Google has revealed it has been undertaking a secret AI bot test to beat top Go players, nearly one year on from its famous victory over the games’ human champion Lee Sedol.
A mystery player caused a stir in the world of the complex strategy game Go. Known only by the name ‘Master(P)’, since late December the anonymous player has beaten the world’s best at Go in a string of online games, including defeating current world number one, 19-year-old Ke Jie.
Revealed to be the creation of Google’s London-based AI firm, DeepMind, Master(P) came out of nowhere to win dozens of consecutive quick-fire games across two separate online platforms.
Playing on the online servers Tygem and FoxGo, Master(P) played more than 50 games, winning in all — except perhaps for one game, which, according to some reports, was deemed a tie only because the network connection of the opponent, the Go professional Chen Yaoye, timed out.
“It’s extremely impressive whoever/whatever it is,” said British Go player Jon Diamond ahead of the announcement. After losing to Master(P), Chinese professional Gu Li offered a reward of 100,000 yuan (US$14,400) to any human who could beat the mysterious player.
On 4th January, Google DeepMind chief executive Demis Hassabis revealed on Twitter that Master(P) is a new prototype version of AlphaGo.
— Demis Hassabis (@demishassabis) January 4, 2017
The “unofficial” games were designed to test the prototype, he said: “We’re excited by the results and also by what we and the Go community can learn from some of the innovative and successful moves played by the new version of AlphaGo.”