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'Thinking' supercomputer trounces game pro 10 years ahead of schedule

'Thinking' supercomputer trounces game pro 10 years ahead of schedule
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A little while ago, we told you about a computer named AlphaGo beating a three-time European champion at the game Go. Now, that same computer has faced Lee Se-dol, a man some regard as the best Go player in history, and trounced him. In a five-game tournament, AlphaGo beat Lee 4-1.

For people used to home computers routinely beating them at Chess, Tic-Tac-Toe, Othello and other board games, this might not seem like a big deal. However, it's actually a huge step forward for computers. In the future it might be regarded as the birth of computers that think.

One of the reasons a computer playing Go is such a big deal is because Go is the possibly the most complex board game ever invented. It features a huge 19 by 19 grid and the ability to place pieces anywhere.

Unlike chess, where a computer can calculate moves and counter-moves dozens or hundreds of steps into the future, Go has too far too many possible moves for a typical computer to process. Human players rely a lot on experience-honed intuition to make the best moves, which is something computers can't do. Until now.

After the match, Lee said regarding AlphaGo, "It made me question human creativity. When I saw AlphaGo's moves, I wondered whether the Go moves I have known were the right ones." He went on to say that AlphaGo has made him realize there's still a lot to learn.

Next page: How AlphaGo got its skill and how it "thinks"
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