28 Facts About AlphaGo


AlphaGo is a computer program that plays the board game Go.

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Subsequent versions of AlphaGo became increasingly powerful, including a version that competed under the name Master.

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AlphaGo Zero was then generalized into a program known as AlphaZero, which played additional games, including chess and shogi.

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In October 2015, in a match against Fan Hui, the original AlphaGo became the first computer Go program to beat a human professional Go player without handicap on a full-sized 19×19 board.

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In recognition of the victory, AlphaGo was awarded an honorary 9-dan by the Korea Baduk Association.

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The win by AlphaGo was chosen by Science as one of the Breakthrough of the Year runners-up on 22 December 2016.

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At the 2017 Future of Go Summit, the Master version of AlphaGo beat Ke Jie, the number one ranked player in the world at the time, in a three-game match, after which AlphaGo was awarded professional 9-dan by the Chinese Weiqi Association.

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In October 2015, the distributed version of AlphaGo defeated the European Go champion Fan Hui, a 2-dan professional, five to zero.

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AlphaGo played South Korean professional Go player Lee Sedol, ranked 9-dan, one of the best players at Go, with five games taking place at the Four Seasons Hotel in Seoul, South Korea on 9,10,12,13, and 15 March 2016, which were video-streamed live.

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Out of five games, AlphaGo won four games and Lee won the fourth game which made him recorded as the only human player who beat AlphaGo in all of its 74 official games.

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AlphaGo ran on Google's cloud computing with its servers located in the United States.

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The version of AlphaGo playing against Lee used a similar amount of computing power as was used in the Fan Hui match.

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AlphaGo was not specifically trained to face Lee nor was designed to compete with any specific human players.

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AlphaGo then continued to achieve a fourth win, winning the fifth game by resignation.

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Since AlphaGo won four out of five and thus the series, the prize will be donated to charities, including UNICEF.

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Master won all three games against Ke Jie, after which AlphaGo was awarded professional 9-dan by the Chinese Weiqi Association.

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AlphaGo's team published an article in the journal Nature on 19 October 2017, introducing AlphaGo Zero, a version without human data and stronger than any previous human-champion-defeating version.

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On 11 December 2017, DeepMind released AlphaGo teaching tool on its website to analyze winning rates of different Go openings as calculated by AlphaGo Master.

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An early version of AlphaGo was tested on hardware with various numbers of CPUs and GPUs, running in asynchronous or distributed mode.

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AlphaGo was initially trained to mimic human play by attempting to match the moves of expert players from recorded historical games, using a database of around 30 million moves.

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AlphaGo's playing style strongly favours greater probability of winning by fewer points over lesser probability of winning by more points.

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AlphaGo's March 2016 victory was a major milestone in artificial intelligence research.

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Some commentators believe AlphaGo's victory makes for a good opportunity for society to start preparing for the possible future impact of machines with general purpose intelligence.

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In China, AlphaGo was a "Sputnik moment" which helped convince the Chinese government to prioritize and dramatically increase funding for artificial intelligence.

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In 2017, the DeepMind AlphaGo team received the inaugural IJCAI Marvin Minsky medal for Outstanding Achievements in AI.

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AlphaGo seems to have totally original moves it creates itself.

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China's Ke Jie, an 18-year-old generally recognized as the world's best Go player at the time, initially claimed that he would be able to beat AlphaGo, but declined to play against it for fear that it would "copy my style".

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Documentary film AlphaGo raised hopes that Lee Sedol and Fan Hui would have benefitted from their experience of playing AlphaGo, but as of May 2018 their ratings were little changed; Lee Sedol was ranked 11th in the world, and Fan Hui 545th.

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