Google’s AlphaGo is retiring after soundly beating world number one player

Image: DeepmINd/Youtube

Sorry, human Go players, Google’s AlphaGo AI is just out of your league right now.

At the Future of Go Summit event, held in Wuzhen, China from May 23-27, AlphaGo has won every single match, going 3:0 against human Go champion Ke Jie, and sweeping the floor with five human Go masters who teamed up against it.

And just like the biggest champions, AlphaGo is retiring while on top.

According to Demis Hassabis, CEO and co-founder of DeepMind (the Google-owned company that created AlphaGo), the AI has pretty much proven all it needed to in the Go arena.

“This weeks series of thrilling games with the worlds best players, in the country where Go originated, has been the highest possible pinnacle for AlphaGo as a competitive program. For that reason, the Future of Go Summit is our final match event with AlphaGo,” he wrote in a blog post Saturday.

“This weeks series of thrilling games with the worlds best players has been the highest possible pinnacle for AlphaGo as a competitive program.”

From now on, the research team that built AlphaGo will focus on “developing advanced general algorithms that could one day help scientists as they tackle some of our most complex problems, such as finding new cures for diseases, dramatically reducing energy consumption, or inventing revolutionary new materials.”

AlphaGo will remain active in the Go community in other ways. Later this year, DeepMind plans to publish an academic paper which will detail how the team improved AlphaGo’s Go-playing capabilities.

The company is also developing a teaching tool that will show how AlphaGo analyses various Go positions.

While not officially ranked as a Go player, AlphaGo has pretty much proven AI can play as good as a human player. In 2015, it won against European champion Fan Hui with a 5:0 score. It followed by winning against legendary Go player and multiple world champion Lee Sedol (currently ranked number 7) in 2016, with a score of 4:1. It cemented this crazy run with a 3:0 win against the current world champion and top ranked player Ke Jie. Before this, it was generally thought that AI couldn’t compete in Go at the highest level due to the game’s complexity.

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