Go is an ancient board game from China that dates back over 3,000 years. Over the last 500 years – since the beginning of the professional system in Japan – Go masters have dedicated their lives to understanding Go strategy, building upon the knowledge and wisdom established by top players in previous generations. Professional tournament systems in Japan, China, and Korea have supported the careers of numerous players. In 2016, Google DeepMind shocked the world by demonstrating AlphaGo, a computer AI that defeated a world champion for the first time in history. The rise of superhuman-strength AI has forced Go players to rethink the mission of professional players. If AI can show us the ultimate strategy, why should anyone dedicate one’s life to studying Go? At the same time, AlphaGo’s moves are inspiring professional players to take their games to the next level, revealing powerful new strategies and reviving old techniques that had fallen out of favor in contemporary Go. I will discuss the impact of Go-playing AI on the world of Go from the perspective of a former Go professional and organizer of the Google DeepMind Challenge Match.
Hajin Lee (University of Geneva)
Seminar, November 29, 2017