Thursday, March 10, 2016

AlphaGo draws first blood! (and second)

I had been really excited about how, over time, we would learn all sorts of new moves and new ideas about the game from AlphaGo.  But, after the discussion at Go club last night of the first AlphaGo/Lee Sedol game, I'm beginning to think that might not happen.  It may be that all AlphaGo can teach us is to remember the fundamentals:

  1. Play what's on the board; and
  2. You only have to win by 0.5.
Of course, on an individual level, this is huge.  I think AlphaGo will be an amazing trainer for us.  But because it does those things so well, we may not get the rich stories from it that we tell ourselves.  Or maybe we'll still find new stories to tell ourselves, even if AlphaGo is not telling them.

I'm still excited about all of this though.  On my way back to my office from class, I ran into a few of our grad students in the hallway.  We spent an hour talking about AlphaGo and all the ramifications.

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