Google DeepMind’s AlphaGo algorithm is back to its usual antics of beating world class Go players.
The self-learning algorithm beat the world’s current number one player, Ke Jie, on Tuesday in the opening fixture of a three game match.
“Ke Jie fought bravely and some wonderful moves were played,” wrote Google DeepMind CEO Demis Hassabis on Twitter.
He added: “Game went to a count. #AlphaGo won by just half a point, the closest margin possible.”
DeepMind’s AlphaGo algorithm — which is underpinned by new artificial intelligence techniques and is arguably one of the most famous algorithms in the world at the moment — is playing a series of matches in China this week.
Eric Schmidt, the former CEO of Google and the executive chairman of Alphabet, Google’s parent company, has flown in for the event, as has David Silver, the lead programmer on AlphaGo.
DeepMind writes on its website that it hopes to uncover more secrets of the ancient game at the “Future of Go Summit,” where it’ll also be playing different versions of Go.
DeepMind Go is an ancient two-player board game that was invented in China some 3,000 years ago. It’s relatively simple: each player takes it in turns to lay a stone, with the objective being to surround the other player’s pieces. However, it has been incredibly difficult for computers to master due to the sheer number of potential moves.
AlphaGo beat its first world champion last March, when it defeated South Korea’s Lee Sedol in a five-game tournament.
The matches are being streamed live on YouTube and live updates will be tweeted through the DeepMind Twitter account.