I tried to stay up late last night to watch game 3 of the Google DeepMind million dollar challenge – Go great Lee Sedol vs the bot, AlphaGo. The match started at 11 PM our time. I lasted until 1:30 AM after which I needed to go to bed.
Sedol played the high Chinese Opening, an unusual approach in pro-games. A slightly different variation known as the low Chinese Opening is played much more regularly among professional players. AlphaGo approached in the top left corner and a fight ensued, which began to spread away from the corner. It was quite a battle. At one point I thought all was lost for Lee Sedol (keep in mind though, I’m a mediocre amateur, so what do I know). Then AlphaGo made a move to shore up its position, which the commentator pointed out was perhaps slow, and Sedol exploited that and strengthened his own position. By that point I was just too tired to follow what was going on.
When I awoke this morning, I Googled the match right away, only to discover AlphaGo had prevailed. I haven’t had a chance to review the game yet, so I don’t know what happened, but if the first half of the game is any indication, I’m betting it was an intense battle throughout.
“I do apologize for not being able to satisfy people’s expectations,” said Lee, who believes that he had no chance in the first game, missed opportunities in the second, and succumbed to pressure today. He asked for people to continue to show interest in the remaining two games, despite his overall loss. “I believe [Lee] would have been difficult to beat today by any other top professional,” said 9-dan pro player and match commentator Michael Redmond, who called AlphaGo a “work of art” that could revolutionize Go play in the future.