game 1 bias for territory, and this makes it’s overall game plan relatively easy to understand,” says Redmond. “Quite often we will see Zero diving into Master’s moyo, with some exciting fighting.”

Meanwhile, click here to check out Redmond’s exploration of Zero’s main openings and here for a playlist of 15 Redmond commentaries on the AlphaGo self-play games.

Video produced by Michael Wanek and Andrew Jackson. The sgf files were created by Redmond, with editing and transcription by Garlock and Myron Souris.

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DeepMind has yet to find out how smart its AlphaGo Zero AI could be

Monday November 13, 2017

“Perhaps the most interesting thing about AlphaGo Zero, though, isn’t how fast it was able to do what it did, or with such efficacy, but also that2017.11.12_hassabis-techcrunch it ultimately didn’t even achieve its full potential,” reports TechCrunch. “DeepMind CEO and co-founder Demis Hassabis explained on stage at Google’s Go North conference in Toronto that the company actually shut down the experiment before it could determine the upper limits of AlphaGo Zero’s maximum intelligence.”

“We never actually found the limit of how good this version of AlphaGo could get,” he said. “We needed the computers for something else.”

Hassabis said that DeepMind may spin up AlphaGo Zero again in future to find out how much further it can go, though the main benefit of that exercise might be to help teach human AlphaGo players about additional, “alien” moves and stratagems that they can study to improve their own play.

PLUS: The October issue of Games magazine includes “A God of Go: AlphaGo Crosses the Next Frontier of Artificial Intelligence”

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AlphaGo Zero-AlphaGo Master: Two openings, less variety

Saturday November 11, 2017

“In the set of 20 games between AG Zero and AG Master, there are pretty much just two openings — i.e. identical moves for about the first 202017.11.11_ag-ag-zero-opening moves — one with Zero as Black and one with Master as Black,” says Michael Redmond 9p in this first commentary on the recently released AG Zero games. “This provides an opportunity to examine how Zero differs from Master, as well as how Master differs from earlier versions. ”

“When AGMaster plays against AGZero, it does not show the variety that it had before,” says Redmond. “As AG does not change within a version, I find it hard to accept that it apparently does not have the option to play moves that it played before in identical board positions. In the ‘Master series’, 60 games played against top pros in Dec 2016 to Jan 2017, Master could play the 3-4 point as it’s first move in about 1/4 of the games when it had Black. Incidentally, AGKeJie also could play the 3-4 point in some of it’s games. The fact that Master repeats the same opening every time in these games against AGZero bothers me and makes me question, is this truly the same version of AGMaster that played the Master series, and if so, what caused it to play the same opening every time in this series, when it was allowed to have variety in previous games with identical board positions? The difference in calculated winning percentage between A and B should be extremely small and I would expect it to have little or no effect on the ultimate win-loss record. This set of games would be much more valuable if Master had been allowed to vary in it’s choices for moves.”

Click here for Redmond’s video commentary, hosted by the AGA E-Journal’s Chris Garlock, and see below for the two sgf commentaries. Note that these commentaries focus only on the two openings; watch for a full-game Zero-Master commentary next week. Click here for a playlist of all the Redmond AG commentaries.

Video produced by Michael Wanek and Andrew Jackson. The sgf files were created by Redmond, with editing and transcription by Garlock and Myron Souris.

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AlphaGo-AlphaGo Game 15: New, different and possibly bad

Friday November 10, 2017

“I don’t like to call it weird, but in this game we’re going to see some new and different stuff that AlphaGo is doing with the joseki that I don’t 2017.11.10_ag-ag-thumb-15really understand and I don’t like it,” says Michael Redmond 9p in his commentary on Game 15. “It’ll be interesting to see if eventually I change my mind, but for now I’m going to say it’s a bad move.” Redmond adds that “We’ll also see another typical AlphaGo move later in the game that’s pretty exciting too.”

Click here for Redmond’s video commentary, hosted by the AGA E-Journal’s Chris Garlock. Click here for a playlist of all the Redmond AG commentaries.

And keep an eye out here and on the AGA YouTube channel for the launch of Redmond’s commentaries on the AlphaGo Zero-Master games, coming very soon!

The Game 15 video is produced by Michael Wanek and Andrew Jackson. The sgf file was created by Redmond, with editing and transcription by Garlock and Myron Souris.

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