Google AI AlphaGo vs Lee Sedol

By Xah Lee. Date: . Last updated: .

This is a historical moment. Human vs Machine, and Machine won, 4 to 1.

About the Match

AlphaGo  Lee Sedol  Lee Soyong  Kim Seongryong 2016-03-09 18c8b4c3
Lee Soyong and Kim Seong-ryong 9 dan comment the game in Korean.
alphago vs lee sedol Seoul street Korea 2016-03-13
Seoul, Korea, . The game is displayed on the street. Alphago vs Lee Sedol.

About AlphaGo

AlphaGo is a computer program developed by Google to play the board game Go.

AlphaGo's algorithm uses a combination of neural network and tree search.

[see Artificial Neural Network is Nasty]

Try a Game of Go

if you never tried go before and is curious, yes, try it. It is necessary to play a few games to get a taste of it, even on a small 9x9 board.

you can try the gnu go software for this purpose. see [see Great Math Board Game Software]

but, be warned, it's a game that can suck years of your life. (i assume you are programer or college student of math or such.) It has, indeed, sucked about a year of my youth. Whether the time is wasted is a point of view.

Game Summary

5 games. Lee won 4th game, lost all others.

Go Player Ranking

As of 2016-03-11, top player is Ke Jie (Chinese name 柯洁. Born 1997), according to the site Go Player Elo Ratings

Video Commentary of Games

Match 1 - Google DeepMind Challenge Match: Lee Sedol vs AlphaGo
Match 2 - Google DeepMind Challenge Match: Lee Sedol vs AlphaGo
Match 3 - Google DeepMind Challenge Match: Lee Sedol vs AlphaGo
Match 4 - Google DeepMind Challenge Match: Lee Sedol vs AlphaGo
Match 5 - Google DeepMind Challenge Match: Lee Sedol vs AlphaGo

the host of the commentary, guy on the left, is Chris Garlock. Really annoying guy, with his trivial, humbleness-showoff, no-content, slow drone out blatherings.

the guy on the right is Mike Redmond, the only westerner to attain 9dan. He seems cocky and insecure. He's also somewhat annoying.

The official English commentary is lame and boring to watch, and long. Remember, each game is about 4 hours.

Go Ranking System

Skill in the traditional board game Go is measured by a number of different national, regional and online ranking and rating systems. Traditionally, go rankings have been measured using a system of dan and kyu ranks. Especially in amateur play, these ranks facilitate the handicapping system, with a difference of one rank roughly corresponding to one free move at the beginning of the game. With the ready availability of calculators and computers, rating systems have been introduced. In such systems, a rating is rigorously calculated on the basis of game results.

[2016-03-13 Wikipedia Go ranks and ratings]

Go ranking system is idiotic. Here's the titles, from low to high:

These titles are not scientific. It came from a historical honorary system. If 2 persons are both the same dan, there might be a huge gap in their skills, such as one always beats the other.

If a person is 9 dan pro, all you could say is that the guy is expert at the game. (if you spend 5 hours a day for 5 years, you might become a 9 dan pro.)

Alternative English Commentary

here's commentary by Myungwan Kim. Myungwan Kim (金明完) is a 9 dan pro, from Korea.

AlphaGo ?p vs Lee Sedol 9p, Game 1! Myungwan Kim 9p comments
AlphaGo vs Lee Sedol 9p, game 2 w/ Myungwan Kim commenting! 2pm KR (9pm PST midnight EST)
AlphaGo vs Lee Sedol 9p, game 3 w/ Cho Hyeyeon 9p commenting! 1/2
AlphaGo vs Lee Sedol 9p, game 3 w/ Cho Hyeyeon 9p commenting! 2/2
AlphaGo vs Lee Sedol 9p, game 4 w/ Kim Myungwan 9p commenting and special guest Hajin Lee 3p!

Chinese Commentary by Ke Jie 柯洁解说

Ke Jie is currently top rated player in the world. He's only 19.

The following are much fun to watch, but they are in Chinese. (it's a TV show. Also, in Asia, it's common to have females who are professional go players.)

柯洁解说:李世石 vs AlphaGo 人机大战, 第1盘 【完整版】. (commentary by Ke Jie (柯洁). Game 1.) the hostess is 女棋手陈盈.
柯洁解说:李世石 vs AlphaGo 人机大战, 第2盘
柯洁解说:李世石 vs AlphaGo 人机大战, 第3盘
柯洁解说:李世石 vs AlphaGo 人机大战, 第4盘
柯洁解说:李世石 vs AlphaGo 人机大战, 第5盘

Go Game Record, Format, Software

the commonly used file format to store go games is SGF.

Smart Game Format

It is plain text file format.

list of sgf file readers

Game Record Files

here's some old articles.

Impacts on Humanity

in 1997, when machine beats human in chess, that was a big event. Even a bigger even than today's AlphaGo.

now it's 20 years.

there isn't any drastic improvement of humanity. Actually, there isn't much of a firm, solid, confirmation by some scientific measures, that human animals are doing better. (i think crime rate, have decrease slightly. But i don't think much improved in bigger scale of things.)

this Google DeepMind thing, is exciting to tech geeks as how pop song is exciting to pop idol followers.

on the positive side, I think this event can be a representative milestone of today's Artificial Intelligence progress, many of which we've been using for a couple years now. Face recognization, Apple Siri, google search, self-driving cars, robotics.

Google AlphaGo Beats World Champions, 60 to 0

Google AlphaGo Beats World Champions, 60 to 0


If you have a question, put $5 at patreon and message me.