Recently, another chapter of man vs. machine played out. Google’s Deep Mind project team tried out their state of the art algorithm on the game of Go. The Korean pro, Lee Sedol, a world champion several times over and arguably the best player of the game right now, was its opponent. To put it simply, this was the equivalent of Deep Blue v. Gary Kasparov, and as with the IBM Chess playing machine before it, AlphaGo took home the prize, four wins to one loss.
Go has been thought to be the one game that computers could not beat a human at because a computer could not brute force the move trees. Chess may have an astronomically large set of possible moves, but it is nothing compared to Go. Chess has 12 options for the first move, while Go has 361. However, the feat accomplished by AlphaGo and the Deep Mind team is even more amazing than these raw numbers would suggest.