Was Move 37 the seminal moment in human development?
Computers are good at process. AI has made them good at pattern recognition. Creativity and emotion are thought beyond them (well mostly, we’ve recently reported developments in that area).
What stunned the tech sector was Move 37 – a totally unexpected and eccentric move by AlphaGo in the recent AI vs Go! matches in Seoul.
MIT reckons we’re 10 years ahead of where we should be: “A Go-playing AI is thrashing the world’s best player, but what’s most interesting is how creatively and eccentrically it plays.
The second game in the best-of-5 match not only demonstrated the program’s extraordinary strength as a Go player but also highlighted its ability to produce some surprisingly creative moves. These moves reflect the remarkable progress AI is making, as well as the gaps that still remain.
It usually takes years of practice for accomplished Go players to appreciate why a particular board arrangement may be advantageous, and even then they may struggle to explain to a beginner why a position works or doesn’t. The fact that AlphaGo could also learn to recognize these patterns suggests that more subtle human skills could perhaps be automated before we might expect.
Michael Redmond, an expert American player, complimented AlphaGo for some creative and elegant early play. “There was a great beauty to the opening,” Redmond said after the game. “Based on what I had seen from its other games, AlphaGo was always strong in the end and middle game, but that was extended to the beginning game this time. It was a beautiful, innovative game.”
Even more interesting, however, was a moment when AlphaGo looked to have blundered midgame, only to demonstrate that its seemingly weak position would develop into dominance over the board.
“Today I really feel that AlphaGo played a near-perfect game,” a stunned and sad-looking Se-dol said after the match. “Yesterday I was surprised, but today it’s more than that—I am speechless. I admit that it was a very clear loss on my part. From the very beginning of the game I did not feel like there was a point that I was leading.”…more…